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Bishop John's Lent appeal for 2024

Published: 14th February 2024

Bishop John’s Lent Appeal this year will be for the Friends of the Holy Land.

Bishop JohnHe writes:

Lent is a time for us to take stock of our lives. To do a spiritual reset and to focus again on the love of God and love of neighbour. Traditionally, Christians during Lent have engaged in prayer and fasting and almsgiving, and I hope that all of us will rededicate ourselves to prayer during this Lent. When it comes to almsgiving, this year I want to encourage you to make a donation to the wonderful charity - Friends of the Holy Land.

Last year I recorded my Lent message in Jerusalem. Sadly, it's no longer possible to take pilgrimages to the Holy Land. We're all aware of the terrible things that are happening there. The atrocious attack by Hamas and the terrible bombardment of Gaza that has followed. This year’s Lent message was recorded in the chapel of St George, where we give thanks for all those whose sacrifice has enabled our freedom, and we pray for peace.

Please continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land and as an act of solidarity with our fellow Christians there, I encourage you to make a donation to the Friends of the Holy Land, a charity which is set up to support the witness and ministry of Christians in that land where Jesus was born, where he lived, where he died, and where he rose again.

Christians are a persecuted minority in the Holy Land and are suffering probably at least as badly as anyone else. So please engage in prayer and fasting for peace and in almsgiving. And may this Lent be a time of spiritual renewal for you. A spiritual reset to enable your lives to turn towards God and neighbour.

Bishop John.

Donate to the Friends of the Holy Land Appeal

Read the latest statement from the House of Bishops on the war in Gaza

More information on the work of Friends of the Holy Land:

Friends of the Holy Land has an office in Bethlehem and a team working tirelessly on the ground, so they receive first-hand accounts of conditions and events that generally do not reach the BBC. This has also allowed them to be one of the few organisations that have managed to send funds directly into Gaza so the people sheltering there can buy the basics of water, food, medicines essential for them to survive. Up until the end of December £105,000 had been sent for this purpose. Here is an extract received recently from the key liaison from the Latin Patriarchate with whom the Friends of the Holy Land works:

"We help directly the 600 in our Holy Family Church, the 200 or so at the Greek Orthodox Church and dozens of Moslem families who are our neighbours. We take care of all their daily needs as humanly possible. We practically buy more than 95% of the needs and today the only things available are on the black market at 10 times the original cost. A litre of fuel at NIS 50 (roughly £12) compared to 7 before, A bag of flour at NIS 700 compared to 100 before; a kilo of “rotten” tomatoes at NIS 25 compared to NIS 1 before, etc…. The cost of maintaining some 1,000 people has exponentially increased in recent weeks…  We have 5 ladies with broken hips who are over 80 with no medical attention and some 5 people with injuries who need hospitals but cannot be evacuated. Though the army is not in their immediate neighbourhood, the situation continues to be very grave with no end in sight!" 

All along there have been around 70 children with special needs from a clinic run by the Sisters of Charity sheltering in the church.

Friends of the Holy Land continues to send funds in to help the operations of the Al-Ahli Hospital which continues its mission in desperate circumstances. In the West bank they have almost doubled their monthly emergency support for families and are developing projects to help provide employment as most people are unable to work in the current lockdown conditions. 

You can watch the following films with more information of the wider situation:

Page last updated: Wednesday 14th February 2024 11:14 AM

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