Link with the Church Mission Society and Nairobi’s Informal Settlements

St. Mary’s has been supporting the Church Mission Society (CMS) for nearly 20 years. This was originally supporting mission partners, Colin & Anita Smith for their 14 years of mission work in Nairobi. Colin was working in Nairobi’s slums and Anita predominantly at All Saints Cathedral and with the ex-pat community.

Colin and Anita returned to continue their ministries in England in 2013, with Colin now Director of Mission Training at CMS headquarters in Oxford and Anita is vicar of a small church in Banbury. We continue to support Colin indirectly through our continued giving to CMS.

During the 14 years Colin & Anita were in Nairobi, St. Mary’s built up a close relationship with those Colin was working with in the informal settlements, particularly a small parish in the largest slum, Kibera, called St. Jerome. Whilst there, Colin set up and directed Centre for Urban Mission (CUM), which set up training and support for urban ministry, working to set up some formal training for pastors in the slums and also introducing the idea of holistic ministry, trying to improve the lives of those living in the slums, by economic empowerment, supporting HIV sufferers, setting up apprenticeship schemes for teenagers, and homework clubs, where children could have access each evening to school books and electric lighting and teaching support; education is highly valued and seen as the way to escape slum life, so the homework clubs have been a huge success.

Over the past few years Revd Captain Barrack Oluoch from CUM and Church Army Africa and Nancy Njagi, director CUM, have visited and preached at St. Mary’s. The Mackay family has been lucky enough to visit Nairobi three times and to see first-hand the tremendous work that CUM is carrying out, and also to be aware of the huge need that CUM is only scratching the surface of.

Since Colin & Anita left Nairobi, we at St. Mary’s have continued to support this absolutely vital ministry at CUM and we are the main financial supporter of CUM’s Samaritan Strategy. We are able to ensure that every single penny raised goes directly to CUM, through an English charity AMADET.

At St. Mary’s we run a monthly home-made stall, on the first Sunday of every month, (except for January and August) and for the last two years we have raised £1,500; this goes solely towards the homework clubs and the training of apprentices. Additionally, a monthly second-hand book stall raises more money to buy books for the homework clubs. We also run fund raisers from time to time, such as a harvest dinner, or a singsong. Do come along to the hall on the first Sunday morning of the month to see. We will be very glad to receive any home-made contributions, such as cakes, jams, marmalade, greetings cards, garden produce, knitted and embroidered crafts and don’t forget your wallets!


Need further information? Do ask Sarah Mackay or email her on

Update January 2019 from Sarah Mackay:

Dear Friends,

You will no doubt have seen the awful happenings this week in Nairobi; do please pray for our friends there, especially Nancy Njagi and the team at CUM (The Centre for Urban Mission), Carlile College and Church Army Africa.

The Director of CUM, Nancy, is sadly moving on after taking over from Colin Smith in 2013. We wish her well. I am absolutely delighted to let you know that a friend from CUM, Captain Simon Peter Waiti, is taking over her duties, and he will be the new programme director. Simon Peter has been working very closely with Nancy for several years and will be an excellent programme coordinator.

Nancy writes:-

Thank you for holding my hand and supporting the work at the Centre. My prayer and desire is that you will reciprocate the same to Capt. Simon Peter. 

Centre for Urban Mission has and continues to be an organization that seeks to transform the local Church as an Institution that can, should and has inturn transformed the lives of communities and individuals. My prayer is that this vision will be sustained.

The home-made stall is back in ten days time, on February 2nd . Do please come along and support us. As usual, for this one stall only, we are delighted to receive brand new, but unwanted Christmas presents. We will also need lots of home baking, marmalade and crafts for the stall.

The total raised in 2018, for homework clubs and apprenticeships in Nairobi’s slums, was £1,947. Revd Sally Dakin of AMADET wrote: “So many thanks to every single person who contributed to this Brilliant total! What an amazingly generous church you are!”  I agree! We have another £15 or so to add from the St Mary’s Church Family Christmas card – our highest ever total. Thank you so much.

With very best wishes for a happy and peaceful New Year,