Click here to read our Creation Time and Harvest Reflection about a Creator God who brings new life in a dry and barren land. Creation Time and Harvest Reflection Bishops Appeal
Click here to read our Creation Time and Harvest Reflection about a Creator God who brings new life in a dry and barren land. Creation Time and Harvest Reflection Bishops Appeal
Access a downloadable information page here: Bishops Appeal Lebanon Disaster Appeal
On Tuesday 4th August, a massive explosion ripped through Beirut, killing 157 people, injuring 5,000, damaging 50% of the buildings and leaving 300,000 people homeless.
This disaster comes when the whole country was already on its knees due to its worst financial crisis in decades and its struggles to contain a rapidly increasing coronavirus outbreak.
Excerpts from the Washington Post report: “the rapid devaluation of the local currency and a volatile exchange rate on the black market fueling inflation, shuttering businesses and plunging many people into unemployment and poverty. Imports have become prohibitively expensive as a result, forcing the central bank to dip into its reserves to subsidize wheat, fuel and medicine. Fuel shortages and bread lines have become common.
Beirut’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and some were badly damaged in the blast…For over a year, medical practitioners have warned that the government’s failure to pay money it owes hospitals was endangering public health, and the coronavirus outbreak only made matters worse….Public hospitals have limited intensive care capacity and have at times been forced to turn off air conditioning and delay surgeries due to fuel shortages.”
Added to this Lebanon has taken in 1.5 million refugees since war erupted in neighbouring Syria in 2011. Syrian refugees make up 30% of the country’s population, the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.
Bishops’ Appeal has long supported Christian Aid and Tearfund partners in Beirut, in their work with vulnerable communities, not least people living with disabilities, people who are refugees, people who have or are exposed to Gender Based Violence and people in need of basic humanitarian assistance such as food and shelter.
Already in April of this year, Christian Aid partner Basmeh & Zeitooneh [Smile and Olive] reported that they had spoken to families who at that early stage [of lockdown]were already reporting having no food, not even bread in their homes.
“Now, the food crisis will deepen further. The grain stores in the port are completely destroyed. The port is the entry way for Lebanon’s grain imports; they import 90% of their grain for the staple Lebanese bread.”
Bishops’ Appeal has already funded the provision of emergency supplies and increased food and hygiene parcels for people who were destitute because they lost their casual labour jobs during lockdown.
Now, as Christian Aid and Tearfund partners assess the damage and the needs, Bishops’ Appeal extends the opportunity to all parishes and individuals who wish to contribute to these vital efforts to do so via Bishops’ Appeal. Donations can be made online http://www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give/ or sent to Bishops’ Appeal, Beirut Response, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, D6.
Tearfund church partners in the Beirut ask for our continuous prayers saying “Eyes on the Lord, hand to the plough, with faith that He will guide us to safe shores.”
Thank you for your support.
Bishops’ Appeal supported the USPG Covid-19 Emergency Appeal.
In this sermon, the Bible readings help draw out the experiences of Indigenous people in the Philippines, who are trying to survive the Pandemic and human rights abuses, but it also highlights the response of the Church, which is speaking out against injustices and responding in practical and loving ways, even though it is dangerous to do so.
The video of the sermon is here: https://vimeo.com/436797270
The script of the sermon is here: Seeds soil and solidarity – USPG Sermon for July 12
And a prayerful meditation on mining in the Philippines can be found here: https://vimeo.com/285608371
Read updates from Zambia, Sierra Leone, Northern Argentina, Lebanon and beyond to get a clear picture of how your donations to the Bishops’ Appeal have been supporting the world’s most vulnerable people before and during lockdown.
To support these and other efforts, you can donate to the Bishops’ Appeal, selecting our Covid-19 emergency appeal or donating to our General Funds. One gives relief in times of crisis, the other builds resilience to help withstand crisis.
(Picture of South Sudanese women planting seeds they have received from Christian Aid as part of the Covid-19 emergency response.)
USPG are working hard to support churches and communities around the world respond to Covid-19. Bishops’ Appeal supported their efforts by releasing €10,000 to their Appeal.
Here, they have provided a timely sermon for this Sunday, June 14th: https://vimeo.com/428503981/d49c3d162b
The transcript for the sermon is here: To look with tenderness -A sermon from USPG for 14 June 2020
Also, there is a prayer, which can be used as part of Sunday’s service or as a separate resource. It is The Lord’s Prayer for faith in a time of changing climate: https://vimeo.com/228292829
In light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Bishops’ Appeal – the Church of Ireland’s World Aid and Development Programme – is releasing a total of €50,000 to five key partner mission and development agencies to support their efforts among the world’s most vulnerable people.
The five agencies are Christian Aid, Tearfund Ireland, CMS Ireland, USPG, and Motivation. The emergency responses include distributing essential supplies such as food, soap, medicine and information to people whose markets have shut down and who have no access to supplies, people who live in informal settlements and in refugee camps, and people who are living with a disability.
Christian Aid is using the lessons from the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus. The agency is already taking action in Rohingya refugee camps where 850,000 people live in cramped conditions. Working together with partners, Christian Aid is informing people about the risks, offering hygiene and handwashing sessions, ensuring that health facilities in camps have triage and isolation spaces in order to receive suspected cases, and providing training to health personnel and key frontline aid workers.
Tearfund is working in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Uganda and with Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are living in densely packed conditions in makeshift shelters, waiting for peace and the possibility to return home. Whereas people would have previously congregated to receive essential supplies, volunteers now knock on hundreds of doors delivering food and medicines. These are countries with much fewer resources than Ireland to face this pandemic – for example, in Uganda, it is estimated that there are more government ministers than ICU beds.
CMS Ireland is working with partner churches which are distributing handwashing supplies in refugee camps in northern Uganda. Diocesan clinics in the region need assistance to upgrade their personal protection equipment and to upgrade their main hospital to be ready as a treatment and isolation centre.
In South Sudan, partner churches are requesting funds for bicycles to help to spread accurate information. The war has ensured that the vast majority of people living in the country have no financial reserves – so being unable to work their gardens or sell at market has left many in need of food and soap. Several dioceses wish to make packs available to the most vulnerable in their communities. The Mothers’ Union in Maridi has been busy making masks for the diocesan clinic and they need further supplies.
In eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kindu Diocese is also suffering the devastating impact of local floods at this time and their communities are displaced, already without food and basic supplies.
The Urban Development Programme in Kenya ministers to communities in informal settlements. The programme has identified many elderly residents who are without basic household supplies and would like to provide these for them.
USPG is launching a new fund in solidarity with churches locally – across South and East Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania, the Middle East and Europe – as they provide care and support for their communities most in need, out of their faithful commitment to God’s love. USPG has already sent money to Guinea, in West Africa, for the distribution of sanitation kits, and emergency support to families of agricultural labourers in central Sri Lanka where coronavirus restrictions have severely exacerbated pre-existing difficulties created by unusually dry weather.
Motivation is working with disabled people in Africa and South Asia who have lost jobs and income, lack access to food and medicine and are struggling with pain and loss of dignity, due to a lack of urinary and sanitary products, which increases their risk of serious infection. These people are also often excluded from support so a network of communication and support is being utilised to keep them connected and informed.
The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Chair of Bishops’ Appeal, said: ‘Aware of the financial pressures parishes are currently experiencing, the Church of Ireland is not launching its own major appeal but asking dioceses, parishes and individuals to give what they can to the appeals launched by our partner agencies, with Bishops’ Appeal acting as a conduit. In the midst of our own sufferings and fears at this time, it is vital that we remember those in countries with fewer resources and expertise.’
Further donations can be sent to Bishops’ Appeal through our website at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.angl
Our #Pennies4Plastics Lenten Initiative is here!
Check out this information sheet full to the brim with everything you need to reduce plastic waste and support others to do the same this Lent. Pennies4Plastics Complete Resource
If you want to download the different sections separately, please click on the links below:
Download labels and attach them to recyclable jars for your Lenten Collection: label setup #pennies4plastics
Read about some of the successes and experiences of TEFL grant recipients and then download an application form to begin or enhance your own volunteering journey:
In 2018, Bishops’ Appeal offered a grant to people interested in becoming qualified to teach English as a second language. There was huge interest in the grant from people all over the island of Ireland and people at all stages of life. Shortly after the first round of grants had been allocated the father of a successful grant recipient approached me to thank Bishops’ Appeal for the initiative. His daughter recently finished a Masters and was struggling to find work. Getting the TEFL qualification had encouraged her to get involved in local outreach and had redirected her thoughts and given her confidence to put into practise her passion for others.
This is not an isolated story. Some grant recipients were already involved in church or community migrant support groups, but the TEFL course enabled them to bring this volunteering to another level. Others, through different life experiences, had lost confidence in being able to make a difference and the qualification gave them the boost to reconnect with community groups and to make friends with refugees. Others again, had no experience in this area but have sought out groups in order to volunteer. The grant also stirred up a lot of questions for people about the potential for their church to provide the classes if one or more of the parishioners were to become qualified. It has been exciting to see the potential and the action, when people are given a little support.
Judy in Sligo has great plans for using her qualifications when she has finished wading through the grammar section:
‘We have a large Direct Provision Centre here in Sligo called Globe House where approximately 200 people live along with children. Having personally heard of some of their challenges, I understand how difficult it is for them to learn English and I felt compelled to help in some way. When the grant was advertised in the “Vox” magazine, I applied and was successful. I guess God had something to do with it!
I’m enjoying the TEFL course – the grammar module is certainly a challenge! There is a lot more detail than I recall in school! The course is very well structured and besides the theory, there are videos and demonstrations to further explain concepts and methodologies ; also quizzes with each module which are submitted for grading and are necessary to gain the qualification. The course must be completed within six months. Hopefully I will gain the qualification by early February 2019.
I am hoping to teach TEFL to asylum seekers in one of the local centres and perhaps too with the ETB (Education Training Board). I have been in contact with one of the tutors and have been asked to contact him when I have completed the course. I’m also considering if it could be used in church ministry.
I’m looking forward to teaching and using the qualification to help others. I know it will be demanding but also rewarding and fulfilling. A big ‘ Thank you’ again to the Church of Ireland for the grant.’
Marjorie in Galway, has already completed her course and is putting her qualifications to great use:
‘While I was working on the Discovery/Galway Christian Fellowship soup trailer for the homeless I got to know a man from Eastern Europe. Joseph (not his real name) expressed his frustration at finding it difficult to obtain work because of his poor English. No job means no house, No house means living in a hostel or on the streets. No home means it is very difficult to have your children come to visit you. It’s a vicious circle that is so problematic to get out of.
The TEFL course was a bit more demanding than I expected. There are 13 tenses in English! That’s a few more than I was expecting. On the other hand, it was broken up into bite sized units which helped.
I’m enjoying teaching, as a volunteer, with Galway City Partnership. I have seven students, each from a different country, each trying to fit in with their new culture, find work and care for their families.
Long term, I would love my church, Galway Christian Fellowship, to host an English class as an expression of God’s love to our local community.
Thank you to The Bishops’ Appeal for their support in funding this course.’
Due to the success of the grants in 2018, Bishops’ Appeal will again be funding TEFL courses in 2019. Where is God calling you to serve this year? Maybe you feel pushed to connect in with a local community group or your parish could provide the meeting space for conversational classes? Maybe the Direct Provision Centre in your area can be accessed through English classes and friendships that cross cultures and languages can be born. Whatever it may be, may you be open to the promptings of the Spirit, and may you celebrate the wonder of serving God: where you, the giver, are enriched in ways that far surpass your own ability to enrich others.
Click here to download: TEFL 2019 Application
Now Available in All Dioceses
Members of the Church of Ireland can support communities all over the world this Christmas by purchasing a Bishops’ Appeal calendar. For just €10/£10, the calendar will raise funds to make a difference on the ground throughout 2019. It commemorates the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland – the 150th anniversary of which starts next year – and each month provides a reflection from its bishops on issues or projects that have been supported by Bishops’ Appeal over the years.
The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Chair of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee, said: ‘2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. Throughout those 150 years, this Church has worked to support the disadvantaged in some of the poorest parts of the world. The calendar is both a celebration of that partnership but also a reminder of how life is for so many. Those who purchase a calendar will be supporting this ongoing work as we seek to bring relief to disaster situations as well as supporting health, education and rural development projects.’
Calendars can be purchased in the following ways:
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi on Friday morning, causing a tsunami and around 170 aftershocks. It is the most devastating earthquake to hit Indonesia since 2004.
The area devastated by the disaster is bigger than originally thought. The tsunami wave was as high as six metres in some places.
The death toll is currently at 832 and expected to rise sharply. 821 of the deaths occurred in the city of Palu. There are still only 11 casualties recorded in the city of Donggala, one of the worst hit areas
Bodies are now being buried in mass graves once they have been identified.
The city of Palu has been devastated. There is no electricity and drinking water is in short supply after the pipes were damaged. Fuel is also running low.
Rescue operations are hindered by the lack of heavy equipment needed to shift the rubble. Most search and rescue of victims is being done by hand.
Bishops’ Appeal is acting as a conduit for funds which they will direct to agencies to aid emergency relief efforts on the ground.
However, we would urge parishes and individuals not to divert Harvest giving as there are many communities awaiting funding for life saving projects across the globe. For example, refugee training and trauma support centres in Lebanon and Iraq and access to safe water for schools and communities in Uganda.
All information on giving can be found at the ‘Give’ section of this website.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
- Luke 4, vs 18 & 19 (NRSV)