Little Saint Mary’s Church, Cambridge

LSM Global

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

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.

See also the Friends' latest Newsletter.

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.

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 all the PNGCP newsletters here.

You can also read the Newsletters from the Anglican Church in PNG, together with a report from the PNG Department on Health on how the country is coping with the Covid-19 crisis.

In April 2020 LSM made a donationto the church in PNG via PNGCP to assist with Covid-19 relief. The funds have been made available to the Anglican Health Services in the four dioceses of Aipo Rongo, New Guinea Islands, Popondota and Dogura, and to Anglicare in Port Moresby. Bishop Peter Ramsden, chairman of PNGCP, has written to thank the congregation for this generous donation.

Archbishop Allan Migi RIP
It is with great sadness that we were advised on 22nd October of the death earlier in the day of Bishop Allan in his home village of Gasmata, West New Britain Province. The church in PNG and the wider Communion is grateful and appreciative of the Bishop's dedicated service as a shepherd of the sheep. His contributions and participations to the Anglican Communion and ecumenical events have been significant. Let us pray for the Bishop’s family and for the people of Papua New Guinea at this time and continue our prayers for the discernment and appointment of a wise pastor to be the next archbishop of the Province. Please pray for wise discernment as a new Primate is chosen for the Province in succession to Archbishop Allan.

PNG Earthquake: 70 miles NNW of Popondetta

Map of July earthquake

Please pray for the people of PNG as those affected come to terms with a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake which hit eastern Papua New Guinea on Friday 17th July, prompting a tsunami warning for coastal areas within 180 miles. The US Geological Survey said that the quake struck at a depth of 51 miles at 12.50pm local time (02.50 GMT). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre told populations in nearby coastal areas to be on alert for possible “hazardous” waves. Locals reported on social media that a wharf had cracked in half. Social media reported some damage in coastal villages. Residents were advised to go inland if there were any sign of tidal changes or irregular ocean patterns.

Supporters' Gathering — Video
In September, PNGCP held a Zoomed virtual Supporters’ Gathering. A video covering highlights from the event including reference to Covid-19, the Mount Ulawun volcanic eruption and Newton Theological College can be watched below. It plays for just under an hour.

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. 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).