Join us at your local churches for Lent events and activities in 2022. All Welcome.
Thursday Lent Film Nights 6:30pm at The Chapel on Wharf Rd. Every Thursday in Lent, starting 3rd March for 6 weeks. Film, food and discussion. Each week will be different so you can come to one, some or all. Text to book 07730 609446.
Messy Church during Lent: St Mary’s in Ash vale invite you to Messy Church on Sunday 27th Feb and Sunday 20th March 4-6pm. All Welcome, but please book ahead! Text to book: 07730 609446
If you’re a regular reader of The Parishioner, or a regular visitor to St Mary’s, you will have heard about the charity Amaha We Uganda, and their vision to sew seeds of hope among communities in Uganda. You can find out more about all their projects at www.amahaweuganda.org,.
If lockdown was hard for us here, imagine what it must be like for our friends over in Uganda at the moment. As I write, they are in full lockdown, and our team reports that it is the poorest of the poor who are really struggling to survive. We worry about the poorest in the communities—elderly widows for example—and we pray for the street children, who usually manage to eat each day by labouring in the market places. With the markets shut, they have no way to make money to get something to eat.
The Amaha We Uganda Team have been instrumental in linking the most vulnerable poor to the local churches, and managing emergency food distribution. This is not the kind of work that they usually do — after all, Amaha We Uganda is not a relief agency — but they have surrounded the most vulnerable with prayer, in their hour of need, and shown them love. Thank you to all of you in the UK who responded to the emergency appeal. You can donate online here for this work, which is still ongoing: https://tinyurl.com/AWUcrisis
As if this wasn’t enough to be doing, William and his team are persevering with the unenviable task of planting trees. We have joined Bishop Nasen in his vision to have a tree nursery in each archdeaconry of the South Rwenzori Diocese – 13 in total. Three nurseries have already provided 33,500 saplings and are now in the process of being replanted to grow new saplings. Another five nurseries are under way in the areas of most need. This is a crucial project, since the trees they are planting are the future hope for the region. Reforesting the hills is vital in maintaining farmable soil, locking away carbon, providing food & shelter and preventing disastrous land slides. The photo below shows some of the very first saplings that were handed out at the women’s conference at Ibanda, and planted on the slopes of The Rwenzori. They have grown beautifully. Can you help us to keep AWU going and plant some more trees please? A Tree nursery costs around £500. Every penny goes a long way in Uganda! https://tinyurl.com/AWUganda Thank you for your support!
By Judith Vella & Alex Sanderson (2 of the Amaha We Uganda Trustees)
A Bountiful Harvest: Part of Amaha We Uganda’s ‘No Money No Food’ campaign involved providing seed for planting in August, thus providing crops of beans for food in the next season. Without this help, families were facing a crisis, because during the early Covid lockdown all they had to eat was their seed grain, they had nothing left to plant. We are delighted to report that the harvest was blessed, providing an enormous crop in November. All the women’s groups who had received seed for planting have given some seed back after harvesting. This seed will be redistributed to more groups in March 2021 for the next season’s planting. In this way we hope they can make this a sustainable means of growing food. In total 977kg of beans were paid forward for replanting. An amazing feat.
With the whole world groaning under the strain of coronavirus , on top of climate change and other issues, it feels right to make every penny of our Christmas spending really count this year. Here are some ideas!
Buy local—it goes without saying, our lovely local shops and entrepreneurs need us more than ever this year! The big chains have big reserves, small businesses do not. So when you’re browsing, please start with local shops and local online sellers first. Give a voucher, buy a gift, book a treatment… supporting them now means they will still be here in 2021, what a splendid gift!
Donate for Christmas Hampers—Our local Covid Support group are partnering with St Mary’s doing food parcels, and this Christmas they will also be delivering hampers to local people in need. Keep an eye out for the special offers and see what you can donate! Donations needed by Sunday 13th Dec please. You can also donate online via give a little. Thank you https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c
Give a Christmas Tree in Uganda!
St Mary’s works closely with the charity Amaha We Uganda, supporting our brothers and sisters there to sow seeds of hope, helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.
One of the big problems lately has been soil erosion. It has wiped out crops, destroyed homes and obliterated livelihoods. Re-foresting is crucial and so the AWU team are very busy setting up tree nurseries! Did you sponsor a tree last year—it’s now growing in Uganda! Please support this amazing work and why not ‘buy a tree’ in Uganda for a loved one as a present? We will send you a Gift Certificate by email that you can personalise and email (or print and post) to give to your loved ones. Donate online and simply email alex@amahaweuganda with your donation reference for your certificate.