Christian Aid Week Is Here!.. What Are Your Projects? Read CA's Gill Alexander's Insight Into This Key Week!
South West Christian Aid Co-ordinator, Gill Alexander urged us all to join with her in geting ready for 2011's Christian Aid Week...and now it's here! Nexus is one church in the city, which holds a 'simple lunch' and donates the money that would have been spent on a Sunday roast to the charity.
In this interview Gill tells us why the Iona Community's prophetic speaker and hymn writer, John Bell (who spoke at Manvers Street Baptist Church in March) was a key speaker in the run up to this exciting event.
(PICTURES: JOHN BELL, GILL ALEXANDER)
This exciting event was in preparation for Christian Aid week in May - why have you chosen John Bell to speak?
John Bell is well known around the world as a worship leader, song and hymn writer and prophetic speaker. John is a resource worker for the Wild Goose Resource Group of the Iona Community who work for peace and social justice. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and visited Christian Aid partners in El Salvador before Christian Aid Week in 2007.
Why is ending poverty so important to Christian Aid as an organisation?
We believe poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of dignity, freedom and hope, of power over their own lives. Christian Aid has a vision - an end to poverty - and we believe that vision can become a reality. We are an agency of our churches in Britain and Ireland and are mandated to work on relief, development and advocacy for poverty eradication. Christian Aid's work is founded on Christian faith, inspired by hope and acts to change an unjust world through charity - a practical love and care for our neighbours.
Who do you hope will engage with this event? And What do you hope they will get out of it?
We hope Christians in Bath and the wider area will come along to find out more about Christian Aid, why Christian's should be involved in ending poverty and what practical things they can do to take action. For those who are already involved, we hope the evening will be a chance to celebrate what has been achieved and recommit to fighting poverty.
Is this event part of a wider plan - with similar events nationwide?
Christian Aid has small regional teams around the UK who will be putting on events in the run up to Christian Aid week to inspire people to get involved. For more details they should contact their local Christian Aid office.
What can we and churches do to help end poverty?
We encourage people to give, act and pray. Individuals and churches can donate to support our work in 48 countries around the world through one off donations, holding fundraising events or making a regular donation.
We also encourage people to campaign on issues that affect the poor, such as climate justice. There are always things you can do, from raising awareness about an issue to contacting your local MP. Last but not least we ask individuals and churches to remember those in poverty around the world in prayer. We produce a prayer diary for individuals and prayers linking to Lent, Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas for churches.
What resources can churches download from the Christian Aid Website?
Christian Aid provides prayers, sermon notes, short films, photos and fundraising ideas for churches to use. We also have resources for young people in schools and youth groups on our website.
What is Christian Aid week all about? How can we get involved and support it?
Christian Aid Week is seven amazing days of fundraising, action and prayer. It's a time when communities all over the country get together to raise funds to make real and lasting changes in the lives of some of the world's poorest people. It has now become the country's biggest 'house to house' collection - with thousands of volunteers going from door to door every year delivering envelopes and picking them back up from householders in the week.
Christian Aid supporters also hold thousands of events - plant sales, book sales, sponsored walks, coffee mornings, talent competitions and much, much more. Christian Aid Week is the 15th-21st May this year.
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