The Welfare Fund is based on two Biblical principles. The first is that we have responsibilities towards each other, especially the privilege and duty of caring for our members least able to care for themselves:
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:17).
The second principle is that, however important material support is, it should assist and not overshadow or impair the more important work of spiritual growth:
It would not be right to neglect the word of God in order to wait upon tables. (Acts 6:2 NIV).
Wherever possible we work through local ecclesias, in consultation with the link man for the area concerned, so that help is given to those who are known by their ecclesias to be unable to care for themselves. Aid is usually given on an emergency rather than an ongoing basis. Food and medical aid make up around 70% of the annual expenditure; the remainder goes to relieve a host of other emergencies caused by such things as fire, theft, flood and the inhumanity of man to man. Additionally a growing number of refugees and displaced persons are being baptised and need more aid than the major aid agencies can provide. Annual expenditure in the Welfare Fund is about £140,000, for which thanks are due to the brotherhood.
For more information about welfare matters, contact the Welfare Secretary, Marc Bilton.