The Bishop of Southwark's Lent Call
This letter may be downloaded in PDF format here.
A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Christopher
As Lent becomes ever closer, I am pleased to be able to send to you materials for this year’s Lent Call.
For many years, the Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call has raised money for projects within our own Diocese and further afield. In 2016 we were able to give grants totalling over £80,000 to our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe, projects in the Holy Land which we visited during the Diocesan Pilgrimage in Lent and to projects that work with people in our Diocese. As we spend time in prayer and contemplation this Lent I hope that you will feel able to generously support the projects we are supporting in or Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe and locally in the Diocese of Southwark.
The Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call has been offered to the parishes since 1986 and has raised nearly £1,000,000 for more than 150 projects since then. I am grateful to all our churches and schools for their generous gift and fundraising. It is so important that we share what we have in this way. It is as important though that the Bishop’s Lent Call helps each of us to keep a holy and prayerful lent as we consider our lives and how we can show our love for God to the world.
Greetings cards produced for last year’s Lent Call are available again and can be bought from Trinity House. They offer images from our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe are blank for you to use in whatever way you wish. Please publicise these in your church and consider having some to sell in your church as all profits will go to the Lent Call. There is an order form enclosed with this pack.
It is possible to give to the Lent Call by text and online (http://bit.ly/LentCall17) as well as by cheque, which should be sent to John Jackson at Trinity House. You will find worship sheets for use in schools or Sunday Schools and material for use in sermons. Do follow our twitter feed (@southwarkcofe) as we will be adding extra material about the projects each week. There will also be a Lent Call blog with photographs and interviews from the visit that I am making to our Link Dioceses in February with the Dean and the Archdeacon of Southwark. I hope and pray that you will find them useful as you encourage those in your care to use Lent well and to give generously to the Bishops’ Lent Call.
The theme for the 2017 Lent Call is ‘I was hungry… … I was thirsty’. We have selected projects from our Link Diocese in Zimbabwe which concentrate on food security. In the project sheets we speak of the effects of drought on the people of Zimbabwe and yet the news from there at the time of writing this letter is of heavy rains and floods in places. Water is a vital and precious gift but when it comes after a time of drought it can damage the fragile crops. That is what is happening in Zimbabwe now as the soil is so dry that it easily washes away taking the crops with it. So, whilst welcome the torrential water that the country is experiencing at present will not change the situation around food security at this time. So do please pray for our brothers and sisters there.
The projects in this Diocese seek to care for those in need of help with issues of homelessness and drug education. Alongside our giving is also a call to prayer for these projects and the needs they address. The projects we are assisting this year are listed overleaf to help you, and the communities you lead and serve, frame your use of the Lent Call during this holy season.
With my thanks and prayers for your work in the service of the Kingdom,