St Mary’s mission and outreach is overseen by a committee that meets every six weeks. Its aims are:
- To support, both prayerfully and financially, those charitable organisations chosen by the Committee. These are mainly, but not always, organisations with a Christian foundation.
- To inform the congregation about these organisations by means of the parish magazine, weekly notices, magazines and newsletters on the Mission notice board, and to encourage the congregation to take an interest in, and support, all our fundraising events.
- To reach out to the people of Sawston through invitation to church activities and special events, as well as through general support of our community.
Each quarter the church supports a different charity, alternating between a home and an overseas charity. A speaker from this charity is invited to speak at one of the morning services during that quarter. Fundraising events, such as coffee mornings and a Strawberry Tea, are held throughout the year to raise money for these charities.
Whilst the church supports a variety of charities throughout the year, there are two projects in particular which St Mary’s has a special commitment to support:
Ruth and Saulo de Barros in Brazil
Ruth and Saulo are based in the city of Belem in the northern part of Brazil. In 2006 Saulo was consecrated as the Diocese of the Amazon’s first bishop. Through the charity Us, we support Ruth de Barros in her role as co-ordinator of a new community based initiative in the diocese, to build teams of ‘community mobilisers’ who work with people in parishes to identify and tackle local challenges (see Us Brazil).
Premananda Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
We support the Premananda Hospital, Kolkata through the Leprosy Mission, who seek to support those affected by leprosy across the world. This project helps to ensure that those affected by leprosy in one of the most densely populated cities in the world are able to access the treatment they need, with a particular focus on orthopaedic care. Being treated early for orthopaedic complications caused by leprosy provides a new freedom for these patients, giving them an independence that might otherwise have been impossible to have (see Leprosy Mission India).