As a church we support many social action and other charitable initiatives around the Reading area and beyond. Individuals from our congregation are actively involved in several local projects.
CommuniCare is a team of Christians motivated by their faith to help people in Reading by offering information, advice and support. We
work with people not only on practical issues, but we also look to empower them in their situations and build up their independence. CommuniCare are part of the Reading Advice Network, which is a collective of supportive local organisations in the Reading area who are able to offer help in a wide range of situations and areas of life.
St John & St Stephen’s Contact Centre is a safe, friendly and neutral place where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents and/or other family members, in an environment that puts the needs of the children first.
This centre has a number of committed volunteers but we are always on the lookout for new recruits. If you are interested in volunteering at this centre, or to arrange contact centre visits, please email us at email@example.com
Hope Into Action House
Hope into Action is a national charity whose unique purpose is to enable churches to house the homeless. St John’s has ‘adopted’ a Hope into Action house in Newtown, close to the church, which currently houses three women and one child. Each one of these residents would, without our support, be in B&B accommodation or even on the streets.
As it is, they are befriended by members of our congregation who visit regularly and offer help where needed. The Reading branch of Hope into Action provides ongoing, regular support with the aim of helping the women to find their way back into employment and more settled accommodation. St John’s contact for Hope into Action is Richard Croft: firstname.lastname@example.org
ReadiFood is a Reading-based charity that we often support. It operates a Food Bank on behalf of Reading churches to provide food parcels to those in severe need in the greater Reading area.
For more details of this project visit: https://readifood.org.uk
Set up by Churches Together in Earley and East Reading, REinspired uses the locally agreed RE syllabus to create imaginative RE sessions for our local primary and secondary schools. These range from Christmas and Easter sessions to more challenging topics such as ‘Death and Funerals and the Christian Response’, ‘Big Questions’ and ‘The Role of Church in Britain today’.
The vision is to see all pupils’ spiritual development and religious education enhanced by creative engagement with people of faith. The treasures of the Christian faith are offered by staff and volunteers for whom the Christian faith is real. Our own St John’s C of E Primary is just one of the schools to benefit.
Covid, of course, has had a huge impact and some sessions had to be re-designed to be offered online. However, things are gradually opening up and more face-to-face sessions are happening. A small paid staff of team leaders is assisted by volunteers from many local churches, including St John and St Stephen’s.
For more details of this exciting project go to: www.reinspired.org.uk
Reading Refugee Support Group
Our annual giving includes a donation to Reading Refugee Support Group. They are committed to reducing poverty, suffering and social isolation of people who have come to Reading who have already faced unimaginable persecution and hardship, and have been helping refugees and asylum seekers in Berkshire for over 25 years. You can find out more here.
Several of our congregation are actively engaged in supporting some of the many refugees in Reading through hosting and giving English lessons.
Christians Against Poverty
Christians against Poverty (CAP) provides professional debt counselling to people struggling with problem debts and is supported by Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com. CAP also provide courses to help people manage their finances better in order to avoid getting into debt. One of our congregation has run a number of these courses for church attendees, residents of the parish, University staff/students and Hope Into Action Residents. Find out more about the national organisation here.