St Mary’s has a long history as a sending church, and we currently support long-term mission partners in Africa and the Arab World, as well as supporting UK-based partners. Our mission partners are very much part of our church family and we hold regular events to update the congregation about their work and family life; over recent years we have held a number of successful mission partners events in the summer when many of them are back in the UK.
Short-term mission is also an important part of church life in St Mary’s, and members of all ages are encouraged to go on short-term trips, whether as a family, on a Gap-year, a professional sabbatical or in later life. Recently individuals have gone on short-term trips to Sri Lanka, Uganda , South Africa and Tanzania (school trip, through TearFund).
Our Mission Partners include:
Bruce and Sarah
Bruce and Sarah are based in the UK, and have a daughter Eleanor.
Bruce is Assistant Head of Eurasia, Latin America and Caribbean Region, and Afghanistan Country Representative. He is responsible for the funding and oversight of relief and development projects with Tearfund partner organisations. He travels regularly, particularly in Asia, to meet with partner organisations working on various projects.
Janet and Pascal
Janet came to St Mary’s in 1986 when she was studying at East Surrey College. Having previously worked in Uganda, she felt that God was calling her to return and work long term in Africa. She trained as a nursery nurse and later in linguistics. Whilst learning French, she met Pascal, a postman from Switzerland and they were married in 1995. They now have four children, Daniel born in 1997, Rébecca in 1998, Timothée in 2000 and Joanna in 2003.
Pascal and Janet became members of Wycliffe UK and Wycliffe Switzerland and, in 2000, left Europe to start working in Senegal with SIL International (Wycliffe’s partner organisation). SIL works in minority unwritten languages, developing an alphabet, analysing the structure of the language so that people can learn to read and write, and so that the Bible can be translated. They have subsequently been working in Gambia and more recently in Senegal again, where Pascal has a leadership role and where they have been involved with translation work.
Paul and Alison
Paul grew up in St Mary’s and has for many years served in Africa. In 2015 he married Alison, who has also had much experience in Africa. They returned to Africa in March 2017. Currently they are conducting a survey about the interest and opportunities for the church to be more involved in cross cultural mission, both within and outside the country, which they will use as a strategic mission plan.
They are also looking to have a cooperative agreement to work locally with Africa Inland Mission’s Africa Mobilisation Hub. The Hub is seeking to help African mission agencies work together to see Africans sent. They continue to connect more widely with the South to North Africa Partnership.
Helen works with Children at Risk Action Network in Uganda. She has been working with CMS (Church Mission Society) since January 2013
Children in Uganda face many challenges which affect their potential and many of their basic needs are not being met – including medical care, education and shelter. However, through being involved in a network where different gifts are brought together, positive lasting change can be secured for children at risk. This is why Helen is glad to work with CRANE-Children at Risk Action Network in Kampala. She is currently teaching creative workshops to girls in the education programme. She also supports staff members working on child protection cases by alerting them to possible signs of mistreatment