Harvest giving supports people devastated by Libya floods

Mrs Florrie Hoey (Cathedral Reader), Ms Ruth Cooke (Christian Aid Ireland), and the Very Revd Shane Forster (Dean of Armagh) at Sunday’s Harvest service.

Last Sunday (1st October), St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, was adorned with beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables as the congregation celebrated and gave thanks to God for the gifts of the Harvest.  Similar services will take place in churches the length and breadth of the country over the next few weeks with a particular focus on giving thanks for the food on our tables, those who provide for our needs, and for the warmth and shelter of our homes.  It is so easy to take all these things for granted in the daily routine of life but the recent earthquake and floods in Morocco and Libya have been a stark reminder that natural disaster can occur at any time in the world and the result is that people are left injured, bereaved and without food or shelter.

The Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Shane Forster, reminded the congregation in the Cathedral that ‘in our duty to love God and love our neighbours we are called to be faithful in prayer and generous in our giving,’ and he encouraged everyone to offer their support to all those affected by the recent natural disasters, including through a financial donation to the Bishops’ Appeal.

Bishops’ Appeal works with agencies on the ground in various countries in time of need and to help with the development of local communities in the longer run.  A special appeal has been launched to raise money to support those directly impacted by the catastrophic flooding in Libya. All those funds will be channelled through Christian Aid who are working with Dan Church Aid, its ACT Alliance partner agency.

Ruth Cooke, from Christian Aid Ireland, was present in the Cathedral on Sunday morning and said: ‘It is easy to feel overwhelmed when we see reports on the news of disasters such as the recent flooding in Libya. However, in Christian Aid we believe that when we join together, our response can make a difference. We are grateful to Bishops’ Appeal for launching an appeal to support the work of our partner, Dan Church Aid, in Libya – as they respond both to the immediate needs of families in the aftermath of the floods and the longer-term reconstruction – and we are grateful to Armagh Cathedral for showing their support on Harvest Sunday.’

The Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development is registered as a charity in Northern Ireland (101325) and in the Republic of Ireland (20019068), and those wishing to give with additional Gift Aid, or Tax Relief on gifts over €250, will find the relevant information – along with an option to give online – at this link: https://bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give


Thanks from Fields of Life for supporting girls’ education in Uganda

Last year, Bishops’ Appeal supported the I AM GIRL project in Uganda through our partner agency Fields of Life working on the ground. CEO Tony Gaston filmed a brief report during a visit to Uganda in late September ‘23, showing a school where a grant from Bishops’ Appeal is reducing the barriers to the education of adolescent girls.

Girls often missed school for several days each month during menstruation, simply because they did not have access to a clear source of water, soap and a safe, private girls’ latrine to wash in. Thanks to the generous support that you have given to Bishops’ Appeal, we have together been able to make a difference to Ugandan girls through the I AM GIRL project.

Hilary McClay
Bishops’ Appeal Education Advisor

Some great photos from the project showing the difference that our giving can make on the ground!

Libya appeal to help those whose lives have been devastated by the floods

Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has launched a disaster appeal in response to the catastrophic flooding in Libya. The floods, which were triggered by a Mediterranean storm, were focused on the city of Derna where almost 4,000 people are known to have died and over 9,000 are missing after torrents of rain and debris swept away entire districts.

Some 37,000 people in flood-affected areas have been displaced by the storm. The huge number displaced highlights the immediate humanitarian need for survivors now (facing needs of clean water, food, shelter, utensils and clothing), and into the coming months and years (rebuilding, reuniting, finding a safe place to call home).

Photo: Dan Church Aid/DCA

Support on the ground

This disaster has hit a country that already had a very complicated political situation, with power struggles leading to two opposing governments within Libya, and this has compounded the challenge of getting aid and support into the country.

The Bishops’ Appeal will be channelling all funds through Christian Aid who are working with Dan Church Aid (DCA), its ACT Alliance partner, who have had an established presence in Libya since 2011, providing a confidence that those on the ground have a clear understanding of the situation and how money raised in our parishes can be used most effectively. We are grateful for the confidence that this gives us that all money raised will be used to benefit those in greatest need.

DCA is providing medical support, helping to establish shelters to host homeless families, and distributing basic items such as blankets and bedding, sanitation and hygiene items and other essentials to these people who have lost everything.

Photo: Dan Church Aid/DCA

Endorsement from Archbishops

Calling for support for the appeal, Archbishop John McDowell remarked: “I wish to thank those involved in Bishops’ Appeal for their prompt reaction in making this provision and would encourage the members of the Church of Ireland to continue to give generously.”

Archbishop Michael Jackson added: “The plight of children, women and men in Libya is unthinkable. It is also a reality.  Members of the Church of Ireland working through Bishops’ Appeal have always been generous in responding to devastation and need.  I encourage you to pray for and to contribute to this appeal.”

How you can help

The Bishops’ Appeal has already released £10,000 in Emergency Aid from its reserves (currently equivalent to €11,500), and all monies raised by this appeal across the Church of Ireland will be additional funds to help with the disaster relief.

Parishes are asked to collect funds for this appeal for the next few weeks, and send all donations directly to Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D07 CF67.

Photo: Dan Church Aid/DCA

The Bishops’ Appeal is registered as a charity in Northern Ireland (101325) and in the Republic of Ireland (20019068), and those wishing to give with additional Gift Aid, or Tax Relief on gifts over €250, will find the relevant information – along with an option to give online – at this link: https://bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give

For further information about Dan Church Aid, please visit www.danchurchaid.org. The ACT Alliance is a network of 146 church-based member organisations working in long-term development, advocacy and humanitarian assistance in 127 countries around the world. Readers can find out more about its website: www.actalliance.org

With thanks to Dan Church Aid for photography from Derna.

Bishops’ Appeal calls for prayer for Libya

The Bishops’ Appeal Committee has watched, with growing concern, the tragic news emerging out of Libya in the wake of terrible flooding in the past few days and as best we can we are monitoring the dreadful situation that is emerging.

As the number of dead and missing persons continues to grow, and as the need for emergency aid becomes more obvious, the Bishops’ Appeal Committee is exploring the best way to channel support via trusted partners working on the ground.

Clergy and parishioners are urged to include the people of Libya and those working to bring aid and support to them in both our personal and corporate prayers this Sunday. The Committee will be meeting on Monday, 18 September, and will issue a full statement in the coming days.

New Bishops’ Appeal Education Advisor appointed

Hilary McClay has been appointed as the new Education Advisor for the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development. The Bishops’ Appeal exists to encourage members of the Church of Ireland to engage with, walk alongside and support those people groups and parts of the world who are dealing with the impact of poverty, violence, climate change and suffering.

Through the generosity of members across all the dioceses, Bishops’ Appeal supports life–changing development work which helps people to live more of their lives to the full.

For over 20 years Hilary worked in community development in Northern Ireland, supporting local churches to engage with issues of poverty and deprivation as part of their Christian mission and outreach. She has also visited several countries where extreme poverty and climate change has had such a severe impact on the lives of people, and has seen what churches in countries such as Ethiopia and Nepal are doing and how the support of agencies working on the ground such as CMS Ireland and Tearfund makes such a difference.

Speaking about her appointment to Bishops’ Appeal, Hilary said: “Taking up this role at this time, when the media is reporting on how cuts to the UK’s overseas aid budget will hold back the potential of people living in poverty, is a stark reminder that all our actions have consequences.  As Christians we have a particular responsibility to campaign, advocate, respond, give and walk alongside the most vulnerable in our world – which is what Bishops’ Appeal is all about.

She added: “I am looking forward to learning more about what Bishops’ Appeal does to support the work of Christian agencies on the ground, and to bring positive change to people’s lives.”

Welcoming Mrs McClay to the post, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Chair of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee, said: “Hilary comes with a passion for the Church, a track record in community development, and wide experience of the global south. She is ideally placed to be the advocate for the vital work of Bishops’ Appeal in the Church of Ireland.”

Bishops’ Appeal has been operating since 1972, when it was set up by the Church of Ireland’s bishops in response to the commands in the Bible to bring good news to people living in poverty and relief to the suffering.

In 2022, Bishops’ Appeal paid out €788,704 in grants (equivalent to around £675,000) with 78% of donations going toward disaster relief.  The most significant recipient country was Ukraine, in response to appeals by Christian Aid, Tearfund and Habitat for Humanity, although sustained support for projects in Africa continued, especially in East and Central Africa.  Bishops’ Appeal also supported projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Nepal, Bangladesh, Haiti and Honduras.

It is a registered charity in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and its aims are to:

  • educate the Church at home about the needs and concerns of people in the less developed world and the causes of poverty;
  • encourage Church members to examine the reasons for the problems facing the less fortunate in the world and to consider what we can do to change conditions;
  • reach out in God’s name to those who need our help;
  • encourage informed prayer and prayerful action aimed at strengthening the poor; and
  • raise the funds needed to allow Bishops’ Appeal to support development projects and alleviate the suffering caused by disasters, both natural and man–made.

The role will involve clarifying, strengthening and supporting Bishops’ Appeal’s strategic vision and aims, consulting with the Advisory Committee regarding best practice when funds from the Bishops’ Appeal are to be allocated, and liaising with and advising aid and development charities supported by the appeal as they make funding applications. Hilary McClay succeeds Lydia Monds who moved to a new position in the Church’s Ministry of Healing: Ireland in January this year.

Bishops’ Appeal supports relief efforts in Turkey and Syria

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has launched a call for donations to help the people of Turkey and Syria following the earthquake on Monday (6th February) which has resulted in over 21,000 deaths.

Bishops’ Appeal has immediately released €10,000 from its reserves to Christian Aid for its work in the area, and is encouraging parishes to contribute to this appeal in support of Christian Aid over the coming Sundays.  All details about how to give are provided below.

In a joint endorsement of the appeal, Archbishops John McDowell and Michael Jackson said: “The disastrous earthquake which has so suddenly overtaken and overwhelmed the people and resources of Turkey, and stretched beyond breaking point the already ravaged infrastructure of Syria, requires a swift response from aid agencies in the Western world. The Bishops’ Appeal of the Church of Ireland is to be commended for releasing €10,000 from its reserves immediately to be channelled through Christian Aid, a trusted partner, to the areas affected.

“Of course, much more is needed and we would encourage parishes to make a special appeal sometime over the next few weeks to supplement this initial contribution by Bishops’ Appeal. Equally we would encourage prayer that the God of all comfort would be very near to all who are suffering through injury, bereavement and anxiety, and for all relief workers.”

Christian Aid has a track record of working together with local partners in north-west Syria since 2012.  The agency and its partners are already providing winter kits to people seeking shelter in the region, where over four million people are in need of aid due to the civil war.  They will scale this work up to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of those affected by the earthquake.

The main needs according to its partner field teams are:

  • Winter kits including blankets, mattresses, food parcels and heating material – partners had already procured 40,000 of these kits prior to the earthquake and have started distributing these immediately within collective shelters;
  • Preparing shelters to help people find some safety indoors from the weather; and
  • Working with other local organisations to remove debris and continue rescue efforts.

It is also expected that donations will be used to provide basic food, water and sanitation, shelter and healthcare, education and mental health support, particularly for children and young people.

Dean Niall Sloane, speaking on behalf of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee, added: “For over five decades, the Bishops’ Appeal has responded to crisis across the globe.   This week we are quickly becoming aware of the extent of the tragic events in Turkey and Syria.  All funds collected will be distributed to our dedicated mission partners who are actively working in the affected areas.  We would also encourage parishes to pray for all those affected by these events and for all aid workers who are engaged in the relief operation.”

How can we help?

Donations can be made, in euro or in sterling, in the following ways:

  • An online donation at bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give
  • A direct lodgement into the Bishops’ Appeal bank account (details of which are provided on the Bishops’ Appeal website at the link provided above);
  • Sending a cheque, payable to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, to: Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 CF67;
  • Making a donation through a Church of Ireland parish or diocesan office.

Taxpayers can give more help by gift aiding donations (if resident in the UK) or tax relief on donations (in the Republic of Ireland).  The appropriate forms and further details about how to give are also available at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give


Harvest Newsletter 2022

Read all about how Bishops’ Appeal is supporting communities around the world where there has been no harvest this year.

Read also our updates on our Ukraine Appeal, which you have so generously supported.

Click: Bishops Appeal Harvest Newsletter 2022

Click: Printer version Bishops Appeal Harvest 2022

Leaf Ridges Reduce Contact Time With Water Drops — Biological Strategy — AskNature


2022 Articles

Here are three articles exploring different themes regarding God’s heart for justice and our discipleship in the everyday or when faced with milestones or crises.  We hope they ignite fresh hope, strength and resolve as we work together as faith communities to see God’s Kingdom Come.

Paving Paradise – a Creation Time Reflection

Mind the Gap: A working theology

A Golden Anniversary – Bishops’ Appeal turns 50


50 Years of Bishops’ Appeal Video

You can download the video for showing in your context here 

You can also access the vimeo here

We are so grateful for 50 years of partnership and support made possible through the generosity of Church of Ireland donors.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the video and all those we would love to have highlighted in the video and whose partnership we value – from diocesan links, diocesan representatives, mission and development agencies and the churches, activists, development officers and people who participate in projects throughout the Global South.  They get up day after day and work to make life better for their families, their communities and the world, often in really difficult circumstances and with very limited resources.

Special thanks to Jonny Sanlon, our videographer.

Bishops’ Appeal Launches Ukraine Appeal

Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal Responds to Ukraine Crisis

 Support for refugees channelled through Habitat for Humanity & Christian Aid


The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has committed €10,000 (£8,300) from its emergency funds to assist with the humanitarian response to the current crisis in Ukraine.  Bishops’ Appeal is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Christian Aid, and encouraging parishes across the island to contribute to our response to help people seeking refuge.

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity Ireland, remarked: “UNHCR reports that over 500,000 people fled Ukraine into neighbouring and nearby countries from 24th February to 1st March.  We have strong programmes in Poland, Hungary and Romania and our European office is in Slovakia so we are on the ground responding.

“Habitat is meeting UNHCR daily and co-ordinates with governments to add value and ensure there isn’t duplication of effort.  Colleagues from Hungary and Romania spent the weekend at their borders. In Romania, the need was to provide additional heat for a camp – even more important given that there was more snow at the weekend and people were cold.  More broadly our focus is on supporting the shelter needs of refugees, ensuring that more people can feel safe.  We will support them for the long term.”

Christian Aid’s funds will go to sister agencies in the ACT Alliance.  This network of Christian aid and development agencies includes the Lutheran World Federation and Hungarian Church Aid which are both working in neighbouring countries. As the situation within Ukraine is changing by the day and there is a high level of violence within the country, Bishops’ Appeal will not be funding work within Ukraine at this stage although this will be kept under consideration.

The Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said: “The tragic and wholly avoidable destruction which we are witnessing in Ukraine leaves many of us in the West lost for words and at a loss to know how best to respond to alleviate suffering. However, wars always create refugees and I am grateful that Bishops’ Appeal is targeting its immediate aid efforts to assist trusted agencies working in neighbouring countries to help those who have been displaced by this invasion.  I would urge all parishes to consider helping Bishops’ Appeal to increase the aid which it can provide by contributing generously in one of the ways outlined below.”

The Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, said: “The developing and declining situation in Ukraine has already had devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Prayerful assistance and practical assistance are both important components of our response. I commend the current initiative by Bishops’ Appeal.”

Lydia Monds, Bishops’ Appeal’s Education Advisor, added: “Bishops’ Appeal will continue to monitor access to refugees so that we as a Church can stand in solidarity with them and support them in the most effective ways possible.  We will only release funding through channels that enable vital aid to reach those who need it most.  We will continue to liaise with partner agencies working on the ground to provide relief.  Our emergency funds will be released immediately and we invite parishes to continue to give to the Appeal so that we can continue to support efforts in a constantly evolving crisis.”

How you can help

Parishes are encouraged to contribute to the response and donations can be made, by euro or sterling, in the following ways:

  • An online donation at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give
  • A direct lodgement into the Bishops’ Appeal bank account (details of which are provided on the Bishops’ Appeal website at the link provided above);
  • Sending a cheque, payable to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, to: Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 CF67;
  • Making a donation through a Church of Ireland parish or diocesan office.

Taxpayers can give more help by gift aiding donations (if resident in the UK) or tax relief on donations (in the Republic of Ireland).  The appropriate forms and further details on how to give are also available at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give



Habitat for Humanity Romania assisting Ukrainian refugees at the Stadion Siret North camp near the border with Ukraine.

Please credit Habitat for Humanity if using any of the photos provided.

Notes to Editors

The National Director of Habitat for Humanity Romania, Roberto Patrascoiu, speaks about the immediate support which Habitat is providing in a refugee camp in a which can be shared with parishes and more widely from this link: https://youtu.be/hzPhLHkQK0E

More information on Habitat for Humanity’s response to the Ukraine crisis is available here: www.habitatni.co.uk/ukraine

The ACT Alliance comprises 137 members in 127 countries.  Visit www.actalliance.org/news to find out more about its network and how partner agencies are responding to the crisis in Ukraine.

Bishops’ Appeal is registered as a charity in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.

Republic of Ireland Registered Charity Number: 20019068 (CHY 8026)

Northern Ireland Charity Number: 101325


Issued by the Church of Ireland Press Office

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