Bishop's Lent Appeal to support vulnerable families

Published: 17th February 2020

Some of the most vulnerable families in the Midlands and abroad will be supported through this year’s Bishop’s Lent Appeal.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, has launched the ‘Precious In My Sight’ appeal which will raise funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall and families under stress in South Africa.

The Bishop’s Lent Appeal is an annual opportunity for churches and others across the Diocese of Lichfield - which covers Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, most of Shropshire and the Black Country - to offer generous support to worthwhile causes.

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist nursing care and support to babies, children and young people who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and associated complex needs. It helps families cope at every stage of their child’s life and beyond, wherever and whenever they need it. Based next to St Gabriel’s Church in Walsall, the hospice is currently at the centre of an urgent £2m appeal to secure its long-term future.

Clergy families in Lichfield Diocese’s link Diocese of Matlosane - South Africa’s only diocese with a cathedral in a township - are under significant stress as they minister to large numbers of people, covering huge distances, with widespread social problems facing many in their congregations including extreme poverty. Funding is needed for a proposed clergy wellbeing event and other support to strengthen families and prevent breakdown.

“This year we are looking to support some of the most vulnerable people with whom we come into contact, knowing that all people are precious in God’s sight and that he has a particular care for the needy,” Bishop Michael said.

“Acorns Hospice in the Black Country has been quietly working to support children with life-changing and life-threatening illnesses, and their families, for many years. Their work honours all lives, no matter how short, and provides essential care and respite to families facing serious illness and disability in their children. I would be very sorry indeed to see the hospice forced to close, but with your support and the hard work of the hospice and local people I am optimistic that its future can be safeguarded and its vital work with children and their families can continue.

“A very different project which I have chosen to support comes from the Diocese of Matlosane, our link diocese in South Africa. It is a wonderful place full of Christians with a deep and lively faith. It is also a place that faces many challenges, notably the toll taken by extremes of poverty, by climate change, and by other serious social issues faced in South Africa. The clergy of the diocese are on the frontline of helping people work out their faith and their lives against this backdrop, and sometimes this can take a real toll on them and their families.”

“I do hope that you will feel able to give generously to this year’s Appeal, and I pray for God’s and I pray for God’s blessing on your own lives, families, and work.”

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For more information about the appeal, click here.

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