Labour of love to help India's poorest

February 26 2018

MEMBERS of a Bristol church are are flying to next month in the latest of their visits to help people in one of the country’s poorest regions.


MEMBERS of a Bristol church are are flying to next month in the latest of their visits to help people in one of the country’s poorest regions.

Brendan Bassett, minister of Victoria Park Baptist church, will lead the party office travelling to the city of Tenali in Andhra Pradesh.

But it’s fair to say the trip will probably mean most to church member Beverley Chapman, who has been to on aid trips to Tenali several times but will be making the journey for the first time without her husband Rod, who died suddenly in January last year.

The party will be visiting the many Christian churches around the city and also giving money and practical help to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Beverley explained that the Bristol party are paying their own fares and every penny they raise will be spent on local projects such as digging wells and providing help to people such as HIV sufferers and widows, who are sometime shunned in rural areas.

Under the guide of local priest Jean Paul Pinapati, they will visit schools, villages and an orphanage. She’s also looking forward to seeing what has been achieved with money she sent to Tenali in memory of Rod – she’s hoping it will have funded a well for a school with no access to water.

“It’s a very humbling experience to go there,” said Bev, who travelled to India on similar trips with Rod in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

“The people are so amazing: you realise how much you have got and what they haven’t got.”

Bev and Rod did not see their trips as a one-way charity exercise – they believed that they were given just as much in return by the Indian people.

In rural areas old habits die hard, and people with leprosy or HIV can be shunned as unlucky. That is why it is so important that people go to visit them, said Beverley. “Someone said to me, why don’t you just sent the money over there?” she said. 

“But for them to know that someone has taken the time to go there and be with them means as much as getting the cash.”


Comedy, curry

and music


The Voice is supporting an evening of music and comedy to help raise funds for the Dalit Women’s Mission in Tenali.

Called the Comedy, Curry and Music Shebang, it’s on Saturday March 17 at Redcatch community centre, Knowle.

There’s a first-rate line-up of comedians – Matthew Baylis, Matt Bragg, Bently Browning, Dan May and Ian MacDonald – with music from Hurry up Harry. (You can check Harry out at

All the money raised goes to the charity in India – not a penny will be spent on travel to India, or on the costs of putting on the entertainment, which has all been covered by generous South Bristol sponsors advertising on this page.

The evening has been organised by Ruth Drury, the Voice’s sales manager and daughter of Beverley Chapman.

Tickets are just £10 – which includes curry courtesy of Desi tapas bar – from Ruth on 07590  527664. There’s no alcohol on sale but you can bring your own.


• COMEDY & CURRY has been 

supported by:

Desi restaurant; ER&B printers, Broad Walk;  The Oxford, Oxford Street; with raffle prizes from The Victoria Park, Fox & West, Park Bakery, Bemmie, Wookey Hole, Rachel Heaton, Sausagenius, Caspar, Floriography, South Bristol Voice, We The Curious, Fit4Less.