Shanklin United Reformed Church

High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. PO37 6LA
Registered Charity No. 1130459

A member of the Evangelical Alliance

For details of URC churches on the Island visit


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Support for Others

Past Christmas Collections

The beneficiary of our 2022 Christmas Collection was Operation Mobilisation.

We previously supported OM in 2020, but for 2022 we specifically supported their work in Ukraine.

Will you Live out love this Christmas?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35


OM spoke to British national Sam Hughes, a children’s worker from the Isle of Wight who has been living in Odessa, Ukraine, for the past 5 years. He thanks OM for their prayers and support and urges people to keep remembering those affected and not stop praying. To read the interview in full click here

The beneficiary of our 2021 Christmas Collection was Mercy Ships.

Mercy Ships is a global Christian charity that follows the 2,000-year-old model of Jesus to bring hope and healing to those suffering from disability, disfigurement, and disease. We deploy hospital ships and partner with African nations to transform surgical systems and provide free surgery to those most in need. We believe every person is valuable.

'Imagine a ship crewed by doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists visiting some of the world’s poorest countries. Now imagine their life-changing services offered free of charge…

Right now dedicated volunteers from around the world are bringing hope and healing to thousands of people who could never have believed it possible. Welcome to Mercy Ships, a compassionate response to a world where many have lost hope.'

Coronavirus is threatening the lives of thousands of the poorest and most vulnerable in Africa. Any donation will protect and save lives by helping to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in Central and West African nations, including Senegal, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and to train more African doctors and nurses to administer the vaccine.

The beneficiary of our 2020 Christmas Collection was Operation Mobilisation.

Established in 1957 by George Verwer, OM is a dynamic, international Christian missions movement. In the OM family of ministries, there are 5,000 workers representing over 113 nations in more than 110 countries and in world port communities, through their ship, Logos Hope.

They are a global community of Jesus followers united to share the love of Jesus with those that don't know it.


Operation Mobilisation traces its roots to the prayers of an American housewife. In the 1950s, Dorothea Clapp began to pray faithfully for the students in her local high school. She asked God to touch the world through the lives of the young people. And God answered her prayers.

Mrs Clapp's son gave the Gospel of John to one of the students, who later gave his life to the Lord at a Billy Graham meeting. That young man was George Verwer, the founder and former International Director of Operation Mobilisation.

At college, George and two friends met regularly to pray. They became burdened by the spiritual needs of Mexico. In 1957 the three friends sold some of their possessions to raise money and gave up their summer holiday to distribute Gospels and other Christian literature in Mexico. The friends returned to Mexico the following summer and the next.

When they graduated in 1960, George and his friends traveled to Europe. They began work in Spain, sharing the Gospel and distributing literature. But the task of reaching the whole of Europe seemed overwhelming. George and his small team realised that God's plan was to mobilise His Church to reach the nations. As they began to share their vision, hundreds of Christians responded. So Operation Mobilisation was born. By 1963, 2,000 Christians had joined summer outreach teams in Europe. At the same time, teams moved into the Indian sub-continent and the Muslim world. Their commitment was to reach those who had never heard the Gospel.

Such simple beginnings have shaped OM since. Today over 3,300 workers in OM's family of ministries, representing over 100 nationalities, are bringing God's unchanging truth to literally millions every year.

The beneficiary of our 2019 Christmas Collection was, like our 2018 & 2017 Christmas Collections, the IoW Salvation Army Night Hostel.

The Salvation Army’s Isle of Wight Corps (church) opened its doors on 11th November 2019 to allow rough sleepers on the island to seek shelter throughout the cold winter months.

The church and charity’s homeless support unit joined Isle of Wight Council to help the local authority do all it can to ensure people experiencing homelessness did not have to bed down on the streets this winter.

The Salvation Army on the Isle of Wight brought rough sleepers in from the cold from 1st December 2018 until 31st March 2019 and worked hard to achieve the Housing Justice Quality mark for Church and Community night shelters during its first year of operation.

The Salvation Army already operates a street outreach intervention service that delivers personalised support packages to people experiencing homelessness on the Isle of Wight throughout the year.

The specialised team helped rough sleepers find whatever help is appropriate for their needs – including access to addiction support or mental health and wellbeing services – and links to other emergency accommodation provision.

The winter night shelter allowed The Salvation Army to go even further by providing hot food and a warm bed for the night; seven days a week, during the coldest months.

The 2016 Christmas Collection was donated to Samaritan's Purse

"Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches to proclaim and demonstrate the love of God amongst communities in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We are part of the global Samaritan’s Purse family that has been providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1970. Samaritan’s Purse also has offices in the USACanadaGermany, and Australia.

Even if you don’t recognise the name, you may have come across our Operation Christmas Child initiative, which thousands of churches, schools and businesses across the UK and Ireland are already part of.

But we do more than just send shoeboxes overseas. We respond in a distinctly Christian way to issues facing people in the places where we work: issues like water and sanitation and sustainable livelihoods along with disasters and emergencies."

The 2015 Christmas Collection was donated to Love Russia's Playground Appeal

"The Playground Appeal

At a centre for homeless mums in desperate need of shelter, nutrition and help to get their lives back on track, there is no safe place for their children to play.

At present, they play in the grounds which are littered with dangerous discarded debris. Having stayed at the centre with the mums and their children last summer, it was clear this is a priority. The children cannot be left unattended for a second in their own garden because of the hazardous conditions.

An outside play area in a suitable enclosure with safe equipment, hazard free ground cover, a couple of benches and an outside table will make a phenomenal difference to day to day life at the centre.

While the mothers recover from traumas and addictions and begin rebuilding their lives, a playground will not only provide safety for the children, but also an environment that will help the mums bond and grow with their little ones, learning to play together as families, creating memories that all children should be blessed with."

The 2014 Collection was donated to Christian Aid's Deliver Hope appeal

"At Christmas we celebrate the safe arrival of God’s promised Saviour and Son, Jesus Christ. As we remember Mary’s arduous and life-threatening journey to Bethlehem, we sigh with relief that it is so different for us today. But sadly, for thousands of women in Kenya, the dangers and struggles experienced by the young mother of our Saviour are all too real."

This Christmas we’re supporting Christian Aid and their dedicated partners as they work to reach women and to support local nurses. Through locally-based groups like TRDP, part of the Anglican Church of Kenya, they’re providing mobile health clinics to ensure that families in some of the most remote parts of Kenya can access life-saving healthcare. Working closely with a community, TRDP sets up and supports mother-to-mother and father-to-father groups, providing safe environments for people to share concerns and get advice. And through its training and support of community health workers, women are encouraged to deliver in hospital, where complications can be spotted and treated.

The 2013 Collection was donated to Mercy Ships.

'Imagine a ship crewed by doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists visiting some of the world’s poorest countries. Now imagine their life-changing services offered free of charge…

Right now dedicated volunteers from around the world are bringing hope and healing to thousands of people who could never have believed it possible. Welcome to Mercy Ships, a compassionate response to a world where many have lost hope.'

The 2012 Collection was donated to The Children’s Bereavement Service run by the local YMCA

The YMCA Children’s Bereavement provides services for children and young people on the Isle of Wight to enable them to cope with bereavement and to raise awareness and understanding within the wider community of the impact of loss and grief on young lives.
They offered a range of bereavement counselling and support services including:

  • one-to-one counselling

  • support groups for children and young people who have experienced the suicide of someone close to them

  • support groups for children and young people who have experienced the death of someone close to them

  • support and information for children, young people and their families

  • practical support network for parents and carers

  • support and information for health professionals working with children

  • support and information for schools and children’s workers

  • website information

  • social events, including residential camps

  • memorial day events

Why is the service so important?

It is estimated that around 400 children and young people experience bereavement every year on the Isle of Wight. Previously there has been no service on the island that specifically addresses the needs of bereaved children, and no bereavement support at all for the under 5′s. Our service is available to all children and young people aged 0-18 years who have been affected by death.

Research has found that if children experience unresolved or complicated grief it can directly lead to poorer outcomes later on in life; independent studies concluded that 90% of young offenders had unresolved grief as a driver behind their offending behaviour. Good quality and early intervention improves children’s ability to cope with bereavement and to grieve in healthy ways as they resume their lives.

The 2011 collection was donated to The Barnabas Fund to help the persecuted church.

The mission of the Barnabas Fund is to support Christians where they are in a minority and suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith. Their goal is to strengthen Christian individuals, churches and their communities by providing material and spiritual support in response to needs identified by local Christian leaders.

The 2010 collection was donated to Haylands Farm in Ryde - 2010 was their 30th anniversary year.

Haylands Farm project is run for people with learning difficulties by the Isle Of Wight branch of Mencap.

Haylands Farm is a working environment that provides work and training services to adults with a learning disability. Their aim is to provide and maintain an environment which is supportive to the training needs of the students who attend Haylands Farm.

Haylands Farm can be followed on Twitter and Facebook

James Sparks in his Shanklin Town Youth Brass Band uniformThe 2009 collection was donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in memory of James Sparks (pictured right), a young man who loved to worship at our church but sadly passed away in June 2009 at just 17 years of age after losing his battle with the illness.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK's most common, life-threatening, inherited diseases.

The CF Trust can be followed on Twitter and Facebook, as can various other CF related support groups.

You can see a selection of photos from James' life at his father's Flickr page

In July 2013, a railway themed memorial garden dedicated to James was opened on the children's ward at St Mary's Hospital, Newport on the Island.

Page last updated 04 June 2024

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