As Christians we have a duty to give of both time and money to aid our fellow people. St Andrew's gives 10 per cent of our regular giving and plate donations, shared across three charities. From 2023, these are Swindon Night Shelter, Christians Against Poverty and Nsawo School in Uganda. We also make regular weekly collections for Swindon Food Collective, Swindon's food bank, and have specific services with charitable donations, notably, Sea Sunday's retiring collection for the Mission to Seafarers, the Christingle collection for the Children's Society, toy donations from the Christmas children's service and sharing our Christmas collection with Embrace the Middle East, the charity that (amongst other things) produces the Bethlehem Carol Sheet.
You can find out more about the charities we support below. Click on the links that form the headings to visit the charities' websites and discover more still.
Boxes of Hope
The Boxes of Hope initiative was started in 2020 by Gorse Hill Baptist Church to deliver food parcels to families that were struggling due to the coronavirus crisis. Since that time, they have been working with many agencies across the town. They now take referrals from all agencies and any individual that is struggling to feed themselves or their families. They are not in competition with the excellent Swindon Food Collective, but offer support in a wider range of circumstances.
We collect weekly for Boxes of Hope: suggestions for possible items to bring include:
- Longlife milk
- Tinned beans
- Pasta sauce
- Tinned tomatoes
- Tinned tuna
- Tinned soup/ or cup a soups
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned meat
- Tinned fruit
- Tomato sauce
- Super noodles
- Pasta n sauce
- Cans of coke/ lemonade
- Fruit juice etc.
Our local charity supported from regular donations is Swindon Night Shelter. They aim to minister to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the homeless and vulnerable by being a visible testimony of Jesus Christ. The chairity works closely with Churches and Christians in Swindon and surrounding area.
The charity usually runs a Night Shelter, though this has yet to be reinstated after the pandemic. At the Shelter, they offer a hot meal, fresh clean clothes, a chance to shower, a bed for the night and food to take away as well as a chance to relax, chat and hear God’s word.
Their main focus at the moment is the Haven Day Centre on Queens Drive, open from 9.30am during the week. This provides showering and washing facilities, lunch, access to a support worker and a computer, emergency clothing, lifeskills courses and more.
The charity also works with local supermarkets and other businesses in Swindon, to collect and distribute Charitable Surplus to those who need and can use it.
They are open to any guests regardless of their beliefs or their current circumstances.
Salvation Army Christmas Appeal
At our Children's Service on 4th December 2022 we collected presents for children to be given out by the Salvation Army to families in need in Swindon. We will have a similar collection this year.
The annual Ride & Stride event around local churches in September helps raise funds for this non profit organisation which gives grants to churches for building repairs. This photo with the Archbishop of Canterbury was taken at the start of last year's Ride & Stride. Members of our church are in the photo!
Some church members are involved with:
Our national charity supported from regular donations. Christians Against Poverty provides free debt help and local community groups across the UK. Their free services, run with local churches, provide practical and emotional support and show people that there is always hope.
Through a team of more than 400 dedicated staff members based in all four UK nations, and hundreds of incredible churches delivering services, people in desperate need are discovering life-changing freedom and hope every day.
Since 1996, the charity has seen tens of thousands of families and individuals break free from debt and poverty. And as the impact of the cost of living crisis is felt in households across the UK, they know there is much more to be done.
Works with vulnerable children and young people in England and Wales.
Every Christmas Eve, we hold a Christingle service and the collection from that service is sent to the Children’s Society.
is an Anglican charity which supports seafarers in the UK and around the world. Each year in July we celebrate Sea Sunday and there is a retiring collection for the work of the Missions to Seafarers.
Nsawo School in Uganda
The Bristol diocese has a long-standing link with the (now) archdiocese of Uganda. The third of our donations from regular giving is to Nsawo.
Nsawo is a Ugandan Primary School, funded by the government but run in conjunction with the Church of Uganda (like Church of England Schools in the UK). It is in a small village in the Diocese of Luweero, about 50 miles north of Kampala.
State education is free for Primary aged children in Uganda, but the funding provided by the government is very low, so there is a lack of basic necessities and classes are over crowded. The last project funded by money from the UK provided shutter and flooring for the hall windows to prevent people breaking into the school
Revd Sally visited Nsawo with a party from Swindon in February 2019. It was chosen as a school to have a link with Swindon because it has potential to be a resource for other local schools to learn good practice.
The head teacher is Rose Nakajiri, who took over last summer following the retirement of the previous head, Patrick Kasajja. She will be updating the school development plan which was severely disrupted by Covid which prevented many children in Uganda accessing Education for over a year.
is an international development charity which works with people, of all faiths and none, in around 50 countries, to eradicate poverty.
Toilet Twinning provides people in the poorest communities on the planet with a decent toilet, clean water and all the information they need to stay healthy. Our composting toilet is twinned - why not do the same for your home toilet? Find out more here.