Little Saint Mary’s Church, Cambridge

LSM Global

Social & Global Responsibility and Justice Group

Who is my neighbour? — read our Social & Global Responsibility newsletter.

Mission Statement for Global Giving

The LSM Global Committee hopes to expand LSM's vision and act against parochialism by facilitating and promoting opportunities to share our Christian experience with other church commuinities across the world as well as to learn from and appreciate differences in life and style of worship. This will be done by focusing on four key areas:

  • Cross-cultural exchange: listening and learning, growing our common discipleship
  • Developing friendships, both personal and corporate between communities, thereby sharing a common identity in Christ
  • Prayer: sharing prayer across the geographical divide and mindful of specific needs
  • Mutual support, spiritual and if necessary practical.

This Mission Statement was adopted by the Social & Global Reponsibility and Justice Group on 7th February 2018.

We currently support the following four 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 our 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. In recent years 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)

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.

See also the Friends' Newsletters:

Covid-19 Crisis Urgent Appeal
The lockdown in India has had a devastating effect on those living in poverty in Kolkata's slums and the surrounding rural districts. Most people live from hand to mouth, earning meagre incomes from menial jobs or small businesses such as tea stands. With these sources of income removed, whole families who were already living below the poverty line and in dire need have been left with no livelihood and no means to fend for themselves. In these circumstances women and children in the communities are especially at risk.

CRS is working with the Diocese on plans to distribute basic aid to those most in need in the twelve city slum areas and 36 diocesan pastorates (parishes) where CRS is engaged. The intention is to bring relief to 1,600 families (about 8,000 individuals) by distributing basic medical supplies and staple foods such as rice, lentils, sugar, milk and oil. CRS will use their own vehicles to distribute in the slum area, and distribution in the pastorates will be undertaken from the churches by the clergy and pastorate communities Whilst it will not be possible to implement the aid programme until the government lockdown ends, CRS and the Diocese urgently need to raise funds now to be in a position to move when they can. The budget for the programme is approximately £11,500.

If you can support this appeal, please send your donation to the Friends of CRS:

CAF Bank Ltd – Sort Code: 40-52-40
Account no: 0009 6998 – Friends of Calcutta Cathedral Relief Service
Reference: Covid-19 Appeal

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. You can support PNG farmers by buying their ground coffee (widely available through UK supermarkets such as Sainsbury's and Waitrose) or instant coffee (marketed by Clipper) — and very good it is!

Map of PNG dioceses

The province 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.

You can read Newsletters from both the Anglican Church in PNG and the PNG Church Partnership in the UK here.

Covid-19 and Health Care Initiatives in the PNG Highlands
While Papua New Guinea's Highland Provinces have had relatively few confirmed cases and deaths, numbers are now steadily rising and the full level is not known owing to limited testing.

If the virus does get a hold, health services will struggle to cope. In the Simbai area there are no adequate health facilities. People have to travel to Provincial Centre’s Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Madang for any medical needs and this is very expensive and also not possible in times of lockdown.

See this PowerPoint presentation from the PNGCP Supporters' Day for details of the latest initiative by the Church in PNG to improve medical care.
If the presentation does not open from the link, you may need to download it to run from your own ldevice.

Christmas Letter from Bishop Jonathan Meyrick, Chairman of PNGCP

Dear Fellow Supporters of the Anglican Church in PNG,

I am glad to commend to you the PNGCP'sChristmas Newsletter for this year, and to have this opportunity of wishing you a very Happy Christmas. I hope you manage to have the kind of joyful celebration you have been hoping for. There are some signs around that restrictions will tighten again to keep Covid's latest variant at bay, but there seem also to be signs that we may discover that those of us who are fully "jabbed and boosted" are still sufficiently protected to prevent this variant from oversetting all that we have achieved recently.

One of the aspects that has struck me as these last 21 months have unfolded has been the remarkable way in which people from across many different disciplines have been working together to help us through it all. Even to see the Prime Minister flanked by academic medics rather than fellow politicians, as we did day after day, points to that.

You will notice that a number of the articles in this Newsletter have an emphasis on what can be achieved by working together in co-operation. Bishop Reginald, the new Bishop of New Guinea Islands, refers to his hopes and plans of working together with both clergy and lay folk to effect further progress in the provision of care; in more efficient administration; in putting diocesan finances on a sounder footing; and in focusing the Diocese on its journey of faith and mutual support. The Girls' Friendly Society speaks of the way it works with the Mothers' Union; the Kiki Learning Centre tells us of what it achieves with volunteer teachers; the Franciscans remind us of the way they are held together across the world; Newton College describes a very productive working relationship between Bishop Jeffrey Driver in Australia and Fr Giles Motisi on the ground in Oro Province.

At Christmas, we focus specifically on the way God worked with Jesus' parents to bring about His redemptive presence in the world in the Baby of Bethlehem, destined through His Crucifixion and Resurrection to be the ultimate example of divine / human working together.

Aipo Rongo Diocese is working with its Church Partnership Programme in a determined effort to mitigate some of the particularly difficult scenarios in the fight against Covid in the remote rural areas up in the Highlands. You will find that referred to alongside our financial support for all the PNG dioceses as they seek to be involved in tackling this issue. I have just written my cheque in its support — I do hope you will join me. It's one way in which we can join the "working together". Thank you.

All my colleagues in PNGCP join me in wishing you and yours, and our very dear brothers and sisters in ACPNG, a truly blessed, peaceful and joyful Christmas and a New Year full of promise. 

+Jonathan Meyrick

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

The Hamlin Fistula Centre in Ethiopia

Hamlin Fistula

For many years people at LSM have been knitting squares to make into blankets so that every patient at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia can take one home with her as a gift. The nights in this highland country can be very cold, and some of the patients have no other personal possessions. The mission's aim is to eliminate Obstetric Fistula in Ethiopia. In 1959 a married couple, both surgeons, Reginald and Catherine Hamlin, arrived in Ethiopia on a three-year contract to train midwives. They discovered that many young women, while giving birth in unhygienic conditions and without trained assistance, were developing fistulas which could leave them incontinent and rejected by their families, their lives ruined. The Hamlins devised a simple surgical procedure to rectify this and stayed in the country for the rest of their lives to expand this pioneering work, which has now become world famous. In 2002 Dr Catherine, twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, founded Desta Mander (meaning “Joy Village”), a recovery centre provdiding treatrement, education and training for longer-term fistula patients. She continued to live at the Addis Ababa hospital and remained involved in its work until her death in 2020 at the age of 96.

The Covid crisis has meant that much of the work in the hospitals and the college for midwives has slowed down sharply, but it is hoped that most of it will be back up and running soon. For that to be realised a further £400,000 needs to be found to make up the current budget. Our Committee has agreed that the Hamlin Fistula Mission in Ethiopia should become one of the principal overseas links we support, which means that it will receive funds from LSM in addition to the blankets. Please keep this work in your prayers.

Donations may be made through the Hamlin Fistula website, and further information is available from Christine Tipple (01223 350657).

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. The African township of Sharpeville grew up near the city of Vereeniging in the Transvaal (now Gauteng province) and gained international notoriety after the massacre of 21st March 1960, when police opened fire 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, visited Cambridge on sabbatical and was attached to LSM. He told us about St Cyprian's, the problems its people face, and his own life and background; thus a 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.

Mary Ward travelled to Sharpeville in February 2020 and has written the following detailed and illustrated account of her visit:

From Horror to Hope: Sharpeville 1960 and 2020

For more information on our South African links please contact either Mary (01223 369846)
or Clive Brown (01223 467616).