(Association for the Propagation of the Faith - Red Boxes)
Report for the year ended 31 December 2011
To get the technical bit out of the way, Missio is the registered charity that encompasses four former overseas missionary charities. Each continues to be run as a separate branch of Missio. The Red Boxes are issued by the Association for the Propagation of the Faith ('APF') and the proceeds are split between it (60%) and St Joseph's Missionary Society (the Mill Hill Fathers) (40%).
St Edmund's parish has about 125 boxes in issue, probably representing over one quarter of the homes in the parish. Of these 97 contributed in 2011 raising £2,358, an average of about £24 a box. On behalf of the charities, I am asked to thank all the boxholders.
More personally, I thank the 11 parishioners who act as promoters. They each have responsibility for liaising with each of the small (or not so small!) number of boxholders for whom they are responsible. We had a meeting during the year and the enthusiasm and dedication of the promoters was most encouraging to me as 'the new boy on the block'!
Some of the promoters expressed the importance for social reasons of the personal contact with their boxholders where other visitors may be few. Others wondered whether this was so important to younger and busier parishioners who might find it easier to contribute on a regular basis by standing order or direct debit. A monthly contribution of £2 would equal the amount in the average box.
Some parishioners already make regular contributions through banks, but I have not been advised by APF of the amount that these raised in the year. As the use of coinage diminishes (a forecast reduction of 61% between the beginning of the century and 2018), the habit of many people to put their small change into the red box each evening will mean that less and less is given in that way. Perhaps a move towards increased regular giving is the desirable future?
Whatever, the important thing is that we continue to support the overseas missions, both by our giving and by our prayers. Please contact me if you would like to have a red box or to make a regular donation directly to the APF.