This year St Mary’s celebrated 150 years of our Church family meeting in the community of Upton – for just £150 we can sponsor a student training with IPASC in DRC.

We’re privileged to be able to support Church family members who work both close to home and far away in places like The Gambia, Portugal, Pakistan and Kenya as part of our World Church links.

One of our World Church Links was founded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by our dear friend and previous associate vicar here at St Mary’s, Pat Nickson. Institut Panafricain de Santé Communautaire (IPASC) was created in 1992 in the North-East of the DRC with the goal of improving the health and well-being of people of all cultures and faiths through a community determined approach. 

To reach the aim of improving health and well being, IPASC trains community health workers to diploma (4 years following 10 years schooling) or degree level (3 years following 12 years schooling) so that they, in turn, can work in their communities. There are also short courses for traditional (village) midwives, and refresher courses for health personnel.

The diploma courses are based at the Aru site of IPASC and the degree courses are taught at the Bunia site.

As a Church, we support Monique, a Congolese woman training in Aru with IPASC to become a midwife. In some areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1 health centre and 1 trained nurse provide for the primary health needs of 10,000 people. Monique’s committment to study and train will enable her to provide crucial healthcare to a country in dire need.



St Mary’s sponsored student, Monique

More than a mercy, this sponsorship is for me as a dream! Not only that, but it strengthens my faith and, I experience the truth of God’s word: ‘God in His holy house is a father to those who have no father. And He keeps the women safe whose husbands have died’ (Psalm 68:5). Many, many, many thanks to the sponsor. I believed the end of my study as dreamt for all the projects I planned for the future. But now, I see the future is bright. I don’t know up to where is the length of my thanks. Praised be the name of the Highest forever and forever!


As a final celebration and thanks for our 150 years, we’re sending money raised by our Christmas card to IPASC to pay for the training of more community midwives and other healthcare workers in DRC. It costs only £150 a year. We have spent the year giving thanks to our generous God for His blessings over the last century and a half and are delighted to have the opportunity to support others, like Monique, in their important work in North-Eastern DRC.

You’ll find below pictures from some other students supported a Church Small Group and individual members of the St Mary’s family. If you are interested in sponsoring a student to train with IPASC in DRC, please contact Gill Brown (Friends of IPASC Trust) by leaving a message with St Mary’s Church Office.

I dream of being able to minister health one day to help my community and especially people like myself with disabilities for their socio-economic integration. I have a hearing problem. I like studying the field of health to coach others who have problems and disabilities like me. “After my studies I’d like to help my family and my church to show people the love of God.”

Mandi Kungbangba Benoni, studying in Bunia

Really a mercy! As now I am hopeful that after my studies, I will initiate in the best of my ability, health awareness and education to involve the population in understanding that health is first about personal hygiene which needs to have clean water, good and protected latrines within families. Small initiatives for making clean water available within communities will be done, through community works by the villagers.

Bhanya Ayume, studying in Aru

I do not know how to express my gratitude for such a help. Otherwise, I could interrupt my studies for financial constraints.
Glory be to God for His love through the Trustees.

Michel, studying Aru

Matondo Heritier, studying in Bunia

Julienne Lambiyo, studying in Bunia