Some of the charities which St Mary’s has recently supported include:
- Glass Door Project (Chelsea Methodists)
- Earls Court Community Project
- West London Churches Homeless Concern
- Christian Aid
- Gogos Support Group (South Africa)
- World’s End Under 5s
- Al-Ahli Hospital Gaza
- Pump Aid
- Willow Day Service
- St Cuthbert’s Centre
- Arts 4 Dementia
- Fulham Good Neighbours
The church also sponsors Alex, a young man in Uganda, through Compassion UK.
St Mary’s has established a clear Framework for Charitable Giving:
Charity Nomination Form
This has three parts:
- A Charitable Pot
- Guidelines for the types of work we wish to support
- A selection process
All the funds we raise or collect during the year for our charitable giving programme are allocated to a single Charitable Pot. Funds come from specific fund raising events such as the annual Summer Fair, as well as from the collection at our Christmas Carol Service. Distributions are made once or twice a year to selected charities approved by the PCC on the recommendation of the Charities Committee.
The charitable pot is divided into three equal parts. One third is allocated to supporting a single local charity over two year, one third is allocated to supporting an overseas project, also for two years – these are our major donations. The timing of this two year support has been staggered, so that each year we select one new major project for support either locally or overseas. The final third of the charity pot is allocated each year in smaller amounts – these are our minor donations. They are one off donations and again we aim to have a balance between local and overseas projects.
Our guidelines for the types of work we support are clear:
- We concentrate on projects where our relatively small funds can have an impact – we prefer to support small organisations but may exceptionally consider a small project run by a larger organisation as we recognise that larger organisations can find it hard to fund unfashionable projects
- We support work among those on the margins of society, especially in areas which might not attract widespread support
- Charities which we support must have a geographical area of benefit either within the Parish, or within the Kensington Area of the Diocese of London, as close to the Parish as possible, or overseas.
Our charitable giving programme is not open to unsolicited applications. Instead all nominations submitted to the Charities Committee must be sponsored in writing by a member of the church. In addition to providing information about the charity, sponsors also undertake to act as a champion for the charity during the period of sponsorship, which can be for one or two years. This is to ensure that the work of the charity is made more widely known to church members. Hopefully this is of benefit both to the charity and to church members. This requirement can be met in various ways, but most often it is through articles written for the parish magazine or inviting a guest speaker to come to an event at church.
Sponsors must not make any financial commitment to charities they have nominated – if there are more charities than we can support the PCC will make the final decision about which ones to support.
Our fund raising period runs from January to December. This means the PCC needs to have approved a list of charities to be supported by the end of the previous calendar year. Generally in the late summer or early autumn the Charities Committee seeks nominations from the congregation for charities to be supported in the following year (or two years for a major donation).
More information can be obtained from members of the Charities Committee or from the Parish Office.