Heartfelt thanks to the Canadian Friends of CRS

We are sorry to announce that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Canadian Friends of CRS recently dissolved as a group dedicated to supporting CRS.

We are very grateful for a decade of support by Sheila Johnston from Vancouver. After visiting Kolkata in 2010, she was inspired CRS’s work in education, the empowerment of women, and social justice issues.

She established the Canadian Friends of CRS to spread awareness about the needs of poor and marginalised people in India, and to raise funds for CRS.

The Canadian Friends channeled donations large and small from people across the country. The annual Penny Pot Tea, where supporters counted the small change they had collected through the year, was always a highlight.

Over the years they sent many thousands of Canadian dollars to CRS where 100 per cent of it was spent directly on projects.

The Canadian Friends also facilitated visits of the CRS Director and the Bishop from Kolkata to speak to local supporters; likewise individuals from Canada were privileged to visit CRS projects and see the impact of fundraising for themselves.

CRS would like to express thanks and gratitude to Sheila for her dedicated leadership; the other Directors – Sara, Keith, Roma and David – for their commitment over many years; and people across Canada who have given so generously.

Canadian Friends raise more money

Rig David, Director of CRS, together with Rt. Rev. Ashoke Biswas, the Bishop of Kolkata, who serves as the Chair of CRS, and Rev. Abir Adhikari, Presbyter of St Paul’s Cathedral and Vice Chair of CRS, were invite to visit Canada by Archbishop Melissa Skelton of the Diocese of New Westminster in British Columbia.

The visit in May 2018 was an opportunity for the visitors from Kolkata to meet many supporters in the greater Vancouver area, and also attend the Canadian Friends of CRS annual Penny Pot Tea.

Among the donations was a cheque from the Men’s Club at St Marks Church in Surrey, here being handed over by Bob Pederson to Bishop Biswas.

Warm welcome to Gumla

In February, CRS Director, Rig David, together with two members of the CRS Executive Committee, the Treasurer, Kevin Roberts, and Member, Probir Ghose, visited Jharkhand.

The multipurpose community centre in Gumla, funded by a donation from the UK Friends Legacy Fund and completed in 2014, is used for a variety of activities to benefit about 250 families in the area. They were met by nearly 150 children from the Swarwagin school and their teachers, who were so excited to receive visitors from so far away.

Rig says “It was wonderful to see the new building put to good use. It is made from concrete and has multiple rooms, as well as toilets – a vast improvement on the two-roomed hut made of bamboo and mud that was used before. The children clearly enjoyed playing in the safe surroundings around the centre.”


Major bequest received

We are very pleased to report that a substantial bequest has been left to the CRS under the will of Mrs Patricia Payne, who passed away on 15th July 2015. Pat and her husband John, shown in picture attending a wedding, lived in various cities in Pakistan and India over a 17 year period. During their posting in Calcutta, Pat worked as a teacher at the Cathedral School. They both retained an abiding love for the two countries and Pat kindly remembered CRS in her will. The UK Friends of CRS are managing the bequest. To date, an initial payment of £107,000 has been received with a further amount of around £40,000 expected when the estate has been fully wound up. The bequest is being treated by the Trustees as a capital sum to be invested in the long term and ensure the future viability of CRS. Read the full press release.