St Theodore’s reaching out to the community

It’s Ladies Night at St Theodore’s, Rushy Mead, and the church opens its doors as women from the church and the community gather to pamper, chat and raise money for charity.


The church, hall and coffee room have been made over with stalls, beauty stations and a very popular tombola, all raising funds for Operation Christmas Child’s ‘Shoe Box Appeal’.


There are also stalls selling of variety of things to make your own shoe box on the night. This is Karen and Annette’s first Ladies Night at St Theodore’s and they are gathering gifts to fill shoes boxes from the stalls. Karen explains: “It’s ideal to get the shoes box done tonight, with lots of lovely things on offer. We are donating the money to the cause whilst stocking a beautiful shoe box for a child to open and cherish.”



Jane, a member of the church, fills a box and people can choose to sponsor it on the night by donating money towards its postage fees. Prafula, from the local community, sponsored a box and said: “I’ve come every year and every time I sponsor a box.”


Liz, a member of St Theodore’s, makes and sells cards for the occasion every year. She jokes: “It’s nice to give the husband the TV remote and I can come and enjoy a night with the girls, but it’s all about what we raise at the end of the night for the shoe box appeal. Lots of people give their time to make things; it’s the whole community coming together not just church people.”

This is the 13th year of Ladies Night. Karen and Margaret are coordinators and collected 1,500 boxes from local schools and churches last year, and are hoping to beat that total in 2018. Those boxes then come through to St Theodore’s to be sorted and sent off. The money raised at the Ladies Night each year helps send them around the world to the children.


Karen explains: “We got involved with the charity when our children were at school. We ran a toddler group and wanted to support a charity as a group, we saw the work that Operation Christmas Child did and said we’ve got to get involved in this! So the first year we had 59 boxes and thought that was loads! It’s a Christian run thing but it goes to any child of any religion or none. They go to any child just how God would want it!”

Karen has a real heart for this event not just as a fundraiser but also as a way of gathering the community. She goes on to say: “My thought is a church should have its doors open, get people in, let them have fun. One day I hope people will say ‘yeah I’ll stay to hear more about faith’, but that’s not just down to me, it’s God’s work.”


The church also holds a Christmas entertainment night which adds to the funds to send the boxes around the world. This year it takes place on 8th December at 7.30pm at St Theodore’s. For more information and to book your tickets call Karen on 07891025731.

First published on: 5th August 2019

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