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Looking forward to Lent

Published: 10th January 2022

 Bishop JohnA letter for February's editions of parish magazines from Bishop John. 

February is often the start of Lent. Easter is late this year, so Ash Wednesday is not until 2 March, but we’re already planning for this year’s Lent Appeal, which will be for the Diocese of Morogoro in Tanzania.

For the past few years, during Lent we have alternated raising money for our link dioceses in Peru and Morogoro. We are hugely grateful to parishes for their generosity and there is no doubt that the funds we’re able to send make a real difference in both countries. This is particularly true at the moment, with many issues magnified due to the pandemic.

Last year we were able to raise an amazing £10,000 for Peru and the Chair of our Peru taskforce, Phil Bradford has reported that it was a vital lifeline. Half of it was spent on clergy stipends, a quarter on social action programmes (including soup kitchens in some of the shanty towns), 15% on providing training and resources, 5% on church security and 5% on communication. Our gift allowed the Diocese of Peru to continue functioning in a time of great adversity.

Bishop Jorge himself wrote with a heartfelt message of thanks:

“Thank you for hearing our cries, as in the gospel of Mark (10:46-52) where Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus was crying out for mercy and Jesus heard his cry. You heard our cry through the Lord and your diocese had compassion. Thank you for helping us to raise ourselves up, thank you for helping us to see that, in the most tragic moments of life, the Lord through the Anglican family in Worcester gives us the light of hope.”

This year’s appeal for Morogoro will be equally important to our partners in Tanzania. Covid-19 has hit dreadfully hard there and, in addition, drought and flood have devastated harvests. The situation for very many people is critical. Despite all this, Christian hope is alive and well: in recent months, Bishop Godfrey has created a number of new parishes and the diocese is looking to become self-supporting with the development of an education and conference centre.

There will be more information on this year’s Lent appeal available soon on the diocesan website. Please give as generously as you can as well as continuing to pray for all those in Peru and Morogoro. As you do so, give thanks for the many blessing we enjoy here.

Bishop John

Page last updated: Monday 10th January 2022 2:28 PM

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