Mission and Service Update

Church Project Fund 2017-18


At this time every year we invite nominations for charities to be supported by the Church Project Fund.  We generally have a policy of having one local and two overseas causes.  The church is continuing to support ‘For the Love of Learning in the Gambia’.  An update on activities is included on this sheet, but it is not included in the vote.
You are invited to select 2 more projects to be supported from the 4 nominations we have received.  Please use the voting slip provided and place in the designated boxes in church or in the coffee lounge after the service, or vote online.
The nominated charities are: 

Saddleworth Olympics – Adrian Green

The Saddleworth Village Games (or as some of you may know it the Saddleworth Village Olympics) has been providing sporting activities for our local children for 32 years since 1985.  Many of you in the congregation may very well have had sons/daughters who took/take part and may very well have competed yourselves.  Over the years the funding structure has changed and whilst the Games were reliant historically on donations from the Round Table which was largely raised from the Beer Walk, the cessation of that has meant that other funding options have had to be sourced.  The organisation registered as a charity in 2016 and this has opened up previously unavailable avenues such as Tesco bags of help scheme and the Co-operative society local community fund, but increasingly the Charity is finding it harder and harder to raise funds.  A number of our younger members compete and as you may know Adrian Green is co-chairman of the Charity after previously being involved as a tag-rugby and football coach for the Diggle team.  Following the recent notice in the newsletter Adrian has asked if the church would consider donating some of its charitable funds raised to the Games to enable it to continue to provide local children with fun, sports and a sense of community.

The Leprosy Mission - Dorothy Pattinson

Plans are being drawn up for a new Leprosy Hospital in Ananbadan after parts were badly damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.  £1.6m is needed for a new Trauma Centre there.  Over half the people in Nepal live below the poverty line and limited healthcare services are difficult to access or provide adequate support for leprosy-affected people.  Ananbadan is a specialist leprosy hospital in Kathmandu for treatment to a population of around 27 million people and provides a beacon of hope those suffering with leprosy.  There is so much stigma and superstition and a neglect of leprosy service means that those affected are rejected by their families and communities.  Over 3,000 people per year do not seek access to the treatment they need. 

The hospital:

  • 110 beds serving both leprosy and general patients

  • Technical training in leprosy to government health staff and outreach surgery at medical camps and government hospitals across the country

  • Large outpatient clinic – doctor available 24 hours per day

  • Prosthetic limb centre – surgical and physiotherapy departments

  • Mycobacterial Research lab

  • Operating a clinic elsewhere in Kathmandu

A fellowship takes place every Tuesday evening where staff and patients pray together and discuss day-to-day issues they face and share advice.  This provides emotional and spiritual support to patients at Ananbadan.


Wellsprings – El Tular – Rosie Banham

I have recently returned from a visit to the village of El Tular, a poor subsistence-farming village in El Salvador, Central America.  The inhabitants rely primarily on their crop of maize for their livelihood and food.  With the progressive effects of climate change increasing the occurrence of droughts and poor harvests, this rural community, more than ever, needs to diversify in order to have other sources of income.  Wellsprings is a charity run by some of our local churchgoers in Uppermill, with the help of other beneficiaries, that supports the village of El Tular with funds to provide educational grants to youngsters leaving school to attend courses to learn new skills that will open up new job opportunities outside the village.  Wellsprings also provides funds to assist with special healthcare requirements and micro-credit for new small business ventures, and when necessary has released funds to help in drought situations.  Some of the money raised is also sent to a local NGO called Balsamo that is working with the village to try and improve and diversify its agriculture.


Oldham & Saddleworth Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre at The Salt Cellar – Kathryn Heathcote

Firstly, I want to express my sincere and grateful thanks on behalf of the CAP Centre and our clients to Uppermill Methodist Church for having had us as one of your chosen charities over this last year! It meant that we could cover a significant shortfall in finances which at the time we didn’t know how to cover and ultimately has helped to enable us to continue with the work of CAP in Oldham and Saddleworth.

In this current economic climate with ever increasing numbers of families struggling to make ends meet having a CAP Centre in the area is a lifeline for many people and I personally would be devastated if that was lost here in Oldham and Saddleworth.

With your help, we were able to engage with and help 23 new clients over this last year as well as continue to support our currently 14 longer term clients.  We held 5 client events which for some clients are the only occasions they ever go out and took several clients to a couple of open days at CAP Head Office.

We were able to support some clients on benefit health assessments and others with going to court, both of which are always very frightening and intimidating experiences.

We also have the great joy of being witnesses to clients finding hope in Jesus and are currently running a regular weekly fellowship group that sees up to 10 clients and ex-clients come along to.

The other great joy for us is to see the lives of clients improved not just from a financial point of view but also in other areas and to this end we have had a number of clients and ex-clients return to learning to improve their education. In fact, one of them is about to start university in a few weeks’ time. Others have gone on to full or part-time work and still others are now regularly volunteering for local organisations with the view of eventually returning to work.  So, as you can see your financial support does make a huge difference and that’s why I can only say a huge “Thank you” to you all!!    Eike Harvey, CAP Manager, Oldham.

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