CWL Works

“Missions and the spreading of the Good News is part of our role as followers of Christ.”

When CWL was first formed in 1931 the Bishops of the time asked that one of the main roles should be the support of both the Maori Missions at Home and the church in the Pacific Islands. As a result missions work has always been considered the first beneficiary for fundraising.

The three main priorities for helping the missions have always been praying, writing and giving.

Each branch has a designated Mission Communities in the Pacific.

A national At Home Appeal is held annually which raises funds for a specific cause. The cause must be nationally organised. The National Board decide on the recipient from suggestions received from our branches. The 2006 At Home Appeal raised $10,500.00 for Autism.

Branches also reach out to local organisations with physical and financial help such as driving for Meals on Wheels, and helping with Street Day Appeals among other activities, and by making donations.

In the early days boxes and bales of goods were sent to the Islands. Many hours were spent collecting or making goods to send. It was not uncommon to be asked for a whole set of vestments  –  the material rots easily in the tropics. Religious items such as rosaries, bibles are often still sent. Also basic items for schools such as pencils, paper, etc. Food also was sent in many instances.

When the parcels arrive nothing is wasted. A Sister from a Tongan convent wrote her thanks for the bales of clothes and commented that the hessian bales when opened out and dipped into a cement sludge and fastened to netting supports made sound and warm henhouses! The twine which had been used to tie the bales was used to sew the walls together. The egg output went up and the increased protein available for the children of her village was already showing good results in the classroom!

As the years have gone by so have the postage costs gone up so that the postage at times was almost as much as the value of the goods sent. So today many branches send money to the Islands for the communities to buy what they require.

Also communications have improved. In the past you would not hear for weeks (and often months) from the mission station because they would be waiting for the boat to arrive. Now many communities have email so you can keep in touch much more easily.

Is the need to help the Mission Communities still there?

It most certainly is. There is always likely to be those few communities which are “well off” but the majority still need help.

For many communities the support given by the CWL Branch is the only outside help they get.