Outreach Mandela Day

breakfast fiesta

The congregation of St Columba’s and members of the Parkview community have once again rallied around to deliver to the hungry in our area.

Mandela Day, the 18th July, proved to be the ideal rallying point to bring us together to serve a special breakfast for those in need. The scope went beyond  the regular attendees of the soup kitchen to encompass  those in our parks and intersections who are sorely in need of a hearty meal on a daily basis.

The idea was to take an hour out of our day to prepare sandwiches and other treats and then deliver these to the church office for distribution. There was a massive outpouring of love, which resulted in a busy morning for the volunteers. Hats off to Melanie and the team, who filled 15 Woolies bags for the drivers to take on the road.

 The regular soup kitchen service continued, and 86 customers were on hand to enjoy homemade soup, boiled eggs, oranges and muffins. The food parcels consisted of delicious sandwiches, hot dogs and various fruits.

 Areas covered were the Braamfontein Spruit, Zoo Lake and the traffic islands in our area. Thank you so much to all who contributed to this endeavour. The need to address hunger has never been greater.

Winter Warmers goes ....


The weather in Johannesburg has been cold and wet, with violent thunderstorms at night. On May 19th, St. Columba’s Soup Kitchen and Crafts and Care Project provided a suite of winter warmers for the Soup Kitchen’s needy.

 The usual soup, boiled eggs, and bananas were well received, and then the queue of shivering folk could choose a polar fleece beanie and scarf, made by Sue Taylor, for themselves and also received a generous care pack with items for washing and grooming. 

The 75 recipients were very cheerful as they set out on their way. Thanks to John, Geoff, and Marianne for their help in organizing and setting up the event, and to Thabo and Spine in the kitchen for cooking up a vast vat of hearty vegetable soup, and to Charmaine and Sally for serving the food. Also, thanks to the generous donors of the soup, eggs, fruit, and care pack items.

Easter Egg Bonanza

Hats off to Angela Miller, her network of schools including St Katharine’s School and the Johannesburg Junior City Council. They collected no fewer than 7 200 eggs in support of the Outreach Easter Egg Bonanza project. This surpasses the 6 000 eggs collected last year.

The congregation weighed in with more than 900 eggs, which made it a grand total of 8 100 eggs for 1923.

The eggs were distributed to Guild Cottage, the Park Care Centre, the Bethany Home, the Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter, the Parkview Police Station, MES, the clients of the soup kitchen and to the congregation on Easter Sunday. The children were treated to an Easter Egg hunt, which was great fun.

Eggs were also distributed to charities supported by Angela and Richard and Jennifer Clowes.

Our thanks go to all who participated in the project.

Grocery boost for Guild Cottage

Jennifer Beard, who heads up the Women and Children portfolio on the Outreach team, has been liaising closely with the Guild Cottage management over the past few weeks to identify the most pressing needs.

The line item that attracted her attention was “food”, which is becoming increasingly expensive. Then came one of God’s little miracles. She raised the need with the wonderful people at Impala Fruit & Veg in Northcliff, while doing her regular shop. One thing led to another and Impala now supplies Guild Cottage with a weekly offering of fresh food and vegetables.

Canned goods are also most welcome. Donors can drop off tins, either in the office during the week, or at Church on Sundays to be picked up by the Guild Cottage minibus.

Parkview Community Blanket Drive

The 66 clients of the soup kitchen got a wonderful surprise this past Wednesday when blankets were handed out, along with their regular piping hot cups of soup, sandwiches, boiled eggs and bananas.

A total of 300 blankets have already been collected from the factory and these have been allocated to the Vrededorp campus of the Park Care Centre, to MES, who supplied the truck to fetch the blankets, to the soup kitchen and the church office.

Look out for Richard and Jennifer Clowes in the walkway before the service on Sunday. They will be collecting funds on behalf of the Morningside Rotary. All cash collected will be donated to our Community Drive.

The target remains 1 500 blankets, a milestone we hope to achieve with the support of our project partners, the Parkview Residents Association, St Francis and of course Rotary.

Let’s beat the chill

Community Blanket Drive 2023

The St Columba’s Outreach team partnered with St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, Rotary, and the Parkview Resident’s Association, last year, to collect 1 500 blankets. This was an incredible effort by all concerned. The key challenge, however, was the log jam in orders at the factory. This delayed the delivery of blankets until late May. The freezing nights were already a reality for those served by the soup kitchen and our other beneficiaries.

This year our appeal will be starting earlier to ensure that the first orders can be made in early April for distribution by the 1st May. Here is how the community concept works. Each of St Columba’s, St Francis, the PRA, and Rotary have their own designated beneficiaries. In St Columba’s case these would be clients of the soup kitchen, Bethany, Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter, Park Care Frail Care Centre, the MES NGO and the Tshepo Community Development Initiative.

In cases where surplus blankets have been collected these are shared between the organisers. Last year the organsing committee agreed to approach Gift of the Givers, to assist with the distribution of blankets to the flood victims in KZN. Rotary will negotiate a price of around R90 for a stout, yet soft grey blanket. All donations are made into the St Columba’s account. Finance then makes the payment to Rotary, who will order the blankets for the project.

Pre-owned blankets can also be dropped off at the church. Contact the church office for further details. Landline: 011 646 5420 Mail: admin@stcolumbas.org.za

Easter Egg Bonanza 2023

Target 6 000 eggs

Easter Sunday is a time of joy for Christians, and particularly for the children, who hunt Easter eggs in the garden and wolf down the chocolate treats at every opportunity.

There are, however, those who simply cannot afford Easter eggs and Outreach will therefore again approach our wonderful congregation and neighbourhood schools, to surpass the 6 000 egg bonanza that was achieved last year.

Angela Miller will again be heading up the project. She has a long history with the private schools in our area, and she also has links to the Johannesburg  Junior City Council. These sources, along with our congregation, have always been generous, ensuring that we spread our love to all our designated  beneficiaries.

Our beneficiaries for 2023 are:

Clients of the soup kitchen

Guild Cottage

Park Care Centre

Frida Hartley Women’s Shelter

Bethany Home for Abused Women and Children

MES (homeless shelters)

Plus 3 charities nominated by Angela.

Donated eggs can be dropped off at the church office ahead of the 9th April. Alternatively EFT donations to Outreach will also be most welcome.

St. Columba’s Presbyterian Church

Standard Bank Rosebank

Branch Code:  004305

Account: No:  001948776

Reference: Outreach

Angela also needs volunteers for deliveries. Please contact Geoff van Heerden if you are available.

Email: geoffvheerden@gmail.com

Mobile: 083 419  0114.

St Columba’s Outreach team and the Children and Youth Ministry are joining forces to put the spotlight on disability in our Community, with a secondary focus on the need to remove everyday plastic items from our environment.


We encourage members of the congregation, and the residents of Parkview , to collect plastic bottle tops and bread tags, which can then be dropped into the box provided on the verandah before the 09h00 service on Sundays.


The objective is threefold:

  • To collect sufficient bottle tops and tags in support of the Sweethearts Foundation, which trades bottle tops and tags to fund wheelchairs for those in need.
  • To sensitise our children  to the issue of disability.
  • To encourage recycling in the interests of  creating a “greener” planet


If you are aware of someone, who needs a basic pre-owned  wheelchair, or if you simply need more information, contact Outreach project coordinator Geoff van Heerden

Mail: geoffvheerden@gmail.com

Mobile: 083 419 0114,