The Mission and Outreach committee (M&O) supports links between St Alban’s parish and external organisations. These include other churches, interfaith groups, the Diocese, ALMA (the Angola London Mozambique Association) and MACS (Malawi Association for Christian Support) – see below. Locally we encourage support for groups in the voluntary sector including Harrow Foodbank, of which St.Alban’s was a founder member. M&O also works to further the aims of the parish development plan and currently helps to promote the Diocesan Capital Vision 2020 campaign.
The M&O committee recommends a charity annually to the PCC to allocate the parish’s annual realistic giving budget. It also recommends causes needing support through parish appeals at Christmas and Lent, as well as disaster and special appeals from time to time, and charities such as Toybox and the Railway Children which are supported by individuals in the congregation – see below. Sustainable environmental policies are encouraged by M&O under the guidance of the Diocese’s Shrinking the Footprint programme, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions and minimise the impact of St.Alban’s parish on the environment.
Within the parish, the work of StACC – St Alban’s Community Concern – is steered by the Mission and Outreach committee. As its name implies, StACC helps to ensure that our own community is nurtured and developed through practical concern for each other. Its programme of regular community meals is working well, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the small team who prepare for each event. Birthday cards and gifts for special birthdays among the senior members of the congregation are organised by StACC, which aims to reflect God’s love in a caring church.
This charity aims to end the injustice of children living and working on the streets of many Latin American countries. Gwen Carpenter became interested in this charity when visiting her grandchildren in Brazil. She runs this stall at our bazaar each year and arranges tea in the courtyard once a year with all proceeds going to this charity. More information about this charity is available from this site - Toybox
The Railway Children
Children charity helps children in a number of cities of the world who run away or
are forced to leave home and seek shelter often in places like railways
stations where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. They find
themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to and no one left
to turn to. St.Alban’s Railway Club holds two evening events per year when
topics of general interest with a railway theme are presented, with a ‘buffet
car’ and sales table helping to raise finds for the Railway Children charity. more information is available from this site - Railwaychildren
Each year on the lead up to Christmas our Sunday Schools and Uniformed Organisations prepare shoe boxes by filling the box with toys and school supplies and wrapping it in Christmas paper. These boxes are then sent to other parts of the world and are given to children in war-torn areas or areas where the children could otherwise get no presents. Scarves and hats are being knitted by ladies of the parish, to add to the boxes too. Each box will contain a message from the child filling the box.
Through and together with Churches Together in North Harrow, St Alban's works closely with Christian Aid as part of our support for charities and overseas mission. Our relationship with Christian Aid has evolved over the years but now concentrates on supporting Christian Aid Week as the main channel for funding and increasing education of Christian Aid's work amongst the poorest people of the world. In addition to continuing house collecting, we also collect successfully at two local stations. We invite speakers from time to time to raise the profile of Christian Aid in the church and we see this as a continuing priority for our mission work in the community and abroad.
Malcolm Grant, St Alban's church Christian Aid Co-ordinator