Retiring Collections on Christmas Eve

The Kirk Session have chosen two charities to support this year - FreshStart  an Edinburgh based charity which helps people who have been homeless get established in their new home and The Olive Grove Chapel at the Tent of Nations, Bethlehem which supports the Palestinian Christian presence in Bethlehem.

Many thanks to everyone who donated over £819.58 at our services on Christmas Eve.  This money will be split between FreshStart and the Olive Grove Chapel - your generosity will make such a difference to the lives of others.  Thank you.

FreshStart, Edinburgh

Fresh Start is an Edinburgh based charity helping people who have been homeless get established in their new home. Working in partnership with volunteers and organisations from a broad section of the community, we deliver a range of services that provide the practical and social support that help people resettle successfully.

Each year Fresh Start helps thousands of new tenants settle into their homes. This can only be achieved by the hard work of Freshstart's volunteers and generosity of the donations received.  Services offered include Starter Packs, Hit Squads, Training Initiatives, Cooking Classes, Cookers, Food Station and Helping Hands.

WE REFUSE TO BE ENEMIES” Olive Grove Chapel at the Tent of Nations, Bethlehem

“We refuse to be enemies” is the ethos of the Tent of Nations, a farm owned by the Palestinian Christian Nassar family just outside Bethlehem. The farm is surrounded on all sides by illegal Israeli settlements and is under constant threat of demolition, with the family under threat of eviction. The Nassar family work the land and live by that ethos - written on a stone as you enter the farm. Through continuing to grow olives, grapes, almonds, and various other fruit, as well as hosting work parties, groups, and children’s summer camps, the family non-violently resist the moves by settler organisations to remove them from the land which has been owned and farmed by the family for generations. The General Assembly in May 2019, instructed the World Mission Council “to assist the Tent of Nations in creating a sacred space for worship amongst the threatened olive groves and invite other agencies and congregations to help and identify with this project” . Work is now underway, and as a sign of commitment to justice and peace in the land of Christ’s birth - as well as a mark of support for the Palestinian Christian community - as many congregations as possible are invited to become involved with the establishment of this special sanctuary. 

Funds raised will be used to develop the Chapel and surrounding area by planting olive trees, grape vines, and other fruiting trees, as well as providing irrigation systems and other infrastructure and ongoing work. You can support the Olive Grove Chapel project and the Tent of Nations by contacting World Mission at the Church Offices, 121 George Street or emailing John McCulloch, Mission Partner, St Andrews, Jerusalem.