News and Articles
21 January 2019
Christmas is about giving, so an important part of this season at Above Bar Church is giving more and spending less, because Christmas can be a very difficult time for some.
The amount that people generously gave to our Christmas appeal was over £22,360.
Half of this went to Heart for Lebanon. This is a charity we’ve been partnering with for a number of years. They support 3,000 refugee families in a holistic way: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Our gift was particularly timely as there were extreme weather conditions at the beginning of January 2019 and the money donated was used to distribute blankets and food to the refugees who had their tents flooded and covered in snow.
Watch Camille Melki, CEO of Heart for Lebanon explain how the gift was used in this very personal video:
In Southampton, Basics Bank received £9,413.97. They work with referral agencies to provide emergency food and clothes for those who fall through the gaps in the benefit net. In 2018 Basics Bank fed people 10,219 times and clothed people 1,364 times.
Chris Ford, chair of trustees of Southampton City Mission (of which Basics Bank is a part), explains that Southampton City Council is very grateful to the church for initiatives like Basics Bank and is coming to the church more because they have seen that we love people and are trustworthy.
The last portion of the gift, £1,766.40, went to provide Christmas hampers to clients of Christians Against Poverty in Southampton, alongside long-term support out of debt. Many CAP clients cannot afford a Christmas dinner or presents for their family. One client felt like a failure as she could only feed her family with toast. With empty cupboards and bills piling up, she was dreading Christmas.
But after receiving a hamper she said, “The hampers made a really big difference. It’s nice to know people do care and will do that for those in need - lovely, generous people who are willing to give. I’ve gone from feeling isolated and worthless to feeling loved. Thank you for your generosity, you’ve made a difference in many people’s lives.”