AN Earby minister will be heading to South America in March leading a team of five on a church mission.
The Rev. Derek Oldham, who preaches at St Peter’s Methodist Church, Earby, and at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Barnoldswick, will lead the team on the trip to Uruguay.
Mr Oldham sets off with the team, including Wendy Fryer from Colne and three others from Blackburn and Preston, on Sunday, March 10th when the group flies from Manchester, via Heathrow and Sao Paulo, to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo for an 11-day stay.
While out in Uruguay, the group will be carrying out church mission work to see how social projects are managed out there. Similar trips in the past have taken in Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Oldham said: “I have been asked to lead one of three trips. We’re going to look how they manage social projects.
“Over in Uruguay, they tend to see an area of social need and what may become of it may be a church way of life. It might not be the building of a church but creation of a congregation. Where as here, we already have a church and we look at ways we can use it.
“In Montevideo, there is also something called the Goodwill Institute that looks after physically and mentally disabled young people.
“They are very much reliant on other sources of finance as there isn’t the same government support.
“Our church helps fund it with the United Methodist Church of America.
“A two day conference has also been organised. I only found out at the weekend that our group of five are the keynote speakers which was a bit of a surprise!”
But before quintet head off, Mr Oldham, as group leader, has a task of raising £1,500.
He is hoping to raise most of it when he completes a 50-mile sponsored walk from Blackpool Tower to Barnoldswick within 24 hours on the weekend of Saturday, February 8th and Sunday, February 9th, arriving back at St Andrew’s for a coffee morning.
Barnoldswick Brass Band are also set to play at a fundraising concert at St Andrew’s on Saturday, February 23rd.
Mr Oldham added: “The walk will be a challenge but I have got a support team so hopefully they will have the plasters, Mars bars and encouraging words for me when I need them.”
To get in contact with Mr Oldham to donate, send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.