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/ 11 February 2020

Get your children’s and youth groups involved in the 2020 Lent Appeal

ALMA Cyclone Kenneth devastation in Mozambique

For more than 20 years, the Diocese of London has partnered with the Anglican Church in Angola and Mozambique as part of the Angola London Mozambique Association (ALMA).

The four partner bishops in the ALMA Diocese (the Bishops of Lebombo, Nampula and Niassa in Mozambique, and the Bishop of Angola) are looked up to as community leaders. The sheer size of the areas that the Bishops must cover means that they have a mammoth task. At times, it is not just the Bishops’ physical presence and ministry that is required; they need to offer practical assistance, delivering vital supplies wherever they are needed.

Back in 2012, the Lent Appeal raised money towards the cost of buying new trucks so that any necessary supplies – water, charcoal, building materials etc – could be delivered by the Bishop at the same time as he responded in person to any emergency (such as the flooding in Mozambique caused by Cyclone Idai in March last year). These vehicles are now more than six years old and coming to the end of their life span. Our Lent Appeal for 2020 – Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies – aims to raise funds to help replace broken-down vehicles.

But how can your children’s or youth groups take part? First, why not find out more about ALMA? The ALMA Links website has lots of resources that might be helpful. A quick search on our Diocese website will also bring up lots of articles about the work of ALMA. The ALMA Lent Appeal page also contains some useful resources such as prayers, posters, and more about the flooding in Mozambique and some stories about the people who are living with the effects of climate change in the area.

Then, here are some ideas to you might use to raise a bit of cash for the appeal!

  • Bake! Lots of options are open to you here. For younger children, provide them with biscuits shaped like trucks or lorries, together with lots of icing and edible decorations. Help them to decorate the biscuits and then sell them to your congregation. Older children can make their own biscuits using a simple recipe (such as these vanilla biscuits or gingerbread), before baking and decorating them. Challenge young people to create cakes inspired by the work of the Bishops in Angola and Mozambique in an ALMA Bake-Off. Choose winners and sell off the cakes to friends, family and the congregation. (Make sure you follow food hygiene guidelines as you bake.)
  • Loose change for climate change! Collect together lots of small boxes, such as matchboxes or food packaging. Encourage the children or young people in your group to decorate the boxes – they could make them look like the trucks the Bishops use to get around, the flags of Angola and Mozambique or any decorations of their choosing. Cut a slot in the top big enough to fit a 50-pence piece through. You could do this on the Sunday before Lent or at a pancake party, and distribute them to the congregation, challenging people to put any loose change into the box during Lent. Ask people to return them to you on Easter Sunday.
  • Quiz! Organise a quiz and charge people to come along. The children and young people can plan the quiz – not just the questions, but when and where you’re going to hold it, what refreshments you are going to provide and what the prizes might be. Decide on a charge per person or per team and tailor your questions to the people who are going to come. (For example, if the teams are going to be under 30, then don’t have a round about the music of Gilbert and Sullivan…) You could even have a round of questions about Angola and Mozambique – and play the appeal video as part of the evening to show your family and friends how climate change affects those living in the area.


About Carol Ward

Carol Ward is the Parish Fundraising Manager for the Diocese of London, and has a wealth of experience across many sectors for parishes to call on. She is married to Andy. Together, they have three children, two grandchildren, and a dog called Jack.

Read more from Carol Ward

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