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St Oswald’s Helps the Church in South India:
In 1997 we at St Oswald’s launched Project India, an appeal to build a Transit Home for the homeless in the Diocese of Tirunelveli, South India. A "Transit Home" is somewhere for the homeless to stay on a temporary basis. Indian church members are then asked to sponsor these people so that they can live in the community, thus making room for someone else in the Transit Home. We started with a coffee morning, then we had the charity shop for 2 weeks, then Maybole Concert Party put on a show for us. The 1998 Diocesan Lent Appeal was for our fund and generous donations were received from friends throughout Scotland. Bit by bit the money came in and we reached our £25,000 target.

On Thursday 6th April, members of the congregation and clergy team met the Revd Anand Asir, Provost of the Cathedral at Tirunelveli, and his wife, Jessie for lunch in Ayr. Some of the money had already been sent to India, but at this lunch the balance of the fund was presented to Revd Asir so that building work can continue. The home is to be known as "St Oswald’s Centre", and will be dedicated on 23rd May 2000. Canon Bertie Collie, whose vision inspired us to launch the project, plans to attend the dedication.

Revd Asir, in reply, thanked everyone for their efforts and told us a little about the work of the church in South India. The cathedral at Tirunelveli has 2,000 communicants every Sunday and they baptise about 20 people every month – Christian growth on a scale that we in Scotland find hard to imagine.

Since the project was launched in 1997, inflation has taken the total cost up to £29,000 to finally finish the centre. The cathedral congregation in Tirunelveli have pledged to raise £2,000 towards this sum, which means that £2,000 is still outstanding. Revd Asir appealed to us to raise a further £2,000. To everyone who has supported our fund raising efforts so far, a very big "Thank You" – let’s see if we can find that final £2,000.


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