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First Church Partnership: Delivering Health and Hope

Published 24 May 2017

During His time on earth, Jesus consistently called on His disciples to care for the marginalised and those in greatest need. On Sunday 7th May, Polwarth Parish Church demonstrated their commitment to this teaching when they signed an agreement to become the first Church Partner of EMMS International. Reverend Jack Holt signed a three-year agreement on behalf of his congregation, committing to partner with EMMS International both prayerfully and financially.

Polwarth Parish Church will be directing their support towards the training of registered nurse midwives at the Ekwendeni College of Health Sciences in Malawi.  This work is absolutely vital. Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with 634 girls and women dying per 100,000 live births. Compare this to the UK, where the maternal mortality rate is 9 per 100,000 live births, and the imperative for improving maternal health in Malawi is clear. A significant factor contributing to this shocking mortality rate is the low availability of registered nurse midwives. 84% of the population live in remote areas far from access to healthcare. Malawi has just 4 nurse midwives per 10,000 people. Healthcare staff to support expectant mums are in desperately short supply. By partnering with EMMS International and supporting the training of more midwives, Polwarth Parish Church are making strides towards tackling infant and maternal mortality in one of the poorest countries in the world.

IMG_4381.JPGTo commemorate the occasion, a special church service was held and EMMS International Church Relationship Manager Rev James Petticrew preached and spoke about 'loving our neighbours' both near and far. Polwarth's minister Rev Jack Holt reinforced this message when he spoke about the church's commitment to mission both in Edinburgh and on the other side of the world.

EMMS International CEO James Wells was also at the event and commented:

“I am delighted that our first formal church partnership is with Polwarth Parish Church, a congregation with which I am connected on a personal level.  It’s great to be part of the church’s wider mission work, and I’m excited about the opportunities that the partnership will allow, through prayer, giving and hopefully visiting some of the life-saving and life transforming work of EMMS International. 

This partnership is about bringing about health and hope for thousands of people who would otherwise face a very different future.

This partnership is about bringing about health and hope for thousands of people who would otherwise face a very different future.  It’s an act of love and justice that will enable some of the poorest and most marginalised people to improve their own health and that of their families, and to strengthen local health services in the long-term.  We very much look forward to getting to know the congregation better over the next few years.”

If you would like more information about becoming an EMMS International Church Partner, please contact our Church Relationship Manager James Petticrew at james.petticrew@emms.org or 0131 313 3828