Christmas letter 2023

Dear Friends & Supporters

Its Christmas once again, the time of the year when we remember the birth of Jesus as he left His heavenly throne to bring peace and joy to all mankind. Sadly, as we look around the world, and here in the UK, we see that His message of loving your neighbours has not been received or accepted by so many people and nations. The truth is, that the greatest problem in this hurting world is that of unbelief in the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Just imagine, if we loved our neighbours and treated everyone the same, no jealousy, greed, or unforgiveness. No looking down on the less fortunate. Jesus only ever looked down on people with compassion. He looked down on Jerusalem and wept, he looked down from the cross and said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” He looked down on the women caught in adultery and said, “your sins are forgiven, sin no more.”  In Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

You have helped us with your practical support and prayers, and it is making a huge difference around the world. Let us continue to remember and emulate His compassion this Christmas, and into 2024.

Do not be afraid to share your faith, your compassion, and in doing this you will be planting the seeds of His love. This world needs “Good News” and the best news of all is that he came to save this hurting world.

Thank you for your prayers, your aid, your shoe boxes, your financial support, your encouragement, and your faith in us.

On behalf of the people we serve.

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year

Much love and blessings 


Rev. Bernard Cocker

CEO and Founder


Happy New Year


Happy New Year from us all at International Aid Trust.

May God refresh you and guide you as we begin 2022 












Virtual shoeboxes

Thank you very much to everyone who has donated for a ‘Virtual Shoebox’!

This video shows the first of these gifts, funded by donations from supporters in the UK and packed by the team in Ukraine, being given out at a Christmas service at Soborna (Unity) Church.

If you’d like to send a virtual shoebox yourself, you can find out more here: Virtual Shoeboxes – International Aid Trust











The Real Meaning of Christmas – Real Lasting Peace


From the Founders Desk

Luke 2:8-12  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

After the birth of Jesus, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds. At that time shepherds were looked down upon and considered unclean, they were not even accepted as witnesses in a court of law. Therefore, it’s important to note that the news of Jesus’ birth was given first to the lowliest of people. Please see the importance of this statement: The lowly guardians of the sacrificial lambs were the first ones to hear of the birth of Christ is a wonderful truth, but there is a more important point to be made here. These shepherds were a bit special. They were the keepers of the sacrificial lambs. The lambs that were reared each year for the sole purpose of being sacrificed to God in the temple in Jerusalem for the forgiveness of sins. (This is the reason that the lambs were kept in the fields close by) They had to be male lambs and without blemish, it is important to know this because Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God, was born to give his life as a once and for all sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world for ever – for everyone who believed.

The Angels Understood the True Meaning of Christmas, with the announcement of the birth, the angels burst into song, and the heavens opened to reveal their joy. The birth of Christ was long awaited, heaven was visible from the earth, and angels proclaimed the most important news in history, and they gave it the poor first, not the theologians in Jerusalem, but to the shepherds just “outside” the city walls… So, the message then, and still is today, that Jesus came for the lowest, the poor and lost, those just “outside” our accepted society.

Luke 2:13-14 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
So, who are these on whom His peace and favour rests? Some take this out of context as a blanket statement of peace on earth. But true peace only comes to those who believe in Christ and believe in the sacrifice he made for them. It’s not saying that the entire world could not experience peace. They can, but only when they accept God’s saving grace and favour through the shed blood of Christ.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Only by having a relationship with Christ can we find that perfect peace, and then we know that whatever happens, whatever we go though through, and whatever is happening in this hurting world, we will spend eternity with our creator and Saviour.

For the last thirty years, with your help we have shared, and continue to share this Good News changing lives forever because you care.

May you experience and share God’s peace over this season and in 2022.

Love and blessings Bernard


Rev Bernard Cocker

CEO & Founder










Advent Reflection 2021

Welcome to the International Aid Trust Advent Reflection for 2021.

In all the busyness as we approach Christmas, we hope you’ll join us is taking time out to reflect on the first Christmas.

There’s also a Bethlehem scene to create and areas of our work around the world to pray for.

Some days there is a Bible verse to help us think about the journeys taken to Bethlehem that first Christmas.

Some days there are areas of our ministry to give thanks and pray for.

We hope and pray that it will help you take some time out from the busyness to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas.

Click here to download the activity pack as shown below  

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Christmas opening hours

We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and especially thank you for your support over the last few weeks/months whilst we moved premises.

Our Christmas opening hours are as follows.

The office will close on Tuesday 22nd December and re-open on Monday 4th January.  Please note the telephone remains as 01772 611000

The warehouse is now closed until the New Year.  The telephone number has remained the same 01772 619888

Croft Mill furniture store at Chorley will close on closed  Tuesday 22nd December and re-open on Monday 4th January.

Anglesey will close on Tuesday 22nd December  and will remain closed until we are advised by the Welsh government.

Chorley, Market street will close on Wednesday 23rd December and re-open on Tuesday 5th January 

All our  other shops will close on Wednesday 23rd December and re-open on Monday  4th January 


Shoebox Appeal

When you’re struggling to get enough to eat or to keep warm, a present just for you is beyond your wildest dreams and yet for so many around the world this is a fact of life for young and old alike. 

When you send a shoe box you are sending more than just a box full of goodies, you are sending a message of hope and love.  Someone cares and that makes a whole lot of difference, which is why we deliver shoe boxes throughout the year.

Take your box to our warehouse in Longton, one of our  charity shops, or phone head office on 01772 611000 to discuss collection possibilities

International Aid Trust New Hope School, India.
Poor children receiving gfts of school books for the new term.

Shoebox booklet & poster

Shoebox Leaflet

boxes all ready and waiting to go!

Christmas Message from our CEO

Dear Friends and Supporters of International Aid Trust,

Please accept these few words of thanks for your continued support during 2017. This last year (our 26th) has been both challenging and very rewarding.  Despite some testing situations, with God’s help we have been able to further expand in some areas with more church plants and practical help too.  Over 400 tons of high quality aid with a value of close on £5 million have been gathered, sorted, packed and distributed to some of the poorest people of this hurting world.  Of course, our work begins here at home in the UK where we have our own needy, but worldwide we are helping hospitals, children’s homes, the homeless, the disabled, rehabilitation centres, and the elderly and vulnerable.  In Africa, India, Eastern Europe, South America and Sri Lanka lives are being saved, changed and turned around for the better, many thousands of the world’s poorest are receiving the gospel with genuine hope for a better future – because you care.

Over eighty percent of the income that makes all this possible comes through the work done by our shops that also serve the local communities in such a worthwhile way.  Your generosity and kindness never ceases to amaze, encourage and inspire us.

We must not forget all our other vital links in the chain such as, warehouse, transport, local co-ordinators, churches, fundraisers, office staff and volunteers, all coming together to make such a wonderful team – and there is room for more willing volunteers in these areas. Never have we been more positive regarding the future of IAT.  There is a very positive spirit moving through the charity as we seek to meet ever new challenges during the year ahead in this needy and hurting world.

May I, on behalf of all the trustees, staff and those we seek to serve, wish you a Happy, Peaceful and Blessed Christmas. As we look forward to 2018 may we remember The One who taught us the real meaning of loving our neighbours as ourselves. That’s why He came.

Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

God Bless you all for your loyalty and commitment.

Rev  Bernard Cocker

CEO & Founder

Loading’s verse of the day…