Faith in Action: Mission characteristics

The missions that we will support exist purely to help and give hope to the poor, sick and abandoned. They are not political, they do not restrict themselves to ministering to Catholics and they do not insist on conversion to Catholicism for those that they help.

  • Every single penny raised will get to the target missions. This characteristic handles one of the objections that is often given when raising money for those in the third world: ‘I won’t donate because too much money is wasted in administration and overheads.’ In our parish mission every single penny raised will get to the target. We have no administration charges or overheads. Our mission is administered by volunteers who make no charge for their time or their resources (telephones, stationery, PCs etc.).
  • A new characteristic that we are introducing with our new and extended mission is selective donation. If you donate some money and would like it to go to a specific mission we will ensure that this money will go to the mission that you specify. It will not be shared across our extended mission. You can also make donations that will go ‘across the board’ and be shared amongst the missions. On occasion we will hold fund raising events for specific missions but we will also hold fund raising events for all the missions together.
  • Our mission is ‘point to point’, that is, directly from us to them. When we raise money here at St Joseph’s for the SSSMILE Village for example, the money is all collected locally and sent directly to the SSSMILE Village bank account in India. It does not go via any third party agency such as CAFOD, CHRISTIAN AID, the Bishop, political parties etc. The money goes directly from the parish family of St Joseph’s Epsom to the target mission(s).
  • Within our parish family we have people who we know very well working in the target missions. We also have people that are related to somebody working in the target missions. These relationships connect us directly to these missions. For example, in the case of the SSSMILE Village our contact person is Fr Antony Plackal. He is well known to Canon Bill and several other parishioners. He came to the parish in 2008 and 2010 and spoke at Masses, at the school and at private functions. Several people from the parish, or known to members of the parish family, have visited the SSSMILE Village and seen the wonderful work being done there. This ‘connection’ characteristic gives us the up close and personal dimension. We know the people who are dedicating their lives to the help of those in the third world that need it so badly.
  • We will be led by the local knowledge and experience of our contact person working in the mission and not impose our own desire as to where donations are allocated and spent. How can we in safe, affluent, comfortable, stable and healthy Epsom demand that people working so hard to support the needy in other countries and under very different physical, climatic, social and political conditions bow to our wishes? However, we will insist that we have regular feedback on how our donations are being spent and the benefits that they are bringing to the people in the target mission.
  • The target mission will involve elements of education and self sustainability. They will not be static and passive receivers of aid. In other words, as well as giving help, care and love to those in need, the mission will involve helping those in need to help themselves where possible. This will increase the chances of those receiving help to break away from dependence on charity, become self supporting and full and productive members of local society.