As we say goodbye to the New Year, and look toward Lent, the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Richard Chartres asks us all to unite behind a theme of solidarity and action. We should give thanks that in this country, we are able to freely put our faith in God without the threat of persecution.
For Lent, Bishop Richard asks us collectively to respond and support persecuted Christians in the Middle East who are being persecuted because of their faith. This year, the Lent Appeal will be supporting two charities who are focusing on addressing these issues in Iraq and Syria, (two of the worst areas of persecution in the world for Christians). These two charities are:
- Open Doors UK
- Aid to the Church in Need
By now, your parish incumbent will have received your Lent pack with all the materials needed for your parish to join with other parishes across the diocese to raise vital funds. We would like to raise at least £35,000 for this important cause and with your help, this is an achievable target. So when talking to your congregation, would they consider giving just one hour of their salary to support persecuted Christians in their hour of need in the Middle East?
“This year’s Lent Appeal springs from the Diocesan Synod motion on the plight of persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria, so it comes with the backing of the Synod as well as the bishop. It presents us the opportunity to do something collectively for our brothers and sisters in need.”
The Revd Preb Alan Moses, Area Dean of Westminster
I appreciate that the level of giving will differ amongst parish’s congregation but I thought it would be useful to share what donations could be spent on;
- £25 could buy an Easter parcel for refugee children in Iraq, containing clothes, sweets, colouring pencils and pads and a devotional item.
- £71 could keep a family in Syria or Iraq alive for a month, providing emergency supplies including food parcels.
- £528 could provide a trauma counselling workshop in Syria for 15 people who have been forced to flee their home due to the brutality of conflict and persecution.
- £2,000 could help towards supporting a Christian refugee family for one year towards food, clothing, fuel and other essentials.
- £4,711 could provide a business start-up loan to help displaced people in northern Iraq rebuild their lives.
There may be a number of individuals within a parish that would prefer to give, for many reasons, a larger donation directly to the diocese instead of giving through their parish. In this case, could you please inform your congregation to send cheques to London Diocese Lent Appeal, 36 Causton Street, London, SW1P 4AU.
For more information about the lent appeal, please do visit the Lent Appeal webpages or email the Diocesan Fundraising Manager Ben Alonso or telephone him on 020 7923 1264.
Article contributed by Ben Alonso