Following the tradition of previous years, the Mission and Outreach committee has selected three good causes (local, national, and international) to be supported by Wellington’s 2017 Lenten Appeal. As usual, each charity will receive an equal share of the amount raised through the appeal.
The local charity chosen is theGKExperience, which provides outdoor residential experiences and supports local youth work among some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Scotland. It began life as a project of the Church of Scotland’s Priority Areas team and is now an independent charity. In 2015, team behind theGKExperience were presented with the Award for Innovation at the Alistair Malloy Inspire Awards for “a particularly creative approach to volunteer engagement and an excellent example of best practice in the city.” For more information go to: http://bit.ly/2kshG7s
The Iona Community Capital Appeal is the national cause which has been selected. Through wide consultation and guest feedback the Iona Community has identified key issues about the Abbey’s accessibility, flexibility and sustainability. These must be addressed in the next five years if the Abbey is to remain fit for purpose. The Iona Community seeks to raise £2.5 million required to undertake this project which will allow them to welcome people of all physical abilities and to extend the guest season, to welcome more people and to improve financial sustainability across the organisation. (More information can be found here: https://iona.org.uk/capital-appeal-information/).
The international charity which Wellington will support is StARS (St. Andrews Refugee Service) in Cairo, Egypt. The project has been visited as a part of a World Mission visit by the former National Youth Assembly Moderator, Hannah Mary Goodlad, who used to come to Wellington during her time as a student in Glasgow. Founded in 1979 by St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo, StARS was one of the first organizations in Egypt dedicated to improving the quality of life of refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable migrants. The StARS project helps 16,500 refugees each year by providing education for children, legal aid and counselling services. More information on StARS can be found on their website (http://stars-egypt.org/).
All nominated charities have been invited to send a representative to explain their work in more detail during the Lenten Appeal Service on 12th March 2017 at 11am. The service will be followed by a Lenten Lunch. By then, there will also be envelopes available for those who wish to Gift Aid their donation.