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Living God's Love logo

Living God's Love...

.is an invitation to journey

It's an opportunity to discover new things about God, ourselves and the world, to look with fresh eyes and explore new ways.

In particular, it is a call to the parishes, schools and people of the Diocese of St Albans to Go Deeper into God,Transform Communities and Make New Disciples.

Click here for current Mission Action Plan (MAP)

Full of Beans - The Bishop of St Albans' Harvest Appeal...

We will celebrate Harvest on 1st October at Great St Mary's and, together with other churches in the diocese, we will be supporting `Full of Beans', the Bishop of St Albans' Appeal for communities in the Philippines. The islands, in the Western Pacific Ocean, are prone to typhoons and earthquakes. People work hard for long hours and low wages.

The Appeal will help them identify ways to generate income and provide start-up capital to develop their ideas. It will enable communities living in remote areas to grow a variety of crops, such as beans.

Helen lives in the mountains of Tinglayan with her husband Oswald and their three children. Her village is a cluster of simple houses with almost no furniture. Meals are shared sitting on the floor. This is a rice growing commtuuty. The mountainous terrain has been terraced into pockets of paddy fields. But rice production is labour intensive and has to be managed alongside any seasonal labour that can be found to see the community through lean months.

Helen is a member of the local cooperative who, with the help of a Church team, identified an opportunity to generate more income. The local climate and soil enable them to produce some of the best quality beans in the country.

Most houses already produced beans in small quantities to eat at home, but they have now realise the potential of developing land too steep and rocky for rice production to grow more beans to sell to generate income.

The local cooperative is a member of the wider Episcopal Church in the Philippines, with more than a hundred thousand members. This gives them access to a significant marketing network.

Harvests of white, black, red and mongo beans, sun-dried in the villages, have been successfully sold as far afield as Manila in the south of the country, using Episcopal Church networks.

The additional income has enabled Helen and Oswald to buy things that they previously struggled to afford - such as salt, sugar and soap - and to support their children's education. Helen is happy to be able to invest in her children's futtn-es, and says:

My children hope to complete their education and get good jobs. One wants to become a policeman, one an engineer and one a priest. They want to have a better life.

With the income that is generated, the community can improve lives and repay the loan, along with giving a small contribution that will benefit other communities.

The Church is growing too. One Tinglayan community has had to build an extension to its Church to accommodate the growing number of worshippers. Bags of beans are often given as offerings during the service.

5 could buy a 2kg sack of white beans

80 could enable a community to develop an income generation project

3,299 could fund a Diocesan Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) outreach programme for a whole year.

There will be an opportunity to contribute to the Bishop's Harvest Appeal at the services at Great St Mary's on Sunday 1 st October and on the following Sunday too. Individual donations can be given online and you will find more information at www.harvestappeal. org


God of the harvest, we rejoice in your generous love.'

In Christ you came that we might have life in all its fullness.

We remember those whose lives are hard and who toil for little reward, and pray that many more families will experience your blessing from the abundance of crops they can grow

Through this harvest appeal, continue the mission of your Church to transform lives and strengthen communities. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

(Information about the Bishop of St Alban's Harvest Appeal comes from the Full of Beans Church Ideas sheet)

Frances Arnold

Details of the dates are in the calendar of events ("This Week") here on the website and in Church & Town. If you would like to know more about what is available for children or adults at Great Mary's, then do please contact us. Our contact details are HERE.