Archbishop John has presented Lent Appeal cheques to this year’s chosen charities at a service at Brecon Cathedral this afternoon.
The Bishop’s Lent Appeal has raised more than £100,000 for good causes since its launch and this year’s charities are:
USPG, which was commended by Sue King, our Diocesan Rep;
Faith in Families, committed to by the Bishop;
Nordoff Robbins, commended by Canon Alison Jones;
Jeel al-Amal Orphanage, Bethany, commended by Fr Nigel Doyle.
Faith in Families is one of the most impressive ways in which the diocese has developed its outreach into disadvantaged families and communities in our area.
The Diocesan Board for Social Responsibility is involved in highlighting issues of social concern within the diocese, but, as Faith in Families, it is probably best known for running its projects on behalf of the diocese.
Its family centres, outreach projects and affordable – in some cases free – childcare settings strive to be able to fully provide the much-needed children and family support facilities in one-stop centres, easily accessible within local communities.
The St Teilo’s Cwtch community centre and church in the heart of Portmead is now a flagship example of what can be achieved. It provides a family centre, open to all ages, where a range of activities take place including parent and toddler sessions, high scope play group, healthy family lunch, after school club, holiday play scheme, adult courses, breakfast club and sessions for young people over 10 years of age, to learn new skills and develop friendships whilst having a great time together.
Jeel al-Amal Boys orphanage home and co-educational school is in the village of Bethany. A visit was included in the programme for 40 pilgrims from Swansea and Gower when they visited the Holy Land in October last year. Pilgrims were moved and impressed by what they witnessed through the work of the centre.
The home provides a home for around 72 Palestinian boys (Christian and Muslim) most of whom have deep mental scars by what they have witnessed and endured before being welcomed into the home.
The current priority for the school is that they should be properly equipped to manage the boys who come into their care and present with the most difficulties. One of the best ways of helping with this will be being able to provide the right environment; giving them a homely atmosphere at the school’s living accommodation in order to help the boys to feel safe and secure.
Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s leading independent music therapy charity, working across the country offering vital support through its dedicated open access centres and alongside over 150 partner organisations.
Music therapy can help a child with autism to communicate, reduce anxiety for a person living with dementia or provide comfort for someone facing a terminal illness.
In 2017 it reached more people in more places than ever before, delivering music therapy to 7,916 vulnerable and isolated people, with 29,725 music therapy sessions.
Canon Alison Jones said: “In the Parish of Townhill, they have a music therapist who hires our church hall once a week and works with autistic children and stroke victims among others.
“The music therapist who works in Townhill is a really good community resource for such an area. She has brought real fun and laughter to our Seniors group as well as the individuals she helps and the school SDF unit. She can only do that because we offer her reduced hall hire. A bit of extra help might mean the charity could work in other parts of Wales as well.”
United Society Partners in the Gospel was founded in 1701, and is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice.
Environmental degradation. Turbulent global politics. Gender injustice. The desperate flight of migrants. Forced displacement of people at record levels. USPG believes today’s major challenges cry out for words and actions that express a love and solidarity that goes beyond narrow self-interest and national boundaries.
It believes the churches of the Anglican Communion are called urgently in mission to be communities of resistance and hope, witness to the healing power of Christ’s love. So, USPG invites us to journey together with it in rethinking mission, energising church and community and championing justice, which are its three strategic aims:
Rethinking Mission: We bring people together from different parts of the global church in mutually enriching conversation and profound encounters, to increase understanding and deepen our discipleship as inter-cultural Christians.
Energising Church and community: We make connections between the dioceses and communities of the Churches of Britain and Ireland and those overseas and we seek ways in which faith and action can go hand-in-hand. We look to strengthen the unity and capacity of the Anglican church by promoting education and leadership and by learning from each other in rich exchange.