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Bishop launches Christmas and Lent Appeal

Church-goers from across Hampshire and East Dorset have been invited to donate to the Bishop of Winchester’s Christmas and Lent Appeal in aid of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Communion ‘Together in Unity’ Fund supporting vulnerable communities in Companion Link Provinces during the pandemic.

The Right Reverend Dr Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester, is asking people in the Diocese of Winchester to contribute to his Christmas Appeal to raise funds to help Christian communities around the world respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the widespread and long-term impact of the pandemic, this year’s Appeal will also be extended to Lent 2021.

The Diocese of Winchester has close and historic partnerships with the Anglican Church across three continents: the Provinces of Burundi, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Rwanda and Uganda. Funds raised through the appeal will be directed to specific Covid-19 projects which the Provinces have submitted already, these include projects in Myanmar and the DR Congo.

In the Diocese of Kinshasa in the DR Congo, funds will support the establishment of a new farm in Kinzau-Mvuete, 260 miles south west of the capital, Kinshasa. The new farm will aid the sustainable development of the area and forms part of the Diocese’s response to the economic crisis declared by the Covid-19 disease. The project aims to help tackle extreme food shortages in the local area and to generate employment and provide a sustainable source of income for local people.

In Myanmar, funds will support the 500 Christian volunteers, including many clergy, who have been assisting medical staff in the understaffed Covid hospitals in the city of Yangon since April. The financial support will equip these volunteers with PPE and medicines, as well as providing safe accommodation where they can quarantine before returning to their own homes and families.

Bishop Tim has asked parishioners in the Diocese of Winchester to support these key projects through the Christmas and Lent appeal:

“This Christmas will not be like previous years. As we reflect on what has been a difficult year, I pray that we will know the love of God and the hope that Jesus Christ brings. This pandemic has taught us how mutually interdependent we are, and the important part we play in supporting and caring for one another, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. I hope that people across the Winchester Diocese will give generously to our Christmas appeal to support our friends in Christ across the Anglican Communion as they respond to the pandemic.”

Archbishop Stephen Than, the Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Myanmar and Bishop of Yangon, said:

“In Myanmar, we have struggled with many trials in the last few years and now in 2020 we are faced with this pandemic. We do not know when the pandemic will end and how long we will have to contend with it. Yet, with support from our friends across the world, I know we are not alone. I would like to thank our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Winchester who, even as you are managing your own difficulties, you continue to reach out and bless others. We are very grateful for your support and prayers.”

To donate to the appeal please go to: https://www.give.net/dioceseofwinchester

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