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The Bishop of Southwark's Lent Call

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Christopher

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The theme for the 2019 Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call is “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10.10b) and I am pleased to send to you now the materials for this year.  As you and your parish prepare for Lent and look forward to Easter I commend to your prayers the projects and peoples that we are supporting this year. 

As you pray for them I hope too that you will want to give to these worthwhile and life changing and also support the work of our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe. This year we are pleased to be able to tell you something of the work of the Leprosy Mission in Sri Lanka, Church Army Africa’s Carlile College in Nairobi, Kenya, three projects here in the Diocese as well as information about work in Zimbabwe. In all these places there is a real need; but as I write the situation in Zimbabwe is particularly difficult and we hope that the monies raised through the Lent Call this year help the people of that land to know that they are cared for as we extend prayer and practical support. The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, has written a prayer for Zimbabwe and I would urge you to use it throughout Lent.  You can find it at the end of this letter.  

I am glad to be able to continue the tradition of the Bishop’s Lent Call here in the Diocese of Southwark.  We have been supporting work here and around the world through the Lent call for over 20 years now and last year we were able to give grants of over £92,000 to work in the Holy Land, Zimbabwe and here in our own Diocese.

I hope and pray that you will want to display this material and encourage those in your churches to pray and to give as part of their Lenten discipline. This year, following feedback from the parishes, we have printed some extra project sheets so that you can display both sides more easily.  Do contact Press and Communications if you would like extras on 020 7939 9400. 

Lent is a penitential season when we reflect upon our lives and let God’s light shine into them.  This Lent is a time of great change in our nation and our world continues to be a complicated and at time unjust place where there is violence and often despair. If we can keep the wonderful words in John 10 at the forefront of our minds as we pray this Lent we can be part practically and prayerfully of helping those in our troubled world to know that Jesus came for us all so that we might have abundant life.

It is possible to give to the Lent Call online as well as by cheque, which should be sent to
John Jackson at Trinity House.  As well as information concerning the projects we are supporting you will find enclosed worship sheets for use in schools or Sunday Schools.  Do follow our Twitter feed (@southwarkcofe) and Lent Call blog as we will be adding extra material about the projects each week.  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 Bishop’s Lent Call.

The Lent Call materials can be found on the Diocesan website at: www.southwark.anglican.org/lentcall where you will also find the extra material.

With my thanks and prayers for our partnership in the service of the Kingdom,

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun

In 2019 the Bishop’s Lent Call is supporting projects within Southwark Diocese and in Kenya, Sri Lanka and our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe.

Projects in Zimbabwe:

Initiatives supporting agribusiness, education and infrastructure in our Link Dioceses of Central Zimbabwe, Matabeleland, Masvingo and Manicaland.

Improving leprosy-affected communities in Sri Lanka

Urban mission training at Carlile College, Nairobi

Projects in the Diocese of Southwark:

The Sutton Women’s Centre

Christian CARE, Merton

Salmon Youth Centre

Praying for the people of Zimbabwe

May there be … no cry of distress in our streets. (Ps 144.15)

Loving God,
strong and merciful,
we hear the cry
of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe
and we place them into your hands.
May the hungry be fed,
the sorrowful consoled,
the injured healed,
the hopeless encouraged
and the dead have new life in you.
May justice flow like a river
and may your peace rest upon them.