Faith In Action

Here, within St Joseph’s parish family in Epsom, our Faith in Action mission to the SSSMILE Village in Kerala, south west India, has been running since late 2008.

This village, which has been created by Fr Antony Plackal VC out of nothing but a great desire to help the poor and abandoned, has become a shelter and source of help, support and hope for 140 abandoned and destitute people. Due to the extraordinary energy and generosity of people in our parish family and others, about £35,000 has been raised since our mission started. This money, every single penny of which has been sent to the bank account of the SSSMILE Village, has made a great positive difference to the residents of the village. Our parish family and other supporters of our mission have reached across the world and directly improved the living conditions, and also the potential, of 140 men, women and children for whom, without this intervention, the future would have been very bleak. Our action has also given great spiritual and emotional support and strength to the local people who care for the residents of the SSSMILE Village. Our small parish family here in Epsom has made a difference for good in a world full of suffering and despair. We have made this difference on our own, we have done it ourselves. What has come from the pockets of local families has gone directly to supplying food, medication and shelter for people thousands of miles away who are desperate for care and support.

Now just think of the difference that similar action by hundreds or even thousands of ‘parish families’ could make!

Having seen the difference that some determination and generosity can make in one small corner of the world Canon Bill presented us with the opportunity to reach similar missions in other parts of our world. We looked at the things that have helped the success of our mission to the SSSMILE Village. One of the characteristics of our mission to the SSSMILE Village in Kerala is a local parish relationship. Fr Varghese of the Vincentian Congregation, a colleague of Fr Antony Plackal, ministered here in our parish in the 1990s and is now ministering in Kerala alongside Fr Antony. Canon Bill is a close friend of Fr Varghese. Our local parish connection to the SSSMILE Village gives us a certain level of responsibility. We cannot close our eyes or minds to the efforts of people who have lived or worked among us, that are well known to us, in their effort to alleviate suffering and bring help and hope to the poor and sick. The local connection is a very important characteristic in our old mission and also in our new and extended mission. There are other characteristics that have aided the success of the old Faith in Action in India mission that we will carry across to our new and extended mission. See a complete list of the mission characteristics.

Please read about the individual missions when you get a few minutes spare. You will meet the people named on these pages who are our contact points in each of the missions. They will show you what a difference these missions are making to the lives of people in the world that are in so much need of love, medical care, support and education. The people we have named as contact points for these missions have dedicated their lives to the relief of suffering of the poor, sick and abandoned. In taking this path they have willingly given up the comparatively healthy, comfortable, peaceful and affluent environment in which we live. There must be days when they are in despair, either because of the lack of funds to help others, because they feel alone, weak and abandoned or because they feel overwhelmed by the problems facing them. They have a day to day struggle to improve the life quality and opportunities of others and even to save lives. Find out how we can help these people to help those who are in so much need.