Bishops’ Appeal Supports Partner Agency Responses in Haiti

On Saturday 14 August, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti at Les Cayes, 75 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince. On Tuesday 16 August, Tropical Storm Grace hit Haiti, triggering flooding and mudslides complicating rescue efforts.

Oxelia, a resident of Corail, was at home when the earthquake hit. “We screamed and ran outside into the street. We
were all too afraid to go back into the house because you could still feel aftershocks,” she says. She, like many others. slept outside for a number of days, the memories of the earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, still very fresh in her mind.  “But now it has been days, and I see that my neighbors’ houses have a lot of cracks, but
mine is fine’ Oxelia’s Habitat home, like 98% of those Habitat has assessed so far, stood strong. Sadly many
of her neighbours homes suffered severe damage or were completely destroyed.  Oxelia’s was one of 1,200 homes which Habitat partnered with families in Haiti’s South West Peninsula to build after Hurricane Matthew, proving that investing in better rebuilds  makes a huge difference.

But in the present, the earthquake has claimed more than 2,200 lives, injured almost 12,000 people and destroyed 130,000 homes. At least 344 people are still missing. Families are seeking safety wherever they can with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Entire communities have been made homeless.

Bishops’ Appeal is supporting Christian Aid Ireland and Habitat for Humanity NI who have worked alongside communities in Haiti since the 1980’s and are on the ground to assess and provide supports, and to set up much needed emergency responses, including repairs and rebuilds.  The immediate responses include supporting rescue services and providing food, clean water, medical assistance and access to makeshift shelters for those who have lost their homes.  The long term responses will be the provision of trauma counselling and the building of more durable, earthquake resistant homes.

Examples of how your donation can help:

£22 could ensure families have essential Hygiene Kits
£75 could help us deliver a Shelter Kit including tarps, tools and household items
£1,311 can pay for housing repairs, after detailed assessment
£3,000 is the cost of transitional shelters, which are designed to be more permanent

Certainly after the earthquake in 2010, when there were scandals in the aftermath regarding how funds were being utilised (or not) to build homes, Christian Aid and Habitat for Humanity achieved their goals of home building by knowing the legal complexities of land ownership and land rights and navigating these before building began. Many Church of Ireland communities contributed generously to these builds and they have stood the test of time.  But there is more work to be done.

We pray for all those who have lost loved ones in this earthquake.  We pray for all those who are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs, trying to keep their children safe, living in a state of shock and wondering if they can keep going.  There is so much relentless pain it can be easier to look away.  But instead we ask God to help us look and see what he sees, and reach out to be His hands and His feet to those who find themselves desolate.

To give, go to

Thank you.

#Connect4Creation Lenten Focus

#Connect4Creation Muddy Bee Trails

Gender Justice Statistics in Irish Churches 2018

In 2018, Vox Magazine conducted a nationwide survey of individuals from multiple churches to gather together the experiences of women in the church and to ascertain the views of church goers on various Gender Justice Issues.

Ruth Garvey-Williams, the editor of Vox, highlighted some of the main findings of the subsequent report in her presentation to the Bishops’ Appeal Gender Justice Conference in April 2019.

You can find her presentation here: Gender Justice Conference

Tearfund Ireland All Age Harvest Resource Pack

You can find the pack here: Tearfund Ireland-All-Age-Harvest-Service-Church-Pack

And you can access the accompanying video and powerpoint here: 


Get Involved in the Covid-19 Response

Mothers’ Union members are busy supporting each other, their neighbours and their local health centres as well as patients in hospitals at this time.  If you are a sewer, knitter or crocheter, these simple ideas are fantastic ways to show love and support at this time.

We pray that every item from face coverings to laundry bags to knitted hearts will bring a sense of peace and love and connection to those who receive them.

A simple video for making a drawstring laundry bag is here:

This allows healthcare workers to put their scrubs/uniforms in a bag straight away and then wash at 60 degrees.


For ICU patients or people in Nursing Homes or simply a small gift to let someone know you are thinking about them here are two love heart patterns.  The idea is that you knit/crochet two hearts: 1 for the person who is sick or dying and the other for a family member so they can feel connected to their loved ones even when they are not with them.  Staff have said it has helped them support the families of people who are in End of Life Care, bringing comfort and easing distress.

Covid Knitted Hearts for ICU

Covid Hearts crochet for ICU






Some people can be a bit forgotten at this time, for example, people who are giving birth and not able to have the same supports as before.  Here is a lovely baby bag for new parents as you always end up with twice as much stuff when leaving the maternity hospital as when you arrived.

(Courtesy of ‘Made with Love’ Pattern Book, 2nd Edition, Mothers’ Union, Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough















Here is a step by step guide for making a simple face covering. The Mothers’ Union uses the word ‘covering’ to distinguish from professional healthcare masks.

They recommend that cotton is used as opposed to polycotton.  They also highlight that the elastic may need to go around the back of the head for glasses wearers.






















And finally, we are familiar with the powerful Mothers’ Union Prayer Shawl.  The Mothers’ Union believes that God is present in our handiwork.  As they knit the prayer shawl they spend time thinking of and praying for the person who will receive the shawl.  It is particularly needed now to wrap people in love, especially those who are vulnerable, bereaved, suffering, or burnt out.

We are Supporting Global Emergency Responses During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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
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 Ireland
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
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

All Age Sermon Outline: Harvest

Sheep versus Goats?

Explore the parable of the sheep and the goats by talking about their differences and how we can be more like sheep when listening to God and responding to others in need.

All Age Harvest Sermon Bishops Appeal