Fund Raising Events

Recent Events

Sax’s Cool Spring Concert

Good reason to Rejoice!

Together with my drum kit, I joined fifteen saxo- phones, a couple of guitars and a bass for a lively concert at Priory Methodist Church, Bedford, at the end of April. When the band members heard of the suffering in Zimbabwe they were keen to do it.

The programme included many old favourite tunes from 1920’s - 40’s, a few jazz numbers, ‘Libertango’, ‘42nd Street’, ‘Cavatina’….. and I sang a couple of pre-war, but frequently revived, vocals! We included a pictorial presentation of the tragedy and need in Zimbabwe followed by a sax arrangement of ‘Nkosi Sikelel’i Afrika’ to the boom of an African drum. ‘God bless Africa’ - This concert enabled a joyful crowd to join with Him in providing blessing for Africa.

The total raised, including some Gift Aid and a £50 donation from the bank, came to £1,789.  So - many good reasons to rejoice !!

David Winwood 

Henry Olonga visits Oakham Methodist Church

The Stamford and Rutland Circuit adopted ZVSF as its Circuit Charity for 2015/16. As part of our programme of special events, we invited Henry Olonga to visit us on Friday 27 November.

Our minister, the Revd Leo Osborn, supposedly interviewed Henry about his life and his calling. But, in reality, Henry hardly needed any prompting to tell us most captivatingly about his school days at Plumtree, his commitment to Christ at a summer camp and his witness in 2003 on the Cricket Ground against the evils of the Zanu-PF regime.

He also sang to us a number of pieces including the Lord’s Prayer – and we were spellbound not just by the depth and resonance of his voice but even more by his absolute immersion in the words he expressed in song.

A precious gift of talent and time

The beautiful liturgical banners featured here (and others like them depicting the Christian festivals) were hand crafted by two ladies of extraordinary talent. Mrs Irene Watts (on the right in the first photo) and her friend Mrs Anne White had been commissioned by a church in Liverpool to produce a full set of banners to be on permanent display. After many months of careful and intricate work – a labour of love on the part of the two ladies - the banners were ready and were presented to the church, to great acclaim. Irene Watts donated the whole of her part of the fee received to Zimbabwe Victims Support Fund, which she and her husband, Methodist minister Rev Dave Watts have supported faithfully since its inception. It is understood that Anne White donated her part of the fee to Karibuni Trust, a street children’s project in Kenya.

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to both these talented ladies !

Celebration Singers fundraising concert in aid of the Zimbabwe Victims Support Fund.

The Celebration Singers, an Ecumenical Choir in West Cumbria, gave a concert in Gosforth Methodist Church in May 2014 as a fundraising venture for the Zimbabwe Victims Support Fund.

Gosforth is only a small village so the attendance wasn’t enormous but the work of Graham Shaw and his colleagues is of particular interest in the area because Graham was formerly a minister in the Whitehaven Methodist Circuit before moving to his present ministry at the other end of the country. The concert raised in total £ 430.

The Celebration Singers was originally formed in 1990 as Whitehaven Methodist Circuit Choir under the leadership of Carolyn Ashbridge but expanded and became ecumenical to take part in a performance of “Hopes & Dreams” organised in 2000 for the Millenium. There are now choir members from many denominations and the current rehearsal venue is St Andrew’s Evangelical Anglican Church.

Graham may have moved from West Cumbria a few years ago but his concern for those suffering in Zimbabwe is remembered by many who knew him.

John & Carolyn Ashbridge.

Raising Funds for Victims

As published in the Warminster Journal 17 October 2014

Download and view this article by clicking here

“Send the money to Zimbabwe"

That was the goal of a bunch of young adults who came to Bedford from all over the country, bringing their cornets, horns, euphoniums, trombones and percussion, to raise money for ZVSF.

They were members of the National Methodist Youth Brass Band who travelled at their own expense, and even covered the costs of their meals, to ensure that every penny from their concert would provide food for those who live with poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe. The concert was brilliant, and packed with people, so was their contribution to Sunday worship.

A few weeks later the Bedford Gallery Quire, with eighteenth century instruments and outfits, added to the funds with a ‘Truly Traditional Christmas Concert’ of music from that period, as a Christmas gift to ZVSF.

It’s Fun raising funds for ZVSF

Download the PDF for this event here.

Wareham Methodist Church

Pictured here are some of the regulars who drop in for a cup of coffee on a Friday morning at Wareham Methodist Church in Dorset. While enjoying the chat and the companionship they are also supporting the Fund.

Janet Pilbeam (left in the photo) is one of the team responsible for organising the coffee mornings as well as being one of our most loyal supporters. Every month we receive a cheque from the proceeds of the coffee mornings plus personal donations.

This is a huge help in meeting the challenges arising in Zimbabwe and a great encouragement to us all.

Heartfelt thanks to Janet and her team!

Henry Olonga Concert

What a talented man! Powerful and tender songs, great humour, clear analysis of the plight of thousands in Zimbabwe, vivid Christian witness and deep convictions about justice and truth.

That’s what we enjoyed, when a good crowd filled Priory Methodist Church, Bedford, on Sunday evening 29th April. Power Point added illustrations of the work of ZVSF and, when Gift Aid is added, about £2,300 was raised for the fund. If you came along – warmest thanks for your support.

David Winwood.

Henry has presented several concerts to raise funds for ZVSF, in which he has spoken of his personal experience of Zimbabwe, explained his courageous protest against injustice when he was an international cricketer, answered questions, shared his radiant Christian testimony and thrilled us with his singing.

Now Henry, with his wife Tara and two children, are leaving the UK to settle in Australia, to be near to Tara’s parents. Henry’s ministry here will be greatly missed. He will, however, be returning for a while from 15th October to 14th January as he has to be in Britain at that time. He says that he would be glad to come to your church for an event during that period …. to minister, to share his story, and to sing, if you would like to invite him. He has a great voice, and an inspiring story. Perhaps you could arrange a ZVSF event and gather a good crowd for a great evening. He says, “Don’t hesitate to make contact.”…..

If you do get in touch it would be helpful to explain the kind of event you have in mind. He and Tara’s concluding message to folk in the UK is this - “We also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your prayers, love and support over the years. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, as you have been to us.”