CAFOD: Twice a year the weekend before Fast Day, Pauline Spratt the Parish CAFOD representative makes an appeal after the three Masses. On average with the aid of Gift Aid, the Parish have generously donated just over £1,000 to each Fast Day appeal.
Justice and Peace: the Parish has a small Justice and Peace group (7 ladies of mature age ) which meets on the third Monday of the month, alternating between Danbury and SWF. We support a number of charities.
The main fund raiser is the annual Jumble Sale, which is held the first Saturday in March. On average we raise £500 after expenses. In addition to this, money is raised at Sunday morning cake sales (about three a year), coffee mornings in members’ houses (about two a year) and an annual Wine and Cheese evening.
Over the last five years, the money raised has been used to support a Catholic Primary School in Hastings, Sierra Leone, where the Head Teacher Elizabeth Lamin was wanting to build a library and an additional classroom. The money that we provided (£250 per year) has helped to achieve that objective.
This year we donated £200 to help build a pilgrim hostel at the Kibeho shrine to Our Blessed Lady in Rwanda. This Shrine is very important in helping the healing process after the genocide, which took place in the recent Civil War. A further £200 was donated to the Quicken Trust a Christian Charity operating in Uganda. The money was earmarked to pay for a life saving operation for a little girl called Angel.
Each month Ann Minster organises a Fair Trade stall at both Churches (on average we sell about £70’s worth of goods). During November and December we sell Charity Christmas cards and members of the group visit the Danbury and SWF WI’s to sell Fair Trade produce.
Every Advent we support CHESS ( The Chelmsford Homeless Charity). We find out what they require and this information is then put in the newsletter and parishioners are asked to bring their gifts to Mass on the third Sunday of Advent
On the following Monday, the Justice and Peace group deliver what we have collected to the CHESS house in time for Christmas. One parishioner Francis Hunter takes part in an all night sleep out in the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral. The Parish sponsor Francis and last Christmas he raised just over £2,000 for CHESS.
Each December we support the Sisters of the Holy Sepulchre who work on the Melbourne Estate in Chelmsford, where there are a lot of disadvantaged people. They work from a scout hut opposite Blessed Sacrament Church. Here they run a mother and toddler group, an after school homework club, and a group for the elderly. We usually send a cheque for £250 just before Christmas. Last year we were able to double the amount as the Sister’s spoke at all the Masses about their work and we had a second collection for them.
Both Churches support the Food Bank at SWF. We have a collection box in the porch at both Churches and the food is taken to the distribution centre on a weekly basis.
This coming year in addition to our normal charities we hope to support the Chelmsford Women’s Refuge and the Brentwood Children’s Society.
We also organise a Parish Creation walk every eight weeks on a Saturday afternoon. This is to thank God for the beauty of our natural environment and to try and create a sense of community between both ends of the Parish.
Pauline Spratt October 2019.