You will probably be aware that our PCC gives away 11% of our income. Most of that is designated to eight organisations both in Swindon and around the world. We reserve some for special emergencies. At various times we offer our members the chance to nominate different groups for what is known as “The 7th share.”

After considering all the submissions The Mission and Outreach Sub-team gave considerable thought as to how best to divide up the £2000 available at thus tune. The PCC accepted their conclusions.

Their proposal was that PCC should allocate 20% each to Mercy Ships, Mission Aviation, and The Open Door Centre in Swindon. Bill should receive 40% in order to help him fund the time he will be spending on board the hospital ship, Africa Mercy.

The total amount on offer was £2000. So, £800 will now go to Bill, and £400 to the other charities. Mercy Ships have asked us to support Bill financially and in prayer. We are delighted to do so. £800 will cover the cost of Bill’s flights and most of his inoculation jabs.

Mercy Ships operates the largest charity-run hospital ship in the world, delivering medical care to some of the world’s poorest countries. This “floating hospital” is staffed by volunteers, who give their expertise to help treat dental and eye problems, cleft lips and palates, tumours, club feet, childbirth injuries, burns and a variety of other conditions. Since 1978, Mercy Ships has visited more than 55 developing countries, providing services worth more than £1 billion. They have directly helped more than 2.5 million people!

The Open Door Centre is a small charity here in Swindon providing a day resource for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities or mental health issues. They operate from a Church Hall in the heart of one of Swindon’s more deprived areas, offering a wide-ranging programme of activities. Each day 40 people attend. It is the aim of Open Doors that their members “are independent people, respected within the community”.

Mission Aviation Fellowship UK – or MAF – is a Christian mission organisation that uses planes to reach communities in remote parts of the world where there are no roads and little access to the outside world. MAF delivers relief workers, doctors, pastors, school books, food, medicines – everything that can only be safely and speedily delivered by air. The organisation flies light aircraft in 27 developing countries providing essential support for NGOs, missions and churches.

Thank you all for your submissions and to Chris, Tom and the Mission and Outreach sub-team for all their work on this. It is great to be able both to support large international charities and small ones here in Swindon.