Parish Project


The Parish Project for 2022 is to raise funds to support the Swindon based charity THE HARBOUR PROJECT which assists refugees and asylum seekers.

The charity aims to be a family for every individual who seeks asylum or is granted refugee status in Swindon, and to help them to rebuild their lives.

The charity provides advice, support, practical help and friendship, so that our visitors have the best possible chance of a fair hearing, a fair outcome from their asylum claim, and a fair future in the UK.

Further details about this charity can be found here.


 Report on parishioners’ visit to the drop-in centre, St Luke’s Hall, Swindon on 19 May 2022

The drop-in centre was busy.  We walked into an open plan office packed with volunteers and staff helping visitors to find information or fill out forms, then on into a large church hall full of visitors.  Mainly men from countries throughout the Middle East and Africa, the visitors were chatting, playing chess, card games and table tennis, even cutting each others’ hair.  In break out rooms, lessons were taking place with volunteer teachers in Maths and in English.  A group of visitors were in the kitchen preparing a special Iranian dish for everyone’s lunch.   Claire Garrett, the CEO, showed us the second bikes that are being repaired for visitors, the sign-up forms for a Quakers’ tea on Sunday, a football game in the nearby park and a yoga session.  She talked about the need for more private spaces in the centre – especially for women and for one-to-one counselling.   We met a volunteer who was once an asylum seeker helped by the Harbour Project, and is now busily helping others.  We talked to the Chair of Trustees and Jess, a member of staff, whose aim is to become more skilled in helping those suffering from anxiety.   

It was ‘life affirming’ to meet Claire in situ with her team as they worked together to help those in extremely difficult circumstances feel positive as they wait for responses from the Home office.  To quote Claire: “it is easy for us to all make judgements from afar, but when you’re here in the middle of things we soon realise that ‘people are people’ and we all want the same things – to live safely and to get on with our lives.”

Claire welcomes visitors and any offers of help.  They rely on volunteers.   If you would like to donate direct, please see the Harbour Project webpage. More fund raising events in the parish are being planned.


Further information about the Parish Project “The Harbour Project” can be found here. 


The Parish Project for the 2020 is to raise funds to support the charity TREE AID. This is a charity established 1987 in response to the famine in Ethiopia to provide a long term solution once the emergency relief efforts ended.

TREE AID helps people in the drylands of Africa to lift themselves out of poverty and protect their environment. People here live in some of the toughest conditions on earth and trees provide nutrition, generate income and help to create a healthy environment. TREE AID works with local communities to help them protect and grow trees, for themselves and for future generations. Since 1987, TREE AID has helped over 1.2 million people lift themselves out of poverty and planted more than 16 million trees.

Further details about this charity can be found here.



At a parish meeting held on the First Sunday of Advent, 2nd December 2018, the charity Mary’s Meals was chosen as the Parish Project for 2019.

Mary’s Meals is a global movement of people from all walks of life, united by the belief that no child in this world of plenty should endure a day without a meal. Mary’s Meals is not a movement that divides rich from poor, or giver from receiver. 

Mary’s Meals sets up community-run school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education. The idea is a simple one that works. Mary’s Meals provides one daily meal in a place of learning to attract chronically poor children into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

Mary’s Meals began by feeding just 200 children in Malawi in 2002. Today, it is providing more than one million children with a daily school meal on four continents, across Benin, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Uganda and Zambia.

Further details about this charity can be found here. This link opens in a new tab.



As part of our parish ‘Covenant with the poor’ two charitable projects were chosen for 2018.

“Emmaus” is a charity to support the homeless. The first Emmaus community was founded in Paris, in 1949, by Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre. He was a former member of the French Resistance who fought to provide homes for those who lived on the streets of Paris. Full details about this charity can be found here.  This link opens in a new tab.

“Living Water Myanmar” is a charity which is a community development project that focuses on Water Security in one of the most impoverished regions of the country. This project is motivated by the severe lack of drinking water for villagers and school communities in the Dry Zone of Myanmar. The charity runs a water collection tank project which was started in 2011 in Nyaung Oo township to help schools and communities in the Dry Zone have access to clean water. Further details about this charity can be found here. This link opens in a new tab.

A water tank, paid for from the Parish Project fundraising has now been built, full details and photographs are here.


Parish contacts


Saint Edmund's Catholic Church
65 Oxford Road
SN11 8AQ

01249 813131


© 2019 CLIFTON DIOCESE. A Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 10462076. A registered charity number 1170168. Registered Office: St Ambrose North Road Leigh Woods Bristol BS8 3PW