Action 4 Cambodia
The Parish Charity of St. Alban’s, Blackburn including the churches of Good Shepherd and Holy Souls, along with St. Alban’s RC Primary School and Holy Souls RC Primary School.
The charity, 'Action 4 Cambodia', was originally founded in 2006. It was established as a result of an idea put forward by the then Bishop of Salford, Terence Brain. He suggested that where parishes were amalgamating a way of bringing two or three communities together could be by setting up a shared charity with the aim of helping a community somewhere else in the world that was in need of help. At this time St. Alban's Parish and Good Shepherd Parish in Blackburn were beginning their journey of unity.
With the help of a visiting nun from the Order of Our Lady of the Missions we were able to link up with Jesuit Service Cambodia and play an important role in their Education and Health Programmes for the people living in and around the village of Champak Sa in the Siem Reap Province of Cambodia.
St. Alban's RC Primary School has been part of the charity from the start but we have also received occasional support from Our Lady and St. John Catholic College, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour RC Primary School in Blackburn, Holy Souls RC Primary School in Blackburn and St. Mary's RC Primary School in Clayton le Moors.
In 2017 the Parish of Holy Souls joined the other original two parishes in forming what is now the new Parish of St. Alban's and the community of Holy Souls and Holy Souls RC Primary School became an important and permanent part of the charity. Indeed, the two primary schools in the parish now liaise with each other to discuss money raising schemes.
Every penny raised by the charity goes to Cambodia. Our printing is provided by our schools and the parish without charge, and our admin' costs are kept low and so far have been met by individual committee members. The Committee comprises of 8 members of our three churches, one of who is our Education Officer, as she works in St. Alban's School. Canon Jude Harrison is President of the charity and he is the only one who can withdraw and transfer money from our bank account and send it off to Jesuit Service Cambodia. We are tied into the Salford Diocese Gift Aid Scheme and come under the Diocesan Registered Charity Number. It is the diocese that handles our Gift Aid annual claim.
Jesuit Services have estimated that in the last year alone 4,700 people have benefitted from our help. The main part of our work is involved in keeping our school out there supplied and maintained. The original building was made up of three classrooms, but when it opened in 2011 more than double the number of pupils than expected turned up and so another, sturdier building was erected and opened in 2014. Now the school has six classrooms, all provided by the generosity of people from this part of Lancashire. We now also support another school in the neighbouring village of Popeil.
In Cambodia religions are not allowed to evangelise through the schools and so our school was not allowed to have a religious name. It is referred to as ' New Bonney's'. This is because, for years St. Alban's RC Primary School was known as 'Bonney's, after the name of a rather infamous headteacher many, many years ago.
If you would like more information please contact us through any of our three churches, or telephone St. Alban's on 01254 59331.
The charity exists to bring together the previous three parishes of St. Alban’s, The Good Shepherd and Holy Souls into one united parish and Catholic community, and to give this community the opportunity to develop spiritually and to fulfil Christ’s command ‘to love one another as I have loved you. With the help of the associated schools, St. Alban’s RC Primary School, Holy Souls RC Primary School and Our Lady & St. John Catholic College, it will attempt to provide spiritual, moral and financial support to our representative in his or her work in the designated areas of Cambodia.
It is our aim to create links with people in our community with people in Cambodia. We shall organise a variety of fund-raising events in our parish and schools to give financial support to our representative. It is hoped that through this we will provide children with a reasonable standard of education and, where necessary, with medical support for them and the adults in their community.
We also hope to respond to emergencies and to provide relief at a time of trauma, conflict and natural disaster.
A Prayer for Cambodia.
We ask Mary , the Mother of our Saviour, to help the people of Cambodia. We ask her to intercede for us so that God’s love and Care may be felt in the lives of those wounded in body and spirit, and suffering from the breakdowns in society.
We pray for those who are trying to improve the lives of the people of Cambodia and ask that God may give them the vision of a new, peaceful and invigorated nation and the means to create it.
Our Lady of Cambodia, pray for them.
Our Lady of Cambodia, pray for us.