The Stanwick Group of Churches Charities Fund
The Stanwick Group of Churches Charities Fund is a separate bank account from which withdrawals are exclusively donations to charities and good causes.
The funds come ffrom three main sources:
- Fifth Sunday Collections - Instead of four designated Sundays in the regular pattern, the benefice is now giving the collections at fifth Sunday of the month benefice services to the Charities Fund.
- The autumn Charities Coffee Morning - this event is a social as well as a fundraising event and is driven by Doreen Liston, the Reader in the benefice. There are always a number of stalls and activities as well as coffee and cakes and it has been a collection point for the boxes for Operation Christmas Child in the benefice. It is usually scheduled for a Saturday in mid-November and is held in Aldbrough St John village hall.
- The Community Christmas Card - 'The Parish' is the parish and community magazine and is managed separately from the church parishes, endeavouring to serve both religious and secular interests. In December it distributes a Community Christmas Card into which people are encouraged to insert a greeting and make a donation in lieu of what they have saved by not buying and possibly posting numerous individual cards around the villages. Half the proceeds of the Christmas Card go to the SGC Charities Fund with the other half being distributed amongst secular charities if possible with a local connection.
Donations to the Charities Fund on other occasions are, of course, always welcome, for example on another Sunday if the donor is unable to attend church on a Fifth Sunday. In that case the donation does need to be clearly identified as for the Charities Fund. The Treasurer of the Charities fund can be contacted here
Distributing the Charities Fund
The fund is managed by the three parish Treasurers with input from the incumbent and the Reader. Whenever possible an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee is responded to with a donation of £200 or £250 depending upon funds available. The principal distribution of funds is made in the early part of every year when the teasurers and churchwardens of the three parishes with the the incumbent and the reader meet to consider a raft of possible good causes to which a donation will be sent. These usually include an overseas charity, a local or regional charity, one helping young people and and helping adults or people generally. There are two charities that have received regular funding from the Fund:
- the Richmondshire based Robert Dent Memorial Fund for Deaf Children in North Yorkshire. This is a very small charity that provides support both to children and young people with hearing impairment and to institutions such as schools or youth organisations who need to work with such children. The Stanwick Group has been a major supporter of this charity for some years.
- Friends of St James Missionary School The benefice has supported this girls' secondary school in Zimbabwe because of the name link with St James' church in Melsonby. The charity is UK based and takes careful steps to ensure that its funds are used for the purposes intended. Recent funding has been used to establish primary and nursery education at the St James' site. We have photos of the mission in our gallery