Reaching out for Lent

St. Paul’s Anglican Church (Westdale) is a small but active Anglican Church located at the corners of King West & Haddon in Hamilton. It has a rich tradition of outreach programs. 

The tradition continued this past Fall with :

  • support to McMaster Students both at Thanksgiving and during examination time by members of our Welcome Committee
  • an Amnesty letter-writing project
  • our annual St. Matthew’s House Christmas project
  • the choirs who practiced weekly at our church visiting a Hospice and several Nursing Homes throughout December
  • the regular visits of parishioners to Parkview Nursing Centre and the Shalom Village Nursing Home.

Last spring, at a Parish Council meeting Archdeacon Jim Sandilands (our Priest-in-charge) challenged us to try to come up with another outreach project for the winter months. Because we are a smaller Anglican congregation, we realized that we needed a project that was somewhat “low organizational” in nature but also had the potential to have a major impact. 

It was decided by Parish Council in the Fall of 2019, that during Lent 2020, St. Paul’s would support one of the major projects of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). This fund was selected because of its reputation for quality sustainable development, low overhead and responsible stewardship. Some members of our Parish Council volunteered to act as a steering committee to bring this project to fruition, and we received valuable assistance from Janice Biehn of the national PWRDF Office. On the first Sunday of Lent Deidre Pike, Diocesan Justice and Outreach Coordinator, spoke to the congregation. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-23 at 2.57.16 PMThe initiative we chose is the Kenya Shallow Well Project, which covers the cost of a shallow well improves the health and opportunities for families. A gift of $3,000 will purchase one whole well including piping and a pump. If our efforts exceed our goal we may be able to purchase more than one well. The Utooni Development Organization (UDO) in Kenya receives the funds and uses the same to bring clean water to rural communities by building shallow wells. UDO supports disadvantaged communities in the arid and semi-arid lands in order to transform their environment in a sustainable manner thus enabling farmers to improve their water supplies, food production, income, and health through inter-community education, peace and justice.

It was decided that our campaign would run for the entire Lenten season. Any monies raised will be “matched” by St. Paul’s Corporation. We believe this campaign correlates nicely with the recently released Diocesan Mission Action Plan under objective three and strategies A & B.