Famine Situation in Karamoja

In the last few days we have been blessed by rain and we hope that this is the beginning of rainy season which will eventually bring food. However, at the moment the hunger situation on the ground is very unbearable.

The draught went on for far too long. The people were already becoming restless due to the prolonged draught and the unusual hot temperatures. The elders offered several sacrifices for the rains therefore the coming of rain is a big relief.

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Coping mechanism

The coming of the rain is a blessing and we hope and pray that it will continue. In the short term the rain is going to help with coping mechanism and in the long run we hope that it will solve the problem of hunger. In the short term there going to be plenty of wild vegetables and fruits which will go a long way in supplementing the food. With the rain also a lot of people will be hired as casual labourers in the farms of those who are better off. As casual labourers they will earn one meal per day. The sale of charcoal and firewood will also go up. Therefore those who are in good health should be able to cope with the hunger.


Unfortunately, the current household coping mechanisms are not sustainable. In the short term they will provide the most needed relief but in the long term it will keep majority of productive people in the cycle of food insecurity. Those who are hired as casual labourer in other people’s farms will not cultivate their own farms. Those who resort to sell firewood and charcoal too will have no time to cultivate their farms. Unfortunately the coming of rain also does come with high vulnerability to diseases. The possibilities of outbreak of disease like Cholera during rainy season are high. This is due to poor hygiene and poor nutrition. Therefore there is still need for external aid to help people bounce back to normal livelihoods.

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The beneficiaries of our food aid are people whose situation is dire.

They are mostly old men and women, HIV/AIDS positive people, malnourished people and extremely poor households. As much as the coming of rain is a relief, these people will still need support. All along these people have been forced to share the food they receive with their relatives. In fact, for some, we had to resort to giving them their ratio daily just to make sure that they have something to eat. Otherwise their relatives would eat all their food in just few days.

We are also helping some who are extremely malnourished to receive medical care and taking care of some orphans whose parents died due to dieses and hunger.

The last grant of £10,000 (47,107,158/= UGX) arrived in our account on 22nd of March 2016 and it is not yet used. This money will be able to help us in this current month. We would appreciate if we could continue up to July.

It is our hope that by July the situation would have started to change for the better. Ideally by that time the beans should be ready and by August the sorghum should be ready.

On behalf of the beneficiaries I say thanks to SPICMA and to all the donors. Your donation has helped to save lives. The situation is bad but with your help it has become bearable to some people who would be dead by now.

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Sylvester Odhiambo

Panyangara Catholic Parish


St. John's Garden

Overview Timeline Marian Devotion Donations
We have been working to restore our beautiful Riverside Garden for the enjoyment of the local community, visitors to Bath and all the natural inhabitants.

Aerial view of St Johns in 1943 - notice the children playing in the playground

The St. John's Garden had remained neglected and overgrown for many years before the initiative was taken to restore it. We started back in early 2017 and started by raising the funds necessary to pay for materials and to gathering volunteers to work in the garden during their free time.

2017 - Light in the Darkness



March 2017 - 25 Bags of Rubbish were removed and 10 Tonnes of Soil was re-distributed. We have done our best to re-use all that we find and, through a generous donation of reclaimed stones and acquiring second-hand Railings and Gates, we aspired to beautify what was once a dark and tragic space.
Supported by Canon David Ryan, Parish Priest, a team of volunteers was assembled to help with the heavy clean up required to cleanse the space and allow for safe access.
March - April 2017 - The area at the north side of the Garden began to take shape
August 2017 - Four tonnes of reclaimed bath stone was donated by a generous benefactor and the foundation work for the garden could begin.
September 2017 - Nothing happens without Prayer and our Parish Community and the Bath Deanery rallied around to begin to bless the Garden with hymns and prayers of peace for the world.
December 2017 - Tools down for the winter and the Garden was allowed to rest, meanwhile a Maquette of Our Lady was presented by Artist & Sculptor Ben Dearnley for Parish feedback.
2018 - Preparing for Our Lady of Bath

As the project unfolded and light was brought into the Garden, discussions of a Statue of Our Lady began to take shape, concurrently the Bishops Conference of England & Wales released an announcement that England will be Rededicated as Our Lady’s Dowry in 2020.

We hope and pray that our Statue of Our Lady of Bath does justice to the rich history of Statues of Our Lady that once adorned the land.

For more information regarding Our Lady’s Dowry and what it means please visit www.dowrytour.org.uk

January 2018 - An early start with Canon David getting stuck in to keep us on track for completion. Before any more work could be completed however our Yew Trees had to be trimmed to allow for more light and to reduce the burden on the Riverbank Wall.
February 2018 - View from the Eastside of the River Avon and the new tree line reveals the splendor of the Church and brings light into the Garden.
May 2018 - Flowers arrive for Our Lady and are placed in a new Healing In Bed, with members of the Parish donating Flowers and Shrubs to help bring the Garden to Life. We see the arrival of Bees and Butterflies!
June 2018 - Thanks to support from our neighbour Hein, we are able to collect our new Reclaimed Railings from Wales. Our Railing Team forms to help restore 16 Railings and replace our existing wire fencing. The team spend time sanding down the Railings and then paint them to bring traditional Victorian grace to the Garden. The Youth Group have their first Bonfire & Sing-a-long of the Year.

7th July 2018 - Our Stone arrives and a huge team effort sees it arrive safely with Canon Michael English present to greet the team with prayer and thanksgiving. Ben Dearnley our resident Sculptor begins to form and learn about the stone.



St. John's Garden update event

St John's Riverside Garden - What's happening?

St John's Hall, 7.30 p.m. Tuesday 7th August

Join for an informal evening light refreshments

The St. John's Garden – between the ramp and the river – had remained neglected and overgrown for many years before the initiative was taken to restore it. A group of young adults in the parish started back in early 2017 by raising the funds to pay for materials and to gathering volunteers.

Come and find out more...

  • What's happening?
  • Why?
  • Whose doing it?
  • Diocesan & Parish Connections?
  • How is the project progressing?
  • Meet Ben Dearnley, the sculptor and others involved Volunteers across the Community & Parish
  • Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry & Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

St. John's Garden Donations

Overview Timeline Marian Devotion Donations

For any Donations please contact the Parish Office. There are also envelopes at the back of the Church which once completed can be posted into the Parish Office.

Items we need to complete the Garden:

Riverside Railings Railing
Posts x 5 Concrete
Post Mix x 5
Hammerite Paint x 1
Hardcore & Sand - 7 Tonnes of Each
Cathedral Size Flagstones - 75 - 100 square yards
Traditional Bath Coping Stones
White Cement - 5 Bags
Sand/Grit - 2 Tonnes
Secured Benches
Outdoor Candle Holder
Donation Box & Lock
Visitor Signage


Marian Devotion

Overview Timeline Marian Devotion Donations

At St Johns we are recognised for having a rich heritage in Marian devotion. We honour Our Lady to draw nearer to her Son, Jesus.

Rosary Before Mass - held in the Lady Chapel before each Daily and Weekend Mass, all are welcome to join in a shared Rosary in preparation of the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

Our Lady of Bath & Our Lady’s Dowry - the most recent addition to St Johns is the Statue of Our Lady of Bath in the Garden. This auspicious gift has come at a time when England is being Rededicated as Our Lady’s Dowry. Please visit www.dowrytour.org.uk to learn more.

Consecration to The Immaculate Heart of Mary - In allowing Mary to mother us by consecrating ourselves, our families, our projects and our parishes, we give ourselves to Christ in a powerful way, in service and in love. Email the team to learn more at marysimmaculateheart@gmail.com.

Hail Full of Grace - with so much mis-understanding and gaps in formation today this paper by one of the members of the Young Adult Group at St Johns outlines clearly and articulately Our Lady’s place in salvation history and how the Church Fathers came to share their understanding of Our Lady with the world. Read more.

Adoration Chapel - Our Lady of Bala - Fatima, Czelstohowa & Guadalupe - paying a visit to our Adoration Chapel reveals particular locations around the world where our Parish Community has a connection with Our Lady - Portugal, Poland & Mexico.

Lady Chapel - The altar, brought from an earlier church in Bath with a highly decorated reredos, has a frontal illustrating the presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman is reputed to have celebrated Mass in this chapel whilst visiting Bath.


St. John's Garden Timeline

Overview Timeline Marian Devotion Donations


An excellent start to our Live Carving in the Garden as the stone began to take shape and the first of our railings were installed. Many visitors have been asking Ben about the activity and he has encouraged them to visit St John's to learn more about the community.

We welcome sponsorship for the installation of the railings as we strive to secure and beautify our garden space. Please use the envelopes at the back of Church or contact the Parish Office.

You can see some photos of his progress and other work in the garden here.


Photos for the garden preparation are now available here.

On Saturday 7th July, the stone arrived and is now in place ready to be sculpted. You can the photos of the delivery here


More plants have been planted in the St. John's garden and our reclaimed railings have arrived ready for restoration. You can see some photos of the progress here.


Plants have been planted in the St. John's garden and our reclaimed railings have arrived ready for restoration. You can see some photos of the progress here


The Cornerstone Team would like to thank all our sponsors and runners from the Bath Half Marathon who have helped raise nearly £2,000 over the last two years. Your contributions have supplied the materials required to develop our Garden space for the local community and visitors. Please see the photos and updates on the Posters at the back of the Church.

This is a volunteer based community project and All Are Welcome to help at the weekend in the clean up and building work. Please contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07713 949859 to learn more and get involved!

Thank you for all your prayers which are making the change happen. You can download the April update here and the May update here.


We start 2018 with a view to begin the next phase of our River Avon Garden transformation.

If you’re interested in volunteering this spring with simple flower and shrubbery garden work or more intensive building activities please contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07713 949859.

Here is a brief recap of what happened in 2017...

St Johns River Avon Garden - Feb - Sept 2017b from tom on Vimeo.