Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is a Catholic charity directly under the Pope, which is dedicated to helping persecuted and other suffering Christians. Independent reports consistently find that around the world Christians are the most widely targeted faith and at risk of extinction in parts of the Middle East, the birthplace of the Church. Every year, the charity fulfils about 5,000 projects in nearly 140 countries. This work involves help for those fleeing violence or living with oppression, providing emergency aid, as well as training priests and Sisters, providing Mass stipends, building churches, distributing children’s Bibles and teaching the Faith. ACN (UK)’s Head of Press & Information John Pontifex supports Canon William, Martine and the parish team as Master of Ceremonies at St Anselm’s. Through this connection, St Anselm’s has a long and close association with ACN and has formed a close bond with persecuted Christians. Forming a partnership with ACN, the parish has worked with ACN project partner Sister Annie Demerjian RJM, providing food, medicine, shelter and pastoral support in bomb-blasted Syria. In its outreach to our persecuted brothers and sisters, ACN’s benefactors are inspired by the charity’s founder, the late Father Werenfried van Sraaten, who said: “They are being tested in faith; we are being tested in love.” To support ACN, visit www.acnuk.org or contact John Pontifex – Tel. 020 8642 8668; Email:
The official international development and relief agency of the Catholic Church of England & Wales. It builds long-term partnership with local organisations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to build a better world for people living in extreme poverty whatever their race, nationality or religion. It works to persuade the governments and institutions in the UK and overseas to change unjust policies that trap people in poverty. It also focuses on creating sustain able livelihoods combating HIV and Aids as well as peace building. In an emergency CAFOD provides immediate relief and supports long-term programmes to rebuild people’s lives. Support: There are two weekend collections in a year, Lenten Family Fast Day, and Harvest Fast Day. Campaign workers are supplied with the relevant information for attention of the parish which is distributed through the parish newsletter, website, and noticeboards. For further information:
Our Caring Kitchen commenced in September 2014 and five of the original members are still volunteering today. We operate as an organisation under St Anselm’s Parish and the church provides us with the venue and facilities and has supported us with funding. We are not our own entity. We report to the Parish Pastoral Council regularly. Our members are like-minded volunteer base supporting us in various ways including: cooking food, operating when the service is open, funding Caring Kitchen, marketing, developing integral links, liaising with people and organisations in particular with St Anselm’s Church who guide us with venue operations, have provided funds and support our community, coordinating our activities. We meet in the Old Hall (crypt) beneath the church from Balham High Road entrance. We typically operate twice a month, however in June we are closed due to the parish needing the facilities and reduced service in August and December the dates move around. Doors open at 12noon with food service from 12.30pm – 14.00 hrs. All volunteers hold an up to date St Anselm’s safeguarding disclosure. General queries and further information please contact:
In keeping with caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters, our parish supports the following: Wandsworth Prison. There are between 340-360 Catholic inmates at any one time. On the first Thursday of the month there is a midday Mass, and the priest is available to hear confession afterwards. Throughout the year reading material (books) are collected and sent from the parish and at Christmas time rosaries, diaries, and calendars are donated by the parishioners for the inmates. The Manna Society (Objects & Purpose)
To relieve the poor persons who are homeless and or unemployed by the provision of food, shelter and other forms of Christian care with the object of promoting the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of such person and of improving their conditions of life. Our vision is the creation of a just society that respects the dignity of every individual; it is a place of unconditional acceptance, our task as we see it is not to judge, but to love. The parishioners respond to this compassionate and practical effort by donating food, toiletries, and clothing once a year as well as unwanted household items throughout the year. Every day (7 days a week) approximately 200 people use this service
200 free lunches. Over 100 use the toilet facilities. Over 40 have a shower and many use the clothing store twice a week, 70% of the service users are homeless. Spires Working locally with homeless and disadvantaged people. Our parish and the Society of Vincent de Paul make monthly donations of food and clothing and supply Vinnie Packs each winter (these include a woolly hat, gloves, toiletries). Occasionally there are requests for financial assistance, and this has been met by the SVP.
St Vincent de Paul (SVP) Southwark Central Council
You may well be thinking ‘Oh – SVP – they visit older people; that isn’t for me.’ Indeed, the SVP do visit older people in their own homes, nursing, and residential care homes, but we do much more and different work too. The SVP members help people from all walks of life, all circumstances, any faith, or none, which follows the teachings of Christ “you must love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13: 34). Can imagine how dignity is restored to a person placed in approved premises when he/she is treated with care and non-judgementally? Can you imagine the relief shown on the face of a seeker or sanctuary when a friendly face offers to help and befriend them? Can you imagine the joy of a young person they can continue in education/training to enable them to find employment and support their family? St Anselm’s Conference offer practical help, friendship, home, and hospital visits, including Trinity Hospice and financial support. What are our values? Christ, compassionate, respect, confidentially, responsive, accountability and generosity. The society offers help to people in need and this can go on for a long time with families. Overseas support – Twinned. It is the SVP policy to support conferences overseas that in need of help. This is called Twinned. St Anselm’s is twinned with three conferences in India supporting education, agriculture, and self-help for projects for widows. The SVP members in Sudan and South Sudan are sent help towards the Sudan baby appeal through this International Twinned scheme. Membership is open to everyone and there are two types, full and auxillary. For further information please contact the parish office.
40 years ago, in 1980, at the suggestion of Cardinal Hume, the Daughters of Charity started The Passage with a day centre close to Westminster Cathedral. This centre is now the UK’s largest centre for homeless and insecurely housed people. The Passage not only offers immediate help and longer-term support, but also provides and develops a wide range of value-led support services, including innovative accommodation projects. It welcomes and treats all its clients with respect and dignity and finds out what they need and want. It offers professional and appropriate advice and help according to the client’s needs and aspirations. It agrees an action plan with clients which is time limited with the aim of supporting them out of homelessness. Further information can be obtained from the website: