Each year the Pioneers and Explorers, the youth of Abbey United Reformed Church, raise funds for a charity; in 2018 they supported Mercy Ships,
This charity sails to the edges of the poorest continents, bringing hope and healing to adults and children in desperate need.When the ship docks there are thousands of people queuing for medical treatment. People start queuing long before daybreak and some have walked over the borders of 3 countries when they hear the ship is coming. During the screening days, the crew decides who they can help on board. Their faith helps them through these very difficult decisions.
Over the year the young people, and the congregation, worked hard saving coins, holding raffles, bingo afternoons, skittles evenings and an Easter egg raffle. There were two concerts, the Springfield Concert and ‘The Crest of a Wave’, with all the old favourite songs relating to the sea! Cakes were sold after church services and for Christmas the young people planted hyacinth bulbs and sold them for the final push.
The end of the year saw the climax of our fundraising for Mercy Ships and they raised an amazing £1,930.
Carole Cox, youth worker at the URC, said:
We could not have done this without the congregation’s support – they are amazing!” The cheque was collected by Matthew Parker on behalf of Mercy Ships. He thanked the children from the Explorers & Pioneers Group, as well as all the congregation of Abbey United Reformed Church, for the marathon effort which has been made over the last year to raise over £1900 for the charity.
He explained that the surgeries on Mercy Ships treat ophthalmic, orthopaedic, gynaecological and general conditions and, as the crew volunteer their services free of charge and surgical materials are donated by suppliers, the surgeries can be conducted at a fraction of the price that might be encountered in the UK. For example, the £1,900 raised will pay for either 47 cataract removal operations or five complex maxillofacial tumour removal operations.
These surgeries make a real difference to the lives of people who are a lot less fortunate than ourselves and my breath was taken away when the final total raised was revealed at the service last Sunday. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all and bless you.