Join Mission Festival and pay tribute to charities’ work

This year’s Mission Festival will take place at Brecon Cathedral on Saturday, where Lent Appeal cheques will be presented to the chosen charities.

Bishop John launched his 2017 Lent Appeal calling on members of the diocesan family to demonstrate the generosity and compassion which Jesus asks of us.

Once again four charities will benefit from the appeal, and this year they are:

  • RNLI (suggested by Canon Keith Evans)
  • Faith in Families (committed to by the Bishop)
  • The Little Princess Trust (suggested by Rev Ian Drew-Jones)
  • Open Door UK (suggested by Rev Jeremy Bevan)

RNLI – MUMBLES & HORTON LIFEBOAT

Lifeboat crews at Mumbles have been saving lives at sea for more than 180 years and have been presented with 33 awards for gallantry. The station has also witnessed tragedy with 18 lifeboat volunteers losing their lives while endeavouring to save others.

Adam Evans, son of Canon Keith and Mary, is one of the volunteers who knows, at first hand, just how demanding the task can be. In supporting this year’s Lent Appeal, we have a direct link with the work being done.

OPEN DOORS

Open Doors is an international ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches worldwide. They supply Bibles, leadership training, literacy programmes, livelihood support and advocacy services. It also seeks to mobilise the church in the UK and Ireland to serve fellow Christians living under religious persecution and to make them more aware of the dangers others face simply for being disciples of Jesus Christ.

Open Doors was founded in 1955 by Andrew van der Bijl, a Dutchman more widely known as Brother Andrew, when he decided to smuggle Bibles to Christians he felt were being discriminated against in the then-Communist Poland. He continued this work in smuggling Bibles to many of the Soviet-controlled countries and in 1957 was given a blue Volkswagen Beetle which he used to make deliveries within the Communist bloc. With this new car he was able to carry more literature. Thereafter, the work of Open Doors continued to expand as it extended its network throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

FAITH IN FAMILIES

Faith in Families, part of the Diocesan Board for Social Responsibility, needs no introduction. It is one of the most impressive ways in which the Diocese has developed its outreach into our most disadvantaged communities, making a real difference to people’s lives through its child and family support services, outreach services and, more recently at St John’s in Brecon, older people and health and wellbeing services.

Currently, because of a major shift in policy by the Welsh Government, the very existence of some of its work, as well as the livelihoods of staff members, are under real threat. Your support will be a real boost to the morale of staff and trustees who are fighting to preserve the wonderful community and family work which Faith in Families delivers to people within several disadvantaged communities and who are in both profoundly challenging circumstances and real need.

THE LITTLE PRINCESS TRUST

The Little Princess Trust was launched in 2006 by the parents of Hannah Tarplee, along with help from friends and from Hannah’s school, Hereford Cathedral Junior School. It is a small and unusual trust which brings huge help and support to children who face not only illness, but a radical change in their personal appearance because of it. Such a change can leave a child feeling self-conscious, uncomfortable and even vulnerable to unkind remarks.

Hannah was the original Little Princess.  Sadly, she was diagnosed with having a Wilms’ tumour and, after a brave battle, died in 2005. At that time, finding high-quality wigs for children was very difficult and, only after a long search, was a suitable company eventually found which made a wig for Hannah.  She very much enjoyed wearing her wig, particularly on special occasions. After Hannah died, so many kind people offered help, financial and practical.  Hannah’s parents, Wendy and Simon decided that the most fitting way to use this help was to launch a charity dedicated to providing specialist real hair children’s wigs.  Like so many Little Princesses, Hannah loved her hair and losing it was very traumatic for her.

Since its inception, the charity has now helped thousands of boys and girls.  The charity works with suppliers throughout the UK and Ireland, all of whom supply beautiful, real hair wigs, and it continues to look for new suppliers all the time.

“Your support shows that our internal concerns and challenges don’t take priority over the Gospel imperative to be light and love for others,” Bishop John said.

The service takes place on Saturday, September 9, at noon. There will be a number of stands open from 11am and a light lunch is available after the service. If you would like lunch, contact Alison Trumper.