All Saints Church help 49 people so far with Acts 435 giving scheme
It was just one out of a hundred emails in Revd Jeremy Putnam’s inbox that week but it caught his eye and was the starting point for the All Saints Church Highertown and Baldhu to get involved in the Acts 435 charity.
Acts 435 is a church charity run from the Archbishop of York’s house which allows people to give money directly to others. It is managed through a network of churches and local charities.
Revd Jeremy Putnam explains his enthusiasm for the charity as it encourages people ‘to club together to redistribute to the most needy.’ “It’s a Gospel imperative,” he says, “and has been a characteristic of the church since the first apostles.”
Since it started in March, the All Saints Church arm of the charity has raised over £4,100 and received 53 requests, 49 of which have been fulfilled.
Although individuals can self-refer, the main bulk of referrals come through Christians Against Poverty, Cornwall Works Hub, Winter Wellness, Truro Foodbank or direct to the church. Requests range from household goods, in particular beds and washing machines, to rent deposits, moving and travel costs and car repairs. Whilst the focus is on basic necessities in some senses anything goes, Acts 435 is donor-led and if donors do not think it is an appropriate request, they simply will not donate to it! The current cap is £120 and a family can apply up to three times a year. Applicant details are kept confidential – just town, age and a description of the need are displayed on the website.
Once the money has been raised, the client is given the cash to buy or pay for their needed item.
Revd Jeremy is particularly pleased with this part of the charity scheme. “I believe that by giving them the chance to buy new instead of second hand, it ensures the dignity of the client throughout the whole process.”
Although Act 435 has been going for less than a year at All Saints Church it is quickly gaining momentum, with the next step being a weekly Act 435 hub where advocates can arrange to meet with clients.
The next nearest church involved in Act 435 is in Plymouth and advocate Ruth Putnam is keen to get the service set up elsewhere in Cornwall, in particular in the areas they struggle to reach such as Penzance, Newquay, St Austell, Padstow, Wadebridge and Launceston.
If you are interested in setting up the service in your church, Revd Jeremy or Ruth would be happy to talk you through the process. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com