Missions and Charities

Our Missions Ministry Team manages our regular giving and other fund raising and support events. Contact Verna Houghton  for more information. The organisations we donate to as a church at present are Yeldall Manor, FAITH (both local), London City Mission and Tearfund (wider world). These and charities we support by other means are listed below.


Yeldall Manor      Rehabilitation centre for men recovering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, in Hare Hatch, just outside Wargrave. Here is a five-minute video about their work. This year the Open Day is on Saturday 4th July - details here.

Church rep: Vacant 


image Reading FAITH Group  Supporting Reading's hungry. Soup runs. Home deliveries. Food bank. Food collections at local Waitrose and Tesco stores, at the Piggott Senior School during Harvest Festival, and at St Mary's Church. Readistreet  takes hot drinks and sandwiches to those who are sleeping rough or simply in desperate need of food.  More volunteers for this work are needed. Contact 0118 9872672 or directly download a volunteer form from www.fcg.org.uk.

Church rep:  Amanda Bayley     

 image London City Mission    Outreach in the capital.  In addition to our regular donation, we support them by inviting the missioners' wives for days out in Wargrave.

Church rep: Verna Houghton   

 imageimage Tearfund and Traidcraft .  In addition to our regular donation, we support these charities through our summer Brass on the Grass concert and our Christmas stalls. 
Church rep: Mike Buckland     
image  The Maasai Evangelistic Association.    We support this charity in Northern Kenya through David Kereto, a Maasai warrior who found Christ. Our Raindrop project raised money for a water borehole in 2011. We have published a report on this below.
Church rep: Margaret Snell 

 Nicky Biaukula (daughter of Steve and Lesley Turville) is working with Youth with a Mission in Queensland, Australia travelling to Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Fiji and Taiwan. Read here about her plans, hear a talk she gave at St Mary's, and learn how to support her work.
imageWe support the Children's Society at our Advent Christingle services in St Mary's Church, and in the village schools.

What is Fairtrade, and what does it mean to us?

imageOur church has Fairtrade status. This means we:  
  • use Fairtrade tea & coffee in our church
  • use fairly traded products whenever we can, e.g. sugar, chocolate
  • promote Fairtrade Fortnight.

We made these promises to the Oxford Diocese in 1999, and to the Fairtrade Foundation, which was born in Oxford in 1994. God keeps His promises to mankind and made us in His image. It follows that we should keep ours. 

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from the last Monday of February to the first or second Sunday of March (8th March in 2015). In past years we have focused on coffee, tea, bananas, cotton and jewellery. In 2014, we ran a quiz for our Pathfinders. Finn Wyatt won the first prize - an inflatable banana! We also sell the Meaningful Chocolate Company's Real Easter Eggs.  In November, we sell their Advent calendars alongside the Tearfund Christmas cards.

Has it occurred to you that Jesus Christ cares that we shop responsibly? He said: 'So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you' Matthew 7: 12 and Luke 6: 31. He also asks us to love our neighbour.

imageFairtrade guarantees a fair wage, decent working conditions and terms of trade for suppliers and their workers, the means for them to educate their children, and local sustainability, for example through hydroelectric power and eco-friendly farming. 

You can buy Fairtrade groceries and clothes at True Co-Op and the RISC Shop and Global Cafe in Reading, and groceries in all good supermarkets. A reliable local jewellery supplier is Kaanaanmaa in Wokingham. Dedicated suppliers of Fairtrade clothes include Kool Skools (school clothes), the Fair Corporation, Calico Moon and the Fairtrade Warehouse. High Street department stores such as Debenhams and Marks & Spencer also stock Fairtrade clothes. Levi Strauss manages an ethically responsible supply chain without Fairtrade certification. I have no hesitation in recommending them, but be careful. Many claims that goods are fairly traded are deceptive. The blue, black and green Fairtrade logo is the best guarantee. 

Here’s a simple guideline: buy local, think of the planet and buy ethically traded goods. 2 out of 3 is usually possible whenever you shop. 

Click here for a list of Fairtrade Churches in our area.  

Church rep: [hidden]  

David Kereto and the Raindrop Project


October 10 2010 saw the launch of this exciting new project at St Mary’s. It featured a sale of donated food items from kitchen and garden, so many thanks to all who brought and bought.

After our Harvest celebrations giving thanks for all that we are blessed with in Wargrave, the Harvest Raindrop Project focused our attention on another part of the world where lack of access to fresh water causes hunger and disease.

The project aimed to raise £5,000 over the next twelve months for a borehole in Kenya . The money raised was to be given to the Maasai Evangelistic Association which has a goal of drilling more than 50 boreholes in the most desperate areas of Maasailand.

The Revd. David Kereto from the Association visited St Mary’s in November 2010. According to David:

“A well becomes a fountain of life for the entire community; becoming a beacon of hope in the midst of desperation. It not only brings clean water to thirsty mouths, but also brings the living water to thirsty souls.”

There was an opportunity to meet with David after the service to learn more about the work of the Association.

Although the project was led by the young people and children,  everyone took part by collecting their spare silver coins in a jar and bringing them to the monthly family service. The plan was for lots of small contributions to add up to something bigger – just as raindrops accumulate to form rivers. The local schools and community also got involved in the project.

A concert on Saturday March 5th 2011 featuring choirs from local primary schools and special guests The Bourne Valley Singers raised over £1000. A Quiz Night on 12th November that year raised a further £1,350, bringing the total to £6,173. On Sunday 4th December 2011 the children talked about the project and presented a cheque to Revd David Kereto at a celebratory family service followed by a bring & share lunch. You can hear David's talk here. He has made follow-up visits to the Parish in November or December every year since then. His talks are in our Recorded Sermons archive under the Meeting tab.