Little Saint Mary’s Church, Cambridge

LSM Global

We currently support the following overseas missions and charities through our Social Responsibility Group:

Each year, the PCC allocates 5% of the parish's ordinary income to be distributed to our overseas links in accordance with a recommendation by the Group. In addition we donate the proceeds of an Overseas Box and special collections made from time to time during the year.

Whilst financial support is important, it is only part of the story. Each member of the Group is responsible for maintaining personal contact with one of our overseas links. News and information is provided through a notice board in the church, through reports to the PCC and through the parish newsletter. Personal visits by supporters are particularly appreciated, and these visits have proved an enriching experience for a number of people from Little St Mary's. There is also a pressing need for work on the ground, if only of a mundane administrative or clerical nature, and we are keen to encourage school or university leavers, or people who have recently retired, to consider a period working with one of our overseas partners.

We are sometimes fortunate to be able to entertain visitors from one of our overseas links at LSM who can talk to us. Recently we have enjoyed visits from Papua New Guinea, Calcutta and St Cyprian's. In addition LSM and all our overseas links support one another in prayer.

Our Social Responsibility Group is chaired by Mary Ward (01223 369846) who will be very pleased to give any further information on our various activities.

The Cathedral Relief Service in Calcutta (Kolkata)

++ Justin in Kolkata

CRS was founded in 1971, in the aftermath of the Bangladesh War of Independence, to deal with the resulting flood of refugees across the border. CRS evolved from a relief organisation into a development agency, and today works in the city's teeming slums, as well as in a number of the poverty-stricken outlying villages, providing primary education and health care, and running women's self-help groups, in particular teaching skills that will enable the women to earn a living. The emphasis is on self-help, to enable the people to establish viable communities. We support CRS through the Friends of CRS in Britain.

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Kolkata in September 2019, when he and his wife were met by Rig David, the Director of the Cathedral Relief Service, and were able to see the work of the women who are trained in sewing and embroidery by CRS, and who work for the social enterprise Nari Dana ("Women's Wings") making products for sale. Our photo shows them talking to Rig; more photos can be found on the CRS Facebook page — the UK Friends of CRS also have their own page — and their website.

Thomas Mathews writes about his recent visit in our March 2020 Newsletter beginning on page 15.

Our LSM contact for CRS is Clive Brown (01223 467616).

The Papua New Guinea Church Partnership

The fascinating country of Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of New Guinea, the world's second-largest island after Greenland, being bordered to the west by Indonesia and to the east by the Solomon Islands. The PNG portion alone of this enormous landmass covers nearly twice the area of the entire United Kingdom, and its people are among the world's poorest. English and Tok Pisin are the main official languages, but over 800 different dialects, many of them mutually unintelligible, are spoken in the various isolated communities. The landscape comprises high mountain ranges and tropical forests, with very few roads. Internal transport, such as it is, mainly involves light aircraft using grass landing strips in forest clearings, simple open boats plying the few navigable rivers, or arduous foot trails. In the more accessible areas a few cash crops (such as coffee) are grown, but most of the population rely on subsistence farming, particularly in the remoter settlements which are difficult and hazardous to reach.

Map of PNG dioceses

The country is divided into five dioceses as shown on the map above. To a large extent health care and education are provided by the Christian churches, the Anglican and Roman churches working very closely together, and there is always a pressing need for people who are medically trained or able to work as administrators. We support the work of the churches in PNG through the London-based Papua New Guinea Church Partnership.

PNGCP member David Robin in Aipo Rongo Diocese

Our photograph shows PNGCP member David Robin on his recent visit to Aipo Rongo Diocese. You can read more about David's travels — and see more photos — in the PNGCP Christmas Newsletter. You can read all their newsletters here.

You can also read the Newsletters from the Anglican Church in PNG. The latest issue includes an Easter message from Archbishop Allan Migi and news on how the country is coping with the Covid-19 crisis.

Further information on our PNG link is available from Richard Chevis (01799 599816).

The Makeni Ecumenical Centre in Zambia

Makeni Centre School

MEC lies about six miles outside Lusaka, and offers opportunities to destitute people from township slums to train in agriculture so that they can settle on land of their own in rural areas. Some 6,000 acres of land, supporting five villages, have provided support for hundreds of families. The Centre provides primary, secondary and adult education courses in a variety of vocational subjects, and medical clinics. There is also an AIDS education programme and the St Nicholas orphanage, which is currently supported by a number of sponsors at Little St Mary's.

The mission at Makeni was founded by Fr Pierre Dil who died in 2006, but the work is continued by his widow Wenda and other members of his family, as well as local workers. It hosts a very informative website .

St Cyprian's, Sharpeville, South Africa

LSM Sunday School in Sharpeville ZA

St Cyprian's is a parish in the Diocese of Christ the King, which covers an area to the south of Johannesburg, including some southern suburbs of the city itself. Sharpeville was an African township which grew up near the city of Vereeniging in the Transvaal (now Gauteng province), and which became internationally notorious following the massacre of 21st March 1960, when police fired on an unarmed crowd who were protesting against the infamous Pass Laws, killing 69 people.

In 2007 Fr David Dinkebogile, then Rector of St Cyprian's, was on sabbatical in Cambridge and attached to Little Saint Mary's. He told us about St Cyprian's, the problems its people face and his own life and background, and the link between the two parishes was forged. Money was raised towards the construction of a Sunday School and Parish Centre which was opened in January 2011, and named the Little St Mary's Building.

Fr David moved to another parish in 2015, having established a very strong lay ministry in the parish. His successor as Rector of Sharpeville is The Venerable David Mahlonoko.

For more information on St Cyprian's please contact Clive Brown (01223 467616).