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/ 15 March 2016

Diocesan staff raise £100 for Lent Appeal with soup kitchen

Aid to the Church in Need

Yesterday, staff from the London Diocesan Fund (LDF) raised £100 with a soup kitchen, allowing staff to gather in fellowship and learn more about a charity chosen by the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal. The staff had a simple lunch and heard stories from Aid to the Church in Need.

Patricia Hatton, Head of Fundraising for the charity, informed staff about harrowing stories they have learnt from visits to Iraq and Syria, while Christians are being persecuted by Daesh (known as Islamic State). One such story is of a family on a bus who had their belongings taken from them, and then just before leaving they had their three-year-old daughter taken, for them never to see her again. Other stories tell of the charity helping children and young people to have fun and replace clothes they have grown out of, giving the parents hope.

If churches across the Diocese of London, have not yet contributed to the Lent Appeal, then this is one simple method which churches can raise essential funds to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East. With less than two weeks to go until Easter, there is still time to organise a fundraising meal or a set of Holy Week suppers. Gathering friends or congregations together for a Lent meal (in return for a donation), is an excellent way to support these charities in the weeks before Easter. As Ms Hatton said in her presentation:

“Please talk about persecuted Christians so they are not forgotten. Their message to us is:  ‘Please pray for us. Please tell our stories. Please save us.’ Your practical action through fundraising and acts of generosity enables Aid to the Church in Need to provide aid for homeless and displaced Christians in Syria and Iraq who urgently need our prayers and compassion.”

After the lunchtime presentation, Elizabeth Harrison on behalf of the LDF social committee, said:

“Organising the Lent Lunch was an easy way to raise funds and increase awareness of this important cause. We can so easily take for granted our freedom to worship although that same freedom comes at such a cost to our Christian family in Iraq and Syria. I’d encourage anyone considering it, to run this sort of event for their colleagues or at their church. It’s great to eat together and share fellowship with one another in this thought provoking way.”

You can view the presentation given by Patricia Hatton to diocesan staff, which highlights more touching stories that are happening on the ground in Iraq and Syria. It is hoped that funds raised from the Lent Appeal will help Aid to the Church in Need and a second charity Open Doors. More information can be found online and any further questions on how to give to the Diocese Lent Appeal can be found by emailing Sarah Webster or by calling 020 7932 1266.

Photo: A soup kitchen run by Aid to the Church in Need, in Iraq. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need.

About Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall was the diocesan Communications Assistant, before going on to become a Franciscan Friar with the Society of St Francis. Matthew seeks to protect the environment. He adores hiking and being outdoor in the country or by the sea in nearly all weather. He dreams of hiking to Rome and Jerusalem.

Read more from Matthew Hall

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