Ministries of Mercy

At St Silas the saving news of Jesus Christ is at the heart of everything we do. That saving news is transformative, and as it changes the hearts of believers, it brings to light a renewed love for and concern for the people around us - especially those who are in need in various ways. We are therefore committed to expressing that concern with practical love, both individually and as a church family. Together as a congregation, here are some of the ways it works out.

Tearfund

We have a long-standing partnership with Tearfund, The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund. This enables us to respond to global needs. In particular, in recent years our support has focused on partners working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Glasgow City Mission

We have been supporters of the work of the Glasgow City Mission for many years. As well as through financial contributions and ongoing prayer, a number of our church family also volunteer at the Mission.

Bethany Christian Trust

We are working with the Bethany Christian Trust to identify issues locally in the west end, and seeking to partner with them in meeting needs. We host and have volunteers who assist at a weekly 'homework club' overseen by Bethany.

Nearly New Sale

For a number of years, annually we have organised a sale of nearly new children's kit and clothing, which has enabled us to serve the local community and also distribute surplus resources to places where they are needed in Glasgow and across the world.

Fair Trade

St Silas has been running a regular fair trade stall for over twenty years and has been a Fairtrade Church for well over 10 years. We are members of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. At St Silas we see our passion for fair trade as flowing out of our faith in a generous God who has loved us in sending Jesus Christ, and calls us now to love our neighbours. The fair trade activity has become embedded in our wider justice and community work and is generally an easy and obvious choice for people who visit the church.

As a Fairtrade Church we have committed to

  • Use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which we have responsibility
  • Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit
  • Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible

The fair trade stall is currently set up at least twice a month after the morning service and once a month after the evening service (more often in the lead up to Christmas) and at many church events through the year. We stock items from Traidcraft and JTS (our local fair trade importer based in Paisley) as well as occasionally from other suppliers such as Bala Sport. The aim of the stall is

  • to raise awareness of fair trade (as part of the church’s commitment to being a Fairtrade Church)
  • to support fair trade suppliers (Traidcraft, JTS and others as appropriate)
  • and to provide the congregation with an easy route for engaging with fair trade.

The stall stocks everyday items such as chocolate, teabags, ground coffee, rice, spices, dried fruit, snacks and sugar, a wide range of jams, marmalades, chutneys and sauces as well as a small selection of gift items particularly in the lead up to Christmas. In October 2014 we became the first church in the UK to sell over a tonne of fairly traded Kilombero Rice from JTS, thereby making a significant difference to the lives of smallholder famers in Malawi and enabling those farmers to send 11 children to secondary school. In 2015 we called on the congregation to support Traidcraft in their campaign to Show you Care by asking people to “swap your shop” and through this saw a significant increase in the purchases being made at our fair trade stall – a trend which continues to this day.

For further information please contact Tracy Mitchell via the Church Office.