My ABM Story – Recycling Stamps for Mission

Jun 29, 2022

“It’s just so interesting. I get excited when a new bag of stamps is dropped off, as I never know what will be in it. I’ve learnt quite a lot doing this!” says Pauline Croft who assists her son, Tim Croft, with sorting, trimming, and packing stamps to sell as a fundraiser for ABM.

With Pauline’s husband, the late Bob Croft, they took on this role from good family friends, John and Margaret Inskter, when John died. Tim Croft stepped into his dad’s shoes when Bob died. Tim and Pauline now carry on this important ministry in the Adelaide Diocese, often spending quiet afternoons sorting stamps into different categories and trimming them ready to be packed into small boxes for sale.

“There are some beautiful stamps and I look forward to seeing where they come from. It keeps me occupied and I don’t know how Tim would cope if I didn’t help out!” says Pauline.

For Tim, a life-long stamp collector like his father, it’s about the hunt for treasures: “The most interesting stamp we’ve seen was a $20 stamp with Uluru on it. Round post marks are much sought-after, and some people even collect whole envelopes and postcards. It may seem strange, but sometimes the more recently issued stamps are the more valuable ones as they are getting rarer. [Stamp collecting] is a great way to reduce what goes into the bin. And it’s wonderful to know that it all helps support the work of ABM”.

When stamps are in an album, Tim also noted how important it was to keep stamps in the album, even if the album is damaged and old. Sometimes this can add to the value of the collection.

Once Tim and Pauline have sorted, trimmed, and packed the stamps, Tim attends stamps clubs in Adelaide where other stamp collectors buy the items. Whole stamp albums and some of the more valuable stamps are put up for auction. Tim has a wide network. He knows what stamps are of interest to certain collectors and will often approach them directly with a particular stamp collection.

Tim and Pauline say that if you are removing the stamp/s from the envelope, it’s important to leave attached at least 1cm of the envelope on each side, if possible. And please keep the postmark with it, especially if it’s a round postmark.

Tim and Pauline prefer to trim the stamps themselves as sometimes a stamp and postmark combination is more valuable than a stamp on its own.

If you’re in Adelaide, Tim says they always welcome small boxes, especially Christmas Card boxes, containing the stamp donations. These boxes are the perfect size and dimension for packing stamps into ready for sale.

ABM is grateful to the wonderful teams of people across Australia who collect, sort, trim, and sell stamps for mission.

Generally, your parish is the first collection point or your Diocesan Office. Please contact if you would like to you know where to take your stamps.

You can also consult our website at, where you can also donate our stamp guide.

Happy stamp recycling!