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Goodbye from Kathy

March 2016

From Shetland to Dumfries, from Skye to Dundee, and all points in between - over nearly seven years, I've had many opportunities to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Scotland, as I've visited hundreds of churches and communities where people support the work of Christian Aid.

Kathy Galloway with Alison Prout of CAP

But more than the scenery, I've come to a new appreciation of the huge commitment, creativity and sheer hard work of Christian Aid supporters.

Portrait of Kathy Galloway The fundraising that goes on in coffee mornings, concerts and book sales, Bridge Crosses and sponsored walks, cycle rides and marathons.

The campaigning of those who have marched many miles, lobbied their politicians, travelled to London, Belfast, Copenhagen and Paris to get serious action on climate change, which devastates the lives of so many across the globe - and increasingly affects those nearer to home.

The concern of the thousands who have responded to emergency appeals for people caught up in disaster or conflict through no fault of their own: in Haiti, Pakistan, East Africa, Gaza, the Philippines, Nepal; in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the refugee crisis in Syria.

  • Age is no barrier to idealism nor youth to effectiveness.'

And every year, I've marvelled at the organisation that goes into Christian Aid Week, the dedication that goes into house-to-house collections and the generosity of spirit shown in the prayers and church offerings on Christian Aid Sunday.

I've admired those who climbed mountains in our 70 Munros challenge, who have partnered with communities in Malawi, Brazil, Lebanon and many other places, and who have baked for Scotland!

I've discovered that age is no barrier to idealism nor youth to effectiveness.

And I am moved to see that the ability to imagine oneself in the shoes of someone in deep distress, or of a community which just needs a bit of outside help to build a decent and dignified future, still inspires so many supporters and churches to reach out to their global neighbours.

It is truly a gospel response of faith, hope and love.

And as I retire from working for Christian Aid (though not from being a supporter, which I will always be), I want to wish you well in all your efforts.

For Christian Aid Week, which this year focuses on low-lying river communities in Bangladesh, which are continually being swept away by repeated flooding and losing their food-growing land - a disaster for already poor families.

For all the campaigning and fundraising support you give throughout the year. For the prayers you offer for our work. And for being a vital part of this movement of faith, working with churches and partners around the world to challenge the unjust systems and practices that keep people poor.

Finally, if you are able, I'd encourage you to think about making a regular gift to Christian Aid.

We all know from personal experience that it is easier and more effective to budget and plan if we can count on some regular income, and this is as true for Christian Aid as it is for ourselves or our churches.

Even the price of two cups of coffee a month makes a huge difference when multiplied.

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So, now it's over to Sally Foster-Fulton, the new Head of Christian Aid Scotland, and to the rest of the brilliant Scotland team. They are here to help you as you help others. Thank you, goodbye, and many blessings to you all.

Kathy Galloway


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