The Bishops’ Lent Appeal 2017 has raised more than £15k. Fifty-per-cent of the money raised will help pay for initiatives supporting refugees in this diocese, whilst the other half will go directly to St Paul’s church community in Athens, Greece.
The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, says: “I want to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all who donated to the appeal. Many of the donations were given anonymously, so it is impossible to thank everyone personally. Whether it was a small amount from a single individual or a large amount from a church or parish, collectively we have raised a significant amount of money that will be really well used to help those in greatest need in our society.”
The Bishop of Taunton, the Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, says: “Our appeal was a very specific pledge to support refugees here at home and abroad. I am overjoyed to see that so many people have prayerfully donated and supported that cause. Thank you for your generosity.”
Parishes were encouraged to hold a collection for the appeal during the Lent period. People could also donate directly via a dedicated online fundraising page and via text message.
Mission Team Leader in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, David Maggs, leads much of the work to support refugees in our diocese. He says: “The money will support our response to the refugee crisis here in Somerset. Already the diocese has been instrumental in working with local authorities to respond to the UK Government’s commitment to welcome refugees from the countries around Syria. The money raised will help us to continue in that work of welcoming, supporting, and befriending refugees in Somerset.”
The appeal featured forty stories of Christians who are motivated by their faith to act in the interests of the common good. Each story was accompanied by a Bible verse, reflection, and call to action.
Bishop Ruth adds: “The stories featured Christians with a range of experiences, gifts, and interests, from dedicated people using their expertise to help local people facing serious debt, to committed and caring people working alongside local homeless people. The stories illustrated the breadth and depth of people who are living the story of Jesus here in our diocese. Thank you to each person that contributed their time and story to help support the Bishops’ Lent Appeal.”
Plans for an appeal during Lent 2018 are underway.