Our Parish Charity
Our current parish charity is a local one. Young People and Children First is based in Thatcham and gives a home to young people (aged 16-25) who are leaving care or who are homeless.
They currently run three homes where young residents are provided with personalised support in a family environment.
This helps them to develop essential life skills, which along with the support they offer for residents to get into education, training or work prepares them for independent living.
We see and hear of so much tragedy in the world that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of these needs.
But we know that we must help somehow because Christ asked us to. As we are told in St. Matthew’s gospel, He said, “In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
The idea for a Friday Self-denial Group comes from CAFOD: “As individuals it is physically difficult to share our meals with the hungry. They cannot be at our table. However, if we seek voluntarily to fast one day a week we would, in a small way, be in companionship with all those throughout the world who, without any choice, fast each and every day of their lives.”
There are two aims – spiritual and practical: to appreciate how fortunate we are materially and to share our blessings with others. There are NO meetings to attend.
Each member, couple or family is issued with a set of envelopes for a year. It is suggested that once a week members practise some small act of self denial:
A simple meal
No wine / beer
No crisps or sweets for children
and the money saved is put into an envelope for the first collection at the Offertory every Sunday.
Local Food Banks
St. Mary's and the Abbey support the West Berkshire Food Bank run by the Trussell Trust. For details on how it works, what to give, where foodbank centres can be found, times of opening, please visit their website.