We're off to build a church

PUBLISHED: 14:45 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:17 12 May 2010

The group prepare for their trip – Pic: 2643DW14

The group prepare for their trip - Pic: 2643DW14

MEMBERS of Royston Methodist Church will be flying to Nepal next week on a mission to build a church. Graham Blair and Paul Harris will be starting the six-week visit on Tuesday, with minister the Rev Ian Smart, who will join them for the first two weeks.

MEMBERS of Royston Methodist Church will be flying to Nepal next week on a mission to build a church.

Graham Blair and Paul Harris will be starting the six-week visit on Tuesday, with minister the Rev Ian Smart, who will join them for the first two weeks.

Mr Smart, who is now visiting the country for the second time, said: "I went out to Nepal last year and I am looking forward to seeing how things have moved on.

"It will be nice to see the families I met last year, and seeing how our visit changed things.

"Members of the church have taken a real interest in the project and have been following our progress."

Mr Smart spent time at the Glorious Ministry in ­Kathmandu last November working alongside Nepalese pastors, helping orphaned children and disadvantaged ­families.

Working at the Rasuwa Langtang Liring Orphanage, Mr Smart taught children English songs and stories and also visited the region's slums.

Asked if he would go back he replied: 'I don't know how I cannot go back'.

And now with the backing of the Methodist church, on Queen's Road, and the help of two of its members, he is.

Member of the church Graham Blair said: "Paul and I were both inspired by the presentation Ian gave about his first trip to Nepal.

"We both had the time and some of the skills to be able to do the work.

"It is nice to be able to get actively involved.

"I am looking forward to the experience of seeing how the Nepalese people live and their culture.

"It will be good to visit the orphanage and to see what work we need to do to ­support the people so that they are self sufficient.

"It is a journey I am looking forward to and it will ­continue when we come home as a distant support role."

The group will spend three days at the Rasuwa Langtang Liring Orphanage, visiting the people involved and getting an update on its progress.

They will then travel to Hetauda where they will be building a 200-person church from funds raised by the Methodist church.

Paul Harris, a steward at the church, said: "We will be ­getting our hands dirty helping to build the church.

"We will be living with some of the people in Nepal most of the time, eating their food, washing our clothes in the river, and taking part in their worship."

The new church is being built on an industrial estate in an area of very poor quality housing.

Mr Smart said: "Out of all the money that has come in to fund the orphanage and the building of the church, only one fund-raising event was held.

"All the rest came from members of the church and people supporting us - they have been very generous."

Progress reports will be sent back to England throughout the trip, and on their return the group will be giving talks about their work.

Layston First School in Buntingford has asked how it can have a more direct link with the orphanage.

Head teacher Jane Sherwood said: "The children have been excited about the project.

"They want to help other children who are not as well of as themselves.

"It will also help in our geography lessons.

"Year 4 held a bring and buy sale and raised between £60-70 for the church funds."

Mr Smart will be emailing the school during the trip and it is hoping to set up a phone link during a school assembly.

Mr Smart said: "The project has captured the imagination of the church.

"It has helped people to be involved in making a ­difference."

There will be a sending service at Royston Methodist Church on Sunday at 6.30pm.

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