By Anglican Diocese of London
The Bishop of London has commended parishes across the Diocese of London for their generous response so far to the Diocese’s 2016 Lent Appeal for persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria. The fundraising total today hit the £90,000 mark, more than double the appeal’s original target of £35,000.
The Bishop of London said: “The Lent Appeal this year has obviously touched a nerve of sympathy throughout the diocese. I am hugely grateful to all those who have together raised more than £90,000 to assist persecuted Christians in the Middle East.”
This year’s Lent Appeal is raising money to support two charities who are active among the beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and Syria. Open Doors provides emergency food supplies and hygiene kits to almost 10,000 families every month in Syria. In Iraq, Aid to the Church in Need is focusing on the urgent needs for housing, medicine and education.
Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need UK, said:“We are grateful to all of the churches and congregation members who have donated to your superb Lent Appeal this year. With your money we will be supporting destitute and traumatised Christian families in Syria and Iraq, driven from their homes by targeted violence and warfare. They rely on the Church for essentials – food, shelter, clothing – and our prayers. From my time and recent visits to the Middle East, as well as from constant updates from our project partners I know how much this support means to them. Thank you on behalf of all the faithful who are trying to keep the Eastertide hope of Christ alive in such a terrible situation.”
On launching the appeal, the Bishop challenged London’s churches to match their prayers for fellow Christian suffering in Iraq and Syria with action. Parishes have risen to his challenge with a variety of fundraising initiatives from quizzes and raffles at Christ Church Southgate, collections during Holy Week services at churches including St Paul’s and the Church of the Good Shepherd, Hounslow and facilitating generous individual requests from individual Christians.
Churches can continue to send their donations to the Lent Appeal and if you want to donate today you can at www.give.net/Lent16.