Each Sunday as part of their worship, guests have the opportunity to contribute to our offering fund, which is divided among various projects.
We usually ensure that some funds are donated to a local charity; usually this is Les Restos du Coeur. The local branch of this national French initiative provides food parcels and meals to the poorest and most needy people in the community. We have also regularly supported French churches and charities including Liberté en Christ, the French branch of Freedom in Christ which is led by Tim Baynes Clarke, a former manager of LPO and his wife Monique.
According to need, we regularly provide grants for people on low incomes to have a holiday at LPO. The grant pays 50% of the holiday cost and a sponsoring church or individual pays the other 50%. The scheme has benefited unemployed people, missionaries and those on benefits, amongst others. See here for more details.
We also support some of our animateurs: these are seasonal children's and youth workers, often venturing into ministry or training following their service with us. In 2019 we supported two couriers and our departing Programme Manager Bev Smith when she took up her new role as Head of Schools for YFC England.
Last but not least, from 2022 offerings will help to support the SHH Sponsorship Fund. From 2021 it has been illegal for us to recruit paid employees from the UK. The core of our amazing team of animateurs (couriers) have always come from the UK so in future these people will be part of a volunteer team. The aim of the fund is to support student-age Christians who are volunteering at Le Pas Opton so that limited financial resources are not an obstacle to their Christian service. The fund accepts donations at any time and welcomes those who are willing to give regularly by direct debit.
Offerings are given via the charity Essential Christian. This facilitates Gift Aid reclaims.