Christian Aid

Christian Aid

Christian Aid insists that everyone should be able to live a full life, free from poverty. The charity works with people of all faiths and none, never gives money to governments and is the official development agency of 41 church denominations in Britain and Ireland.

During Christian Aid Week, volunteers from our church, and other churches in the area, deliver Christian Aid Week envelopes to houses in Westbury-on-Trym and Stoke Bishop. Nearly £150,000 has been collected in this way since 2004.

Christian Aid Week 2023: Sunday 14th May to Saturday 20th May
The focus this year was Jen, a farmer in Malawi, who works hard to provide for her children. However, her crops have been affected by the unpredictable weather caused by the climate crisis and she is struggling to meet soaring costs.

She dreams of her children being able to have the education they deserve. Her two hard-working boys have earned places at top colleges, but Jen can’t afford to send them both. ‘My heart longs to see our children finish school,’ says Jen. ‘These dreams are very important to me, because by doing so, I’ll be sure that I am creating a good future for the children.

A terrible dilemma
Her two oldest boys have gained tertiary education places, which is very rare for young people from her rural area. One has a place at a prestigious polytechnic and one at a well-known college – it’s even on one of Malawi’s banknotes. Now, Jen has had to make a choice. One that no mum should be forced to make. Rising costs mean that Jen can only afford the college course for one of her sons. She desperately needs to earn more, so that her other son, Mathews, can study too. His place at a prestigious college is reserved for a year, so Jen remains hopeful that he’ll be able to start his course.

The erratic weather is affecting Jen’s profits. ‘The result is that our harvest is very little,’ she says. But Jen remains resilient. ‘We say, let’s work hard so that the money will help the children go to school,’ she smiles.

Crops with amazing potential
Jen and her husband have two acres of pigeon peas, but they are struggling with the effects of the climate crisis. The rainfall is unreliable, and there are more storms, flooding and stronger winds. The pigeon pea is a tough plant, able to withstand a lot – just like Jen. But to make the most of her crop, Jen needs to plant good quality seeds and sell for the best price possible, not to unscrupulous middlemen.

A woman fixing her son's shirt collar

Jen helping her son to get ready for school

A handful of pigeon peas

A handful of pigeon peas

This Christian Aid Week, you can help dreams come true
Your gift could help farmers like Jen plant better seeds, secure a fairer price for their crops and build happier futures for their children. Please give today, and help this strong and determined mum provide for her family’s future.

Soaring costs are affecting people here and around the world
Families in Malawi are paying the price of this global crisis. Food, fuel, fertiliser and school fees have doubled in price in the last 12 months. And hard-working farmers are seeing their harvests fail as the climate crisis brings increasingly erratic weather.

Malawi cyclone update
Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record (lasting 34 days), hit Malawi and Mozambique during February and March 2023. This cyclone is the equivalent of a full North Atlantic hurricane season. Christian Aid’s partners and team in Malawi have been responding to the immediate recovery needs of communities. This includes providing:

  • Corn soya blend for porridge for breastfeeding mothers and children under five years old.
  • Mosquito nets for families to provide protection against malaria.
  • Temporary toilets and bathrooms, water containers and water treatment to help prevent the risk of cholera.
  • Mobile clinics to help people process the emotional trauma of the cyclone.
  • Cash to 1,000 households so that families can purchase their immediate needs.

Update on Jen
Jen and her family are safe, but had to abandon their home due to flooding. Some of her crops were destroyed. Jen reports that she has lost the equivalent of two bags of yield, worth at least £79. These are vital funds that she’d planned to use to pay for the secondary school fees of one of her children. Christian Aid is working with Jen on a recovery programme.

  • £10 could pay for a 2kg bag of seeds to plant pigeon peas – a hardy, drought-resistant crop.
  • £50 could provide pigeon pea seeds and farming tools for a family.
  • £100 could help provide a business training session, helping farmers to secure higher, fairer prices for their crops.

Can you help in 2023?
There are many ways you can help:

  • Bake a cake for our regular Christian Aid Week stall. (We also welcome home-made jams, chutneys, etc.)
  • Deliver Christian Aid envelopes in our patch of the parish, the village side of Falcondale Road. No knocking on doors required!
  • Help to count the proceeds.

For more information, you can call Ken Pattison on 0117 968 1485 or 07711 521462, or email him at

Thank you.