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
  • 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


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
  • 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



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:

More information on Habitat for Humanity’s response to the Ukraine crisis is available here:

The ACT Alliance comprises 137 members in 127 countries.  Visit 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

Church of Ireland House

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Belfast, BT1 2QH

Duty mobile: +44 (0)7774 295 369

Bishops’ Appeal Lent Resources 2022

Here, the ‘What’s in your hand’ children’s resource is specially designed for the Down and Dromore Lent Appeal which sees Bishop David and a team from the diocese partner with Bishops’ Appeal and cycle 350 miles around the diocese to raise vital funds for two projects – Christian Aid in Honduras and Tearfund in Jordan.

Down & Dromore Big Bike Ride ‘What is in your hand?’ Children’s Syllabus

Down & Dromore Big Bike Ride Additional Fact Sheet and Quiz Sheet


Join Bishops’ Appeal this Lent to focus on what we have rather than on what we lack, and together to use what we have to make a difference.  A Children’s Ministry resource suitable for schools or Sunday Clubs that has a specific focus on a  Christian Aid climate change project in Honduras.

Bishops’ Appeal Lent ‘What is in your hand?’ resource


Here, the ‘What is in your hand’ resource is kept generic to allow you to focus on a project of your choice whilst exploring justice issues and the Church’s response:

‘What is in your hand?’ syllabus stand alone



Advent Newsletter 2021

Bishops’ Appeal Advent Newsletter

Here we highlight some of the vital work Bishops’ Appeal has funded over the past year and the potential for even more good work to be achieved, with your help, in 2022.

The newsletter highlights relief work began in 2020 and then continued on into 2021, where longer term supports were needed.  We believe in targeting need, whether or not we are hearing about it in the media.

The newsletter focuses on less than a third of all projects funded throughout the year and so is but a snapshot of what has been achieved through Church of Ireland support.

We are grateful for the generosity of heart of those who donate to support the mission and vision of what we do as we follow Christ and serve those who feel forgotten and in despair.

Access it here: Bishops’ Appeal Advent Newsletter

Limerick and Killaloe Mission Sunday Diocesan Link Project

Here you will find everything you need to know about the Limerick and Killaloe Mission Sunday Focus, which is being directed towards the work of Bishops’ Appeal.  Together, we are funding a Christian Aid project in Southern Ethiopia.

Mission Sunday Poster: Limerick and Killaloe Mission Sunday Focus

Mission Sunday Video: Mission Sunday Video Supporting Bishops’ Appeal 2021









































Christian Aid in Ethiopia

Christian Aid has worked in Ethiopia for more than 30 years, initially responding to emergencies, but gradually building long-term development programmes.

To get a sense of their ongoing work and the impact it has had on communities lives, be they parents and/or pastoralists, visit:
Ethiopian woman with baby

Bishops’ Appeal Funding Allocations June – September 2021

Thank you to everyone who responded so generously to our Covid Appeal and to our India Appeal and now to our Haiti Appeal.  We have allocated thousands over the past three months to programmes targeting extreme hunger as a result of Covid, or returns to school for the most vulnerable girls in communities in the Global South or emergency frontline responses to the second wave of Covid in India and now to the earthquake in Haiti.

Alongside these specific appeals, we have, with your help, continued to support communities in the areas of disaster relief, education, health and rural development.  These have included supporting people displaced due to conflict, building resilience and training for communities hardest hit by climate change, as well as the provision of water in communities where access to water and sanitation is simply not in place.  And there have been even more.  We are so grateful for your support in uncertain times and for the legacies that have underpinned many of the projects funded at a time when we thought we would be turning projects away due to low funds.

Here is an outline of programmes funded since June:

June funds released:
  • Humanitarian aid released to Tearfund to support internally displaced people due to the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia.  Food, hygiene kits, blankets, tarp, medical supplies.
  • Funds were released from TKA diocesan link project to Water Drops, an agency working in remote parts of Kenya to deliver reliable, clean water sources.
  • Our Covid India Appeal received a generous response and funds continued to be released to MSF and Asha, both frontline agencies responding to the 2nd wave of Covid there.  Asha was also supported by parishes who had visited their projects just before the Pandemic and Bishops’ Appeal added significantly to their fundraising efforts.
  • More funds were released to Christian Aid for their response in Beirut.  Although media attention is no longer on Beirut, the rebuilding after the explosion continues as does the community development work long established by partner agencies there.
  • Funds were released to SAMS in Bolivia who are supporting people who lost livelihoods due to Covid and are providing training in new skills to help people earn incomes and improve their mental health.
  • Funds were released to Fields of Life ‘I am a Girl’ project.  This is a long standing funding allocation for Bishops’ Appeal as more schools receive additional latrines and wash stations for girls to have privacy when menstruating so they can continue to come to school. Education on child rights is also provided and programmes such as school gardens are developed to ensure the children get a meal in school.
  • Funds were released to support a Model Farm in DR Congo through CMS Ireland.  This will bring together women and vulnerable youth, train them in improved agricultural skills and use the funds from the crops grown to sustain and expand on these types of programmes run by the diocese.
  • Funds were released to Habitat for Humanity to support two villages in Malawi get access to water via boreholesand to eradicate open defecation by increasing latrines, rainwater harvesting and hygiene education.
  • Funds were released for mobile health clinics in Bangladesh via USPG, supporting vulnerable people who live remotely and cannot take time off as day labourers to attend clinics far away, to receive medical attention.  The programme also provides financial supports for those who need to attend a hospital for treatment.
Total Funds released in June: €38,916 and £30,256
September funds currently being released:
  • Tearfund were allocated funding for a food provision and seed distribution programme in ethiopia.  As crops failed due to lack of rain, food prices soared.  Provision of food to prevent starvation and then seeds and agricultural training in conservation farming, as well as a focus on engaging women and men to work together in these efforts are all part of this programme.  The funds were match-funded by another donor.
  • Christian Aid received funding for improving health and resilience for communities in Ethiopia who are being hit by crisis after crisis.  This is a multi-faceted programme.
  • Funds were released from the Haiti Appeal to Christian Aid and Habitat for Humanity for their responses after the earthquake.  Homes they built in 2016 did not collapse, even as others around them did.
  • Funds were also released to Christian Aid from the CCRD diocesan link project ‘Making the Most of Maize’ as well as from our Lenten focus #Connect4Creation.
  • Christian Aid also received substantial funds for their Global Hunger Appeal directed to their targeted Covid responses in India.
  • Funds were released to CMS Ireland for the diocese of Goma and the rebuilding of schools after the devastation of the volcanic eruption in May.
  • Funds were released to Self Help Africa to reduce hunger and malnutrition for families with small holdings in Teso, Uganda.
  • Funds were released to Fields of Life for their ‘I am a Girl’ project in two more primary schools.
Total funds allocated in September: €80,750 
(Note: we received a high volume of euro applications but also had a euro legacy to allocate, which meant some sterling projects were supported in euro where the agency also has a euro bank account.)