As a church we are committed to partnering with mission initiatives across the world. These represent many aspects of God’s work including the relief of poverty both locally and abroad; provision of equipment and buildings for a school in South Africa; Helping to build classrooms for a school in Kumi, Uganda, a craft organisation providing employment for many with disabilities in Tanzania, an orphanage in India, funding and prayer support for many who are suffering persecution in various parts of the world; debt advice for local people. In addition the harvest food is distributed to a project in Bristol that supports people who are homeless and who have a drug or alcohol dependency.
We are thankful for the ‘mission champions’ in Christ Church who act as the link between the congregations and the individual missions. Each project is allocated one Sunday during the year where the mission champions bring the church latest news updates and prayer requests, and explain how our financial, prayerful and practical support is making a difference on the ground.
The following projects are being supported for the period 2017-2019.
- Haven Home India Haven Home is not only a Christian school and orphanage where so many children have been given a home and a hope and lifted out of the poverty cycle, it is a life-time’s work of the Yelchuri family. Kruppa Yelchuri was given a vision by God that they should sell the family home in Bangalore, give up their jobs, set up a children’s orphanage and care for the needy in Visakhapatnam, so they did! Just like George Muller, they are totally reliant on God through prayer, and, just like Muller, the fruit is amazing with so many souls saved! The Paddon family have been associated with Haven Home for over 10 years and visited numerous times. Another visit is planned over Christmas 2019 and they would love to be joined by others from Christ Church to strengthen links.
- Children of Clarens Dihlabeng Christian School is an independent, multicultural school of around 150 pupils, half way between Johannesburg and Durban, on the border of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It provides early years, infant and primary education. Many of the teachers are sponsored by UK churches as are most of the pupils. The main objective of the school is to educate the children with Christian values and faith and to provide a firm foundation for their future. Christ Church also provide funds for the feeding programme of vulnerable children. From September 2019, Sarah Dunmall will spend 9 months at the school so we will have a direct blog for news, mutual prayer and support.
- Christians Against Poverty CAP is a national debt counselling charity working through a network of 300 centres based in local churches across the UK. Over 18,900 clients are helped every year through CAP’s unique, hands-on approach to resolving debt issues. Our Bristol N.E. CAP Centre offers a free debt counselling service to members of the local community in the privacy of their own homes. Christ Church members take on active roles in this ministry through befriending, Food Bank, fundraising and prayer. Leyla Fellows is our Centre Manager.
- Church Mission Society Ben and Katy Ray are CMS sponsored directors of the Neema Crafts Centre in Iringa, Tanzania. Their mission aim is: “To show the love of God for the most marginalised in Tanzania by providing training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities”. In Tanzania, people with disabilities are often considered to be a burden or even a curse. Neema is changing people’s perceptions of disability and provides high quality training and employment for disabled artisans, chefs and technicians. Christ Church supports through prayer, finance, occasional visits and through sales of Neema Crafts products.
- Church Partnership In Moldova Christ Church has had long term links with TEN previously known as Eurovangelism. In recent times we have specifically supported Misa Hiorescu is a pastor in Ursoia in the South of Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. Christ Church pays his salary and has funded the building of a church through the tithe of donations given to our own church building project. In September 2017 a team from Downend visited Pastor Misa and his family and participated in the official opening of the church in Ursoia, and in October 2018 Pastor Misa was able to join us for the Dedication Service at Christ Church. Further visits to Moldova are planned to strengthen the link and encourage Misa and his family in their ministry.
- Mission Direct Kumi Uganda Richard and Jan Bacon are in-country staff for Mission Direct in Kumi, Uganda. The “mission” is to host teams of short term volunteers who participate in projects all of which are run with local partners. The main project is to improve educational facilities by building classrooms at Kumi Bazaar Primary School. The ministries also extend to Kumi Prison, an orphanage, Street Boy project and Mothers Union among others. Members of Christ Church are encouraged to volunteer and have benefited greatly from doing so.
- Open Doors Open Doors is an international ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches worldwide. They supply Bibles, leadership training, literacy programmes, livelihood support and advocacy services. They also seek to mobilise the church in the UK & Ireland to serve Christians living under religious persecution. Christ Church has its own Open Doors prayer group which meets on a monthly basis.
Christ Church also supports:
- Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Bristol through their annual visit to Downend each summer, by providing a venue for their parties and welcoming the group to one of our Sunday Services.
- Mercy Ships, through the faithful work of the craft group who make and sell greetings cards all year in aid of Mercy Ships
- We support The Children’s Society through our annual Christingle Service
- Shoe Boxes are filled in October each year to be sent to Eastern Europe with Blytheswood Care
Christ Church is committed to seeing God’s purposes worked out in the wider world and currently supports six mission agencies through the tithing of our donor income, prayer and practical engagement. Our mission support is now due for review and the PCC is asked to consider plans for the period 2020-22. If members of the congregation would like to propose an organisation to support, they will need to complete the Mission Support Proposal 2020-22 form, paying due regard to the proposed criteria which are to be agreed by the PCC which are shown on the form.