SalGO Assist is a small local charity which supports work among the poor in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, especially in the town of Bapatla in the east coastal region. Their Indian partners, Salem Gospel Outreach in Education & Rural Care Organisation (SalGOERCO) maintain an orphanage, a hostel, three schools, family and educational support, widows with children, and a small home for the elderly destitute. They also work with HIV/Aids families and landless communities.
People from St Mary's are involved with SalGO Assist and have contributed to its work over many years.
Each Autumn we participate in Mustard Seed Relief Mission's
Love in a
Box scheme. Children from our local schools along with members of the congregation fill shoe boxes with Christmas presents for orphans and underprivileged children in Ukraine and Moldova who might otherwise receive
These are collected, blessed at our Sunday services, and collected by Mustard Seed for delivery in their lorries across Europe. Each year they deliver an average of 50,000 boxes, and each one is received individually by a child.
Food banks up and down the country distribute emergency food to families and individuals in real need. There are food banks in Reading and Wokingham, but we collect for Woodley Food Bank as it was the first to operate in our
area. Not just at Harvest Festival, but throughout the year, they receive gifts from churches, schools and other organisations, and make them up into parcels for people in our
Ride + Stride is an annual event in which participants aim to visit as many churches as possible in a day by bike or on foot. The money raised from sponsors is split between the local church and the Berkshire Churches Trust, which provides grants to maintain the fabric of churches in Berkshire, and encourages churches to make use of their buildings for the benefit of the wider community.
Each year St Mary's and St Catherine's are open to sign in participants. This is a fabulous event to take part in.