The Church of Bangladesh,
The Revd. Biliam Sardar

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Church of Bangladesh

Our Charity in focus for January and February is a particularly personal one for me as I will be asking you to support a dear friend of mine The Reverend Biliam Sarder.  Biliam is a parish Priest in the Church of Bangladesh, his parish is located in a rural region which is dominated by small  farms, mountainous countryside and lots of rivers and small lakes.  The Church of Bangladesh first came into being when an independent Bangladesh was formed in 1971.  The Church servers a minority community of Christians (there are between 350,000 - 500,000) in a predominantly Muslim country.  

 In 1999 the Church Missionary Society, which was founded in 1799, celebrated its bicentenary.  Part of the celebration focused on the legacy of their missionary work in different countries around the world.  Churches were invited to send a selected member of their church to the Uk in acknowledgment of the link between the CMS and the churches that they had either helped to  establish (mainly in the Victorian era), or supported in other ways.  

At that time I was a Team Vicar working at St Christopher's Ramsgate in The Diocese of Canterbury. St Christophers was selected as a host church and for six months we welcomed four fellow Christians.  Sister Makarika from the Coptic Church of Egypt. Fr Vincent Dymitriov from the Russian Orthodox Church, Kim Sun a female Ordinand from South Korea and The Reverend Biliam Sarder, a then Deacon from the Church of Bangladesh.  Over six months they helped across the parish, visiting, leading services, and youth work, helping with funerals and baptisms and many other areas of parish life.  They were billeted with 4 members of the congregation, who were paid board and keep.  We also arranged some social excursions to well known tourist attractions in the South East such as Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Chartwell.  

It was lovely to have them with us for what proved to be a mutually enriching experience.  We all particularly warmed to Biliam as this was the first time he had left rural Bangladesh.  Everyday brought new experiences for him.  This was before the mainstream use of the internet, so his knowledge of other countries was very limited.  He often said as he walked around the parish how much English people love their gardens and pets!  

Biliam was a wonderful companion and over the years he and his family have become dear friends to me and many others. I am pleased to say that now a good number in our parish are aware of Biliam and the work he does in his parish and over the years people have been so generous in supporting the various appeals I have made for him. For example, just recently I was able to send him £300 which allowed him to buy 100 Bibles for his Sunday School children. . 

Support like this makes such a difference to him and the mainly poor people amongst whom he lives and ministers.  

One of the things I love about supporting Biliam is that any money raised always goes directly to him with no third party distractions.  What is given goes completely to him.  Some of the money he has spent on helping his daughter and son through their education, some of it is spent on his parishioners, particularly when they are sick, (there is no National Healthcare in Bangladesh), unemployed, or their houses get flooded, (Bangladesh is prone to this).  Sometimes the money is used to expand his parish work, church buildings, books, musical instruments, clothing.  £300 goes a very long way out there and every penny matters.  

Just recently Biliam suffered a heart attack and the last tranche of money we sent out helped pay for his treatment and recovery.  There is such a vulnerability to the Christian community in Bangladesh and Biliam has not been without his threats and his people persecution.  I would be so grateful if we could rally together as a ‘parish’ and support this wonderful man and the work he is doing in the Lord's service.  Gift envelopes will be available in the church if you are able to donate, or you can put your donation through the letterbox at the Rectory of the parish Office. (cash is preferable as it allows me to easily send a moneygram) 

Either way, thank you very much. 


Charities in Focus 2022

Here are the nominated charities for 2022.

Month Charity
Jan - Feb The Church of Bangladesh
March Zimbabwe a National Emergency (ZANE)
April  - May Christian Aid
(May - June The Parish Fete)
July - August Away From It All (AFIA)
September The Friends of St. Giles
October Poverty and Hope
November CRISIS
December The Bromley Homeless Shelter

About Charity in Focus

In matters of faith and religion talk can be easy.  The bible teaches us that if we cannot love the brother or sister who we can see how can we love God who we cannot.

At St. Giles we seek to put love into action by supporting a range of charities and good causes.  

There is obviously a tremendous amount of need in our own country and across the world with many charities seeking our support. During the course of the year a number of designated charities are supported by our community.  Funds are raised in various ways including Coffee Mornings, Cake Sales, donations and sponsored events. 

There are specific charities which are supported each year on a regular basis,  the remaining months are available for parishioners to choose a charity whose aims and objectives are close to their heart.  

If you would like any information about the Charity in Focus scheme, do please get in touch with us.

Eddie Roberts, 01689 851267


Charity Film Nights:
A Taste of Honey (1961)

Thursday 27th January  7:15 fot 7:30
St. Giles Centre

A Taste of Honey is a 1961 British film adaptation of the 1958 play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney. Delaney wrote the screenplay with director Tony Richardson, who had directed the play on the stage. It is an exemplar of a gritty genre of British film that has come to be called kitchen sink realism. 

The Film stars Rita Tushingham, Murray Melvin, Dora Bryan and Antony Gibbs. The film won four BAFTA awards: Delaney and Richardson won Best British Screenplay, and the film Best British Film. Bryan won Best Actress and Tushingham was named Most Promising Newcomer.

Charity in Focus 2021

Month Charity
Jan / Feb ZANE - Zimbabwe A National Emergency
March Hearing Dogs for the Deaf
April / May Christian Aid
(May / June The Parish Fete)
July / August The Primrose Centre
September Friends of St. Giles
October Poverty and Hope
November CRISIS
December Friends of the PRUH.
Eddie Roberts