From a sending a cow to Uganda to staging an opera in a church


BACK in 1992 dairy farmer and member of All Saints Marcham, Neil Rowe walked Grace the cow into church one Sunday, with a suitcase and a map.

He challenged the congregation to raise £2,500 as a Lent project to send Grace to Uganda with the newly formed Send a Cow. In those days, the charity was literally sending cows to Uganda to lift families out of poverty and members of Marcham’s tiny village church probably all thought he was crazy! They must have wondered how they could raise that sum while having enough to pay the Parish Share.

But two weeks later, £2,500 was raised and Grace left for Uganda. Years later she was tracked down and she had provided milk and many calves which in turn provided many families with a way out of poverty.

This led to the formation of Marcham’s Mission Partner’s team which worked with Send a Cow among other charities, including one in Moldova and one in Mozambique. Most recently the church has worked with Didcot’s Balsam Family Project.

The Mission Partners team have put on many events including an opera in a cowshed

Kate Jackson, a member of Mission Partners team who is organising the concert with Neil Rowe, founding member of the Mission Partners Team at Marcham.

, a talents for talents challenge that grew £4,000 out of £400 and relationships have been built with four charities which have also included many trips to Moldolva, Mozambique & Ethiopia.

The fundraising projects have seen relationships grow with the charities, businesses and volunteers. Neil says: “Each time we set ourselves a challenge to do something difficult or big and thought we had taken a step too far, God has intervened and blessed our slog.”

On Friday 22nd June at 7.30pm Marcham Mission Partners are planning their fifth event with Opera Anywhere, a company founded in 2000 to provide accessible entertainment for all ages. This time they are putting on Gilbert & Sullivans’ Pirates of Penzance, in Marcham Church to raise funds for the Balsam Family project. Tickets here or by calling 0333 666 3366.