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What we do: Lent Appeal: Wheels For Climate Change Emergencies

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“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26

ALMA Cyclone Kenneth devastation in Mozambique

With rising global surface temperatures, intensifying droughts and more extreme storms, climate change is affecting our brothers and sisters across the globe, especially with our diocesan partners in Angola and Mozambique.

There is no doubt that the effects of Climate Change is here to stay and will affect us all. Since 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published special reports on climate change have detailed how the rise of temperatures are affecting life global for all people especially those in the developing world. (IPCC website, Accessed Jan 2020).

The beneficiary charity of the Lent Appeal 2020 is ALMA, the diocesan companion link partnership between the Anglican Church in Angola, London and Mozambique. The focus of the Appeal is to raise money to buy powerful trucks to help churches and Bishops provide instant practical help where it is needed after the extreme climatic events that are happening due to climate change.

In 2012, the Lent appeal bought cars and trucks for the four dioceses that span across these these two massive African countries. Now, eight-years later, the church in these areas need new up-to-date jeeps to help them deal with the worst climatic weather systems the southern hemisphere has ever seen. In Southern Africa, the churches and bishops need to give instant and practical help where it is needed, the instant these extreme climatic events allow access to the areas.

The short film below shows the devastation of just one of the Climate Change Emergencies that our partner dioceses have to deal with. In 2019, Mozambique had to deal with Cyclone Idai, the most powerful storm ever in the southern hemisphere.

With grateful thanks to the Archbishop of Southern Africa and Guy Hubbard, a filmmaker with the UN, we are able to highlight the devastation that our partner dioceses must respond to more rapidly than ever before.

Climate Change is here to stay, and it will get worse. Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has warned in January that “The moment of crisis has come” in efforts to tackle climate change. He adds that “we have been putting things off for year after year”.

We have seen in the last couple of months the bushfires in Australia, due to the rising temperatures of the Earth. Sir David added in the special interview on climate change that “We know perfectly well,” that human activity is behind the heating of the planet. (BBC News Online [accessed Jan 2020]). Alongside this, last summer there were major fires in Siberia, Greenland, and major ice sheets the size of countries like the UK are thinning in the polar regions such as

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change and is made up of hundreds of scientists who provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision-makers on climate change. The IPCC state that the rise in human-created greenhouse gas emissions is causing a warming of the atmosphere, and therefore the rapid thinning of the arctic ice sheets (World Economic Forum [accessed Feb 2020]). See the BBC News online page [accessed Feb 2020] hosting a short film on the causes and effects of Climate Change.

The increased rise in sea level and warmer temperatures around landmasses such as Africa is causing catastrophic issues for our partners in Angola and Mozambique. Case studies and information on the four dioceses that ALMA support is noted in the additional following tabs.

There is a short film from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (in English) on the devastating weather conditions that climate change is creating to these and other Southern African countries. See this link to the Eco Check film. 

In this western African country, the newly created diocese in this country needs to respond with one truck to an area the size of 481,321 sq mi, twice the size of France or of Texas. Here the country is facing a significant drought in the south and has been exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall. According to USAID, the country is responding to climate variability after nearly three decades of civil war. “Extreme rainfall events and temperature changes are expanding the range and transmission period for disease vectors. Sea level rise is placing coastal populations (approximately 50 percent of the total population) and infrastructure at risk of inundation and storm surge.” (USAID, Accessed Jan 2020)

A total of 2.3 million people are in need. The government declared an emergency in the three southern provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe in January. Angola has been pursuing a humanitarian self-reliance policy but there has been an inadequate humanitarian response to address urgent needs and the situation is deteriorating. The drought in Angola continues to be exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall. According to the Africa Times “temperatures in 2019 were the highest in 45 years and drought is driving increasing hunger and malnutrition, especially in Cunene, Huíla, Bié and Namibe provinces.” (Africa Times [accessed Feb 2020]).

According to The Daily Telegraph (1 Nov 2019 [Accessed Jan 2020] online) “The region [Southern Africa] is also facing the worst droughts for 35 years. Over the next six months, the number of people going hungry is likely to climb – it typically takes several harvests before disrupted food production levels return to normal. The challenges will be compounded by the region’s dependence on smallholder farms.”

Marta’s Story

Marta lives in Lamego, a small community in the district of Nhamatanda.

The village was very badly hit during the cyclones. Many of those who live there, like Marta, lost everything.

Leonel Manuel is the Local Reconstruction Coordinator. He is helping Marta and the other vulnerable women who live at Lamego to start rebuilding their dwellings and their lives.

Unfortunately, because Leonel is based in Beira, he is finding it difficult to visit and work with target communities at Nhamatanda and elsewhere because he has to travel by “Chapa” – a form of public transport that runs within a town or between towns.

Marta from Lebombo diocese
Marta from Lebombo diocese

During a recent visit to Lamego, Bishop Carlos was able to meet and talk to Marta. He found her living in a makeshift tent whilst patiently waiting for the help she needs to start rebuilding her hut. (Above)

Marta has piles of clay bricks but they need to be fired before they can be used. The firewood has to be collected from the next village 15k away which is an impossibility at present. Stronger houses also need cement blocks for foundations and larger construction stones for the actual build. zinc sheets for the roof would be the final touch. None of this can happen without a 2 or 3 ton truck.

There are many other vulnerable people like Marta living in Lamego who need help. A new truck would make it easier for Leonel to travel throughout Nhamatanda and keep in touch with those like Marta who have lost everything due to climate change emergencies. Firewood could be brought in from nearby villages and essential building supplies – cement blocks, construction stones and zinc sheets could be delivered to those in need of them.

As Bishop Carlos notes:

“Climate changes are really affecting our part of the world more frequently and each day we do not know what to expect”.

Anifa’s Story

The first time the mission team found Anifa, she was toasting dried maize for her family; it was their lunch time meal, one week after cyclone hit the village.

It was Anifa who convinced her family to be interviewed and listed for the diocesan relief program.

They had been planning to move away to other side of the Lurio river, exchanging their labour for food which is how people in northern Mozambique normally cope with hard times of hunger: working for a landlord, in exchange for food rations.

Unfortunately, this meant Anifa would have to drop out from school – something she was trying hard to avoid.

When the first food aid arrived, Anifa and her family received their share (above left): their plans to move away changed immediately and Anifa went back to school.

At a visit by Bishop Manuel and senior Diocesan staff members to Chimoio, Anifa received the materials she needed for her schooling. (Photo right)

When she was asked about her families plans to cross the big Lurio, she said in a typical local shy voice ‘n’nari’- ‘No, I have changed my mind, I need to finish school’.

Anifa‘s story inspired and has continued to inspire many more children. Her story is very similar to many of those living in the aftermath of cyclones Idai and Kenneth.

Although the food aid received had a dramatic effect on the whole family, it is Anifa who felt the most benefit. She was able to stay in her village and continue with her learning (Below left). It is these quite small gestures that are beginning to change people’s lives. Hunger and poverty caused by climate emergencies are major triggers of social ills for those in rural communities such as the one Anifa lives in.

It was the delivery of the food aid and school materials that enabled this change to happen. If a vehicle had not been available, the outlook for Anifa would have been in a very different direction – dropping out of school, forced marriage, early pregnancy, gender dependency.

Anifa would have been one of many among numerous and poor rural households. But now she is inspired and hopefully reversing her previous fate.

The impact on families affected by climate change can be devastating.

Together we can touch lives, one at time, and help our brothers and sisters in Mozambique.

Ramim’s Story

Ramim João Martinho is an Adeptos – a support worker in the Diocese of Niassa. Over the last year, Ramim has experienced first-hand the devastating effects that climate change is having in Mozambique.

Niassa crops flooded and left to rot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The communities of Megaza, Chire and Derre have been very badly affected. Many families have lost their property, their houses and farms. The crops, which were almost ready to harvest, have been lost. They were left in the ground to rot – the farmers were unable to get to them – which will cause food shortages and even greater distress in the year ahead.

In Derre, 500 families have lost their homes because of flooding by the Luala River.  The local government have rescued the most affected families in the five communities of Nathungu, Mugabo, Mecanga, Dramusse and Licoua and have placed them in a refugee camp. Other families have also been moved to places of safety away from the floods.

In Megaza, the waters of the Chire River overflowed, flooding 275 machamba (small holdings) in the communities of Megaza-sedde, Chipanga, Chuanga, Camanguira, Ndambuenda and Baina – 305 families have been left without homes.

The worst devastation has been felt in Chire where the village communities of Chilomo, Banqui, Matamia, Reis and Mbilinga have suffered badly. The last report from this area detailed 1347 flooded machamba with 708 families displaced due to the flooding of the Mtambi, Liazi and Luo rivers – the latter bordering Chilomo with neighbouring Malawi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three people lost their lives in the Reis community when they were crossing the Mmudzi and Missongue river. A further three people lost their lives in Chire-thirst when they were crossing the river; one woman was dragged into the river as she went to the hospital to make an antenatal appointment.

The Challenge

After eight years of extensive action responding to climate catastrophes across dioceses 1.5 – 5 times the size of the whole UK (1000 miles) on rough terrain, each diocese needs to replace its existing vehicles. These vehicles have been twice round the clock on mainly dirt roads, are almost beyond maintaining now and cannot be relied on. They are no longer fit for purpose.

With greater environmental catastrophes caused by climate change (more severe droughts and frequent flooding – Mozambique has once again been struck by flash floods following heavy rains with 58,800 people affected). Our four partner dioceses each need to buy a relatively new truck to deal with the ever-greater pressures placed on them. So, this Lent we are calling on all parishes to help us raise funds for us to buy state-of-the-art response vehicles to react to more quickly to these disasters so together as one people of God, we can respond more effectively.

The four Partner Bishops with the ALMA link are seen, and looked up to, as community leaders. They need to respond quickly in a community that is suffering; struggling as a result of adverse conditions – drought, flooding, etc. However, the sheer size of the areas that the Bishops must cover, means that they have a mammoth task. In many cases, 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.

The money raised by Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies on behalf of ALMA would be distributed equally between the four Dioceses to help them replace these old, and in some cases, broken down vehicles. This practical assistance will enable the Bishops to continue to provide the much-needed pastoral support in a practical way.

Lebombo trucks delivering aid 2019

What we can do

As a response to the climate change catastrophes that are happening in these four African dioceses, the ALMA Link hopes to raise a minimum of £40,000 which will be shared equally. so each bishop in the the link Dioceses can deliver essential supplies – a practical response – whilst providing much-needed pastoral support.

As in previous years, for this appeal to be successful, we need your help processing donations collected within your parish. The appeal is too large for our diocesan finance team to process all donations, especially when you consider the gift aid process. To this end, cash collections e.g. open plate collections, retiring collections are all greatly appreciated, but if your parish does claim gift aid on its routine collections we would appreciate your help in claiming gift aid and including it with the total amount when sending in your parish gift.

Display the poster that will be sent to your parish in the next week, or download a copy from the Resources tab below. Feel free to use the prayer and powerpoint presentations in any parish discussions. More information is to follow.

We hope the processes noted below are of use so that the offerings collected can be sent in as soon as possible. See Parish Administration tab below.

Caring for Creation #LiveLent

ALMA is the Diocese of London’s dynamic Companion Link with the Anglican Churches in Angola and Mozambique which began formally in 1998. In Portuguese ALMA means ‘soul’.

Being Church Together is the defining characteristic of our partnership. We are not an NGO nor a mission agency, but companions – sharing and learning from each other as we each try to live as authentic 21st century Christians. Aware of the huge economic disparity between us we acknowledge the particular challenge we in London face in living Gospel centred lives, and that we have much to learn from our partners who have very rich human and spiritual resources alongside the economic, social and environmental challenges they face.

The church in Angola and Mozambique is growing. Its vibrant witness has had a major impact at a local level through church planting, choirs and bands, youth groups, Mothers’ Union, the Bernard Mizeki Guild for men, ‘Umoja’ community development facilitators and Equipa da Vida teams, St Agnes groups for girls, discipleship via the ‘Rooted in Jesus’ and Intentional Discipleship programmes and catechist training. Nationally the churches have been heavily involved in their countries’ peace processes.

The essence of ALMA is relationships. We focus on partnerships across all levels of church life:  bishop to bishop, priest to priest and parish to parish; school to school with prayer, training (theological, leadership, catechist and community) and advocacy being particular priorities.  Links between individual parishes, schools and other organisations are the DNA of the ALMA partnership.  There are around 50 links at present.

Follow ALMA on our lively Facebook Page ALMA London; on Twitter @ALMALondonD and by subscribing to our bi-monthly newsletter via the ALMA Website almalink.org/.

You are warmly invited to join us on 19 July 2020 in St Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm for our special ALMA Sunday Service – our 22nd anniversary. Our four partner Bishops will be with us before they go to Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference and we will be signing the new ALMA Covenant for the next 10 years. Find out more here.

We also have an ALMA meeting on 31st March at 6pm in the main Hall at Diocesan House when Bishop Rob Wickham, London’s Bishop for ALMA, and Revd Sheenagh Burrell, ALMA Co-ordinator will be sharing recent visits and news about ALMA Sunday. Do come and learn more about ALMA. Please RSVP for this meeting to almacoms@nulllondon.anglican.org. Light refreshments will be available from 5.40pm. Find out more here.

 

 

Parish Administration – Notes for Church Treasurers

It is our ambition to raise a minimum of £40,000 for ALMA which will be shared equally between the four link Dioceses; one in Angola and the other three in Mozambique (Lebombo, Nampula and Niassa). I trust the processes noted overleaf are of use so that the offerings collected can be sent in as soon as possible.

To save cost on both printing and postage there are no separate Gift Aid envelopes for this year’s Lent Appeal. Please use your own parish’s one-off Gift Aid envelopes, making sure that the weekly sheets/service sheets/parish magazines carry a note that explains when the collection will be taken for the appeal. Ideally the envelopes should be marked with an extra label showing Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies or ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

All of the Appeal donations should be processed through your local accounts, including the gift aid claims, so that the final total sent to the Diocesan office includes the gift aid reclaimed on eligible donations. On the following pages, you will find guidance on how to organise and process this.

If Individuals would like to give separately rather than through their church collections, they can donate on-line at https://www.give.net/lent2020

Individual cheques made out to London Diocesan Fund (marked ALMA Lent Appeal 2019 on the reverse) can also be sent to Diocesan House.

Processing Donations to the Lent Appeal 2020:

These notes are offered as an aide memoire to Treasurers for collections to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

General

  • Inform your congregation during the appeal, that cheques and charity vouchers should be made payable to the local church’s account.
  • Adding “Lent 2020” at the end of your church’s name would help identify that the cheque has been given in support of this Appeal.
  • Money received for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 will become part of your church’s funds, so you can process it together with your usual collection and direct giving.
  • Any donations given specifically for the Lent Appeal 2020 will need to be recorded separately for accounting purposes.

Routine Processing

Arranging a collection for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020:

  • Include information about the collection in the church’s publicity, e.g. weekly notices, prior to the collection(s).
  • Providing separate envelopes for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 is a simple way of collecting donations.
  • Ideally the envelopes should be overprinted or have an additional label to show that they are for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.
  • If envelopes are not provided, then a simple cash collection can be taken, but the possibility of claiming gift aid on this becomes more difficult.

After the collection:

  • Count any open plate collections, record the amount separately from any envelope donations.
  • For the envelope collections:
    • Any envelopes that do not carry names/address/postcode/date should be opened and their contents added to the open plate/ cash collections.
  • The additional money will mean amending the previous total.
  • Donations in completed envelopes are eligible for Gift Aid claims:
  • When opened, the amount enclosed (cheque or cash), should be noted on the envelope.
  • If the envelope contained a cheque or charity voucher, check it has been made payable to the church account.
  • Record the totals
  • Retain the envelopes for later checking/processing of Gift Aid.
  • Deposit the cash and/or cheque(s) at the bank as usual
  • Keep a note of the amount given specifically for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020; this is crucial if the deposit is made at the same time as other church funds are deposited.

Recognising the collections in the church accounts:

  • HMRC guidance on Gift Aid state that “the church” (in this case the PCC) should formally open a restricted fund for donations to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.
  • We suggest that this should be formally minuted by the PCC as soon as possible after the start of the appeal.
  • Please note that this does not require opening a separate bank account; the restricted fund is simply a way of recording the receipts from donors and the eventual payments to the Diocese.
  • Use a separate code/category to record ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 income in your church accounting records.
  • For parishes using software this could be entered as a restricted fund, and any gift aid recovered will form part of this restricted fund.

Gift Aid

  • Claiming tax back on Gift Aided donations for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 may be more easily done as a separate claim from the routine claims for normal church giving.
  • HMRC will accept any number of claims in a tax year and will return the amount from each claim separately.
  • Making a separate claim should allow the tax recovered for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 to be easily identified.

Keeping the admin simple /aggregated donations

  1. The aggregated claims process is not connected to the small donations scheme.
  • For one off collections of £20 or less it is possible to group the donations together, to aggregate them, up to a total of £1000 and record them as just one line in the gift aid reclaim form.
  • If your collection totals over £1000, another “aggregated line” can be used for the rest of the donations (up to a further £1000).
  • Donations in one off envelopes that have come from individuals who already make “global /enduring” declaration for their routine giving might be best recorded separately so that their overall giving to the church (including that to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020) can be reflected in any thank you letter that you send.
  • The one-off envelopes and Gift Aid declarations for the Lent Appeal should be retained for seven years in case of an HMRC audit. The publicity relating to the Lent Appeal must be kept alongside the declarations for seven years.
  • The Gift Aid recovered should be added to the Lent Appeal code/category in the church accounting records.

Closing arrangements

  • When the parish has ended its ALMA Lent Appeal 2020, and it appears that most envelopes have been received, draw a cheque on the church account for the total amount that has been raised, made payable to “London Diocesan Fund”. Please mark ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 on the reverse of the cheque.
  • Please include any Gift Aid already received in the total amount sent including, if possible, the Gift Aid you expect to receive back from HMRC. If this is not possible, a further cheque for the outstanding Gift Aid amount should be sent as soon as it is received.
  • Cheques (made payable to “London Diocesan Fund” with ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 marked on the reverse) should be sent to:

 

ALMA Lent Appeal 2020

London Diocesan House

36 Causton Street,

London, SW1P 4AU

 

  • The total amount collected can also be paid directly to our bank account

Sort code 20-06-05,

Account number 00107123

Your bank should include your parish number and ‘Lent 2020’ as the reference.

 

There will inevitably be some late donations!

  •  If so, please deal with these as you have done above.
  • If you have not included Gift Aid with your original payment, please do not forget to forward it when it is received.

Finally, please email Carol Ward, Parish Fundraising Manager) to confirm the amount that has been raised from your parish (please include your parish number) so we can share your good news with others in the Diocese who are also supporting the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

Caring for Creation #LiveLent with the Church of England

 

LiveLent World

This Lent, we hope both adults and children might engage in God’s plea for us to “Care for Creation”. It is an opportunity for us to rebuild our relationship with our planet, and in turn with the God who is Lord of everything.

Archbishop Justin Welby & Archbishop John Sentamu

#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation is the Church of England’s Lent Campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created. This year’s #LiveLent challenge offers 40 short reflections and suggested actions to help you, your family and your church live in greater harmony with God, neighbour and nature.

It has been inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK).

In the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2020, Dr Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation in Genesis 1 to lift our focus from everyday concerns to issues that are affecting millions of lives around the world. Bursting with practical advice as well as biblical reflection, discussion questions and prayers, this is a stirring and liberating call to look after the world that God has made – and to share in God’s joy and creativity by making a difference for good.

More information can be found on the Church of England Website.

There are a number of Christian Environmental groups where you can get more information on Climate Change. Theses include (and are likely to expand):

A Rocha

A Rocha responds to the global crisis of biodiversity loss by carrying out community-based conservation projects, including: Carrying out ecological monitoring and research in areas of high value for wildlife; Spearheading practical measures for conserving and restoring habitats and their fauna and flora; Encouraging appreciation of nature and participation in its conservation, through environmental education and community outreach; and by providing a forum for understanding the relevance of the Christian faith to environmental issues. Read More… 

Anglican Church Environmental Network

This group seeks to:

  • be advocates for responsible environmental stewardship;
  • provide support and leadership to local initiatives to protect the environment; and,
  • to seek to educate Anglicans as individuals and as communities to become better stewards of creation. Read More…

Christian Climate Action

This is a community of Christians supporting each other to take meaningful action in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate breakdown. Inspired by Jesus Christ, and social justice movements of the past, they carry out acts of non-violent direct action to urge those in power to make the change needed. Read More…

Operation Noah

This was set up in 2004 to provide a Christian response to the climate crisis. They work with all Christian denominations and support interfaith work on climate change. Their work is informed by the latest science on climate change, its causes, impacts and solutions. The sense of urgency we feel because of the science is balanced by a faith in God and the hope in his future for our world.  They are faith-motivated, science-informed and hope-inspired.

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