As a church we are committed to partnering with mission agencies across the world. Whilst we support a myriad of different initiatives and projects, we have agreed to specifically focus on six. These represent many aspects of God’s work including the relief of poverty both locally and abroad; a church planting initiative in Moldova; 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 for their faith in various parts of the world and debt advice for those suffering financial hardship.
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 2020-22:
- An orphanage in India We can’t mention the name of the organisation here, or the names of those who run it, but it is a Christian school and orphanage where so many children have been given a home and a hope and lifted out of the poverty cycle. K was given a vision by God that they should sell the family home, give up their jobs, set up a children’s orphanage and care for the needy, 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! Our young people and their leaders have been able to visit the orphanage on several occasions and get involved in its day to day life.
- Christians Against Poverty CAP is a national debt counselling charity working through a network of 300 centres based in local churches across the UK. Many thousands of clients are helped every year through CAP’s unique, hands-on approach to resolving debt issues. Our Bristol North East 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. In December 2019 we launched a CAP Café. Leyla Fellows is our Centre Manager, and we employ two trained debt coaches for one day a week.
- 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. A further visit to Moldova in Autumn 2019 has helped to further strengthen the sense of partnership.
- 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. In recent years the main project has been 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. Christ Church members of all ages are encouraged to volunteer and have benefited greatly from doing so. More information is available in Kumi Issue 1 and Kumi Issue 6.
- 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.
- We have a longstanding link with Dihlabeng Christian School in South Africa and one of our church members is currently volunteering there on the teaching team.
- Members of the congregation volunteer with inHope and the Wild Goose Café.
- Involvement in Deanery Uganda Link initiatives
- Christian Aid Week