For as long as I can remember, Christian Aid Week has been a key moment in the year. As my Dad was the church rep, we got involved in all the fundraising activities and the House to House collections.
When we were little, we would do the House to House collection with Mum and Dad, and later, I would go round myself. It wasn’t something that I particularly enjoyed, especially if you got a run of “no’s”, but some streets were better, and you could have some interesting conversations on doorsteps. The important thing was to go with a smile on your face, and be a loving Christian presence, even on the coldest, wettest evening. I’m sure many collectors have stories to tell – the woman who asks if you have brought your car, and then hands you a plastic bag full of coppers; the small child at the window shouting “Mum, it’s Eeyore!” when they recognise you as their Rainbow leader; the man who runs after you with the envelope because they missed the doorbell; and the people who put in a note and then fill in the Gift Aid slip to help even more.
Christian Aid is now one of the few charities to have a dedicated fundraising week, and to reach out to the whole country at the same time. Yes, there are activities throughout the year – needed more now than ever – but those little red envelopes are recognised and, I think, significant, not only as a means of fundraising to help those in need around the world, but also as a reminder of our faith, as secularisation continues to increase.
This year, fundraising is going to be very different – the House to House collection can’t happen in the usual way, and there won’t be the usual street collections in Bromley town centre. So instead I’ve decided to set myself a challenge – I’m going to take part in the 300,000 Steps in May Challenge – Jessie and I will be pounding the streets and parks of Bromley, aiming to do 10,000 steps each day (approx. 8km or 5miles).
I’ve set up a Just Giving page if you’d like to sponsor me –
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rev-alison-smithor join Jessie and I on one of our walks – I’m open to suggestions of nice places to explore in Bromley, Hayes or the surrounding area.
And let’s continue to pray, to support and to encourage Christian Aid in their work, and do what we can to tackle the big issues like the climate emergency, which affects each one of us, but particularly those in the poorest communities – those who have done the least to cause it, but are and will continue to suffer the most.
With love and blessings,