Every year, just before Christmas, the three churches of our parish bring Christmas cheer to three specific charities; St. Stephen’s have the Giving Tree in which they buy gifts and present them to the local needy children in the Tala area, St. Luke’s put together boxes for the Mission to Seafarers at Limassol and Ayia Kyriaki raised money to buy gifts for the refugee children of the Kofinou Refugee Camp.
On 9th December, Reverend Andrew and the two Wardens of Ayia Kyriaki, went to the camp where, along with all the other Anglican parishes in Cyprus, gave the gifts, which all had the names and ages of the children to whom they were to be given, to Father Christmas who presented them to the children.
Father Christmas’s visit and the gifts brought from all the parishes were much appreciated by all the children.
St Stephen’s was delighted to once again help out with presents for the children in Paphos under the care of Social Services. A tag with the gender and age of a child was placed on the ‘Giving Tree’ for each child in need and people were invited to take a tag, purchase an appropriate gift, wrap it up labeling it with the tag and place it under the tree. In place of the tag, a glass bauble was put on the tree. 50 gifts (25 girls from between 6 months and 15 years) and 25 boys (between 1 year and 16 years) were given together with 2 additional ones for a Syrian refugee family. 8 extra gifts across the age and gender spectrum were also provided in case of any ’emergency need’ over the Christmas holiday which can also be used at other times of the year if they were not required. The gifts were taken to Social Services in time for the tags to have individual names put on them by members of staff and delivered by ‘Father Christmas’ in time for Christmas.
Ukrainian crew receiving Christmas gifts as a result of the ‘Shoe Box’ appeal.
Christmas ‘Shoe’ boxes for Seafarers: It is most gratifying that through the love, care and commitment of parishioners across most of the archdeaconry and not least St. Luke’s from within Paphos; and that of Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbow Children, not least from the military bases; and the indefatigable efforts of a core of Mission to Seafarers Volunteers at the Limassol Centre under Ken Wiseman’s leadership, nearly 200 boxes were gifted to seafarers over Christmastide.