Launching the appeal
As the Church in Wales celebrates its centenary next year, Christian Aid is delighted to announce that as part of its celebrations, the Church has launched a five-year appeal to support the vital work of peacebuilding in South Sudan.
The Centenary Appeal was officially launched in a meeting of the Church’s Governing Body, held in Swansea in September 2019. It will be a joint appeal, with funds being divided equally between Christian Aid and Housing Justice Cymru. The aim is to raise £100,000 over the next five years.
Commenting on the generosity of parishioners as the Church in Wales was birthed in 1920, Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, said, ‘Back in 1920 we launched an appeal to establish the Church in Wales and parishioners from every church in the country gave so generously that the Church has been sustained for 100 years. I can think of no better way to celebrate our birthday than by launching another major appeal to raise money – not for ourselves but for those in need, both at home and overseas. I am confident that people will respond with similar generosity and enthusiasm. I also ask you to pray for these projects: for those who run them, for the people they will benefit, and for the energy and commitment to use them to build up God’s Kingdom of justice and peace, solidarity and compassion.’
Coincidently, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan also celebrates its centenary in 2020 and its first bishop was a Welshman, Llewelyn Henry Gwynne of Swansea. Today, the Church’s role in building peace in the war-torn nation is acknowledged as being of vital importance. The Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Committee (JPRC) – a department of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan – is a Christian Aid partner.
Through activities such as peace and reconciliation workshops, trauma healing, conferences, advocacy, peace prayer vigils, training for church, youth, community and civil society leaders and tribal chiefs, the JPRC has a vision to see a peaceful society, free from violence and hatred and is reaching hundreds of people with its message for hope.
The Church in Wales Centenary Appeal will aim to fund an additional staff member within the JPRC, thus ensuring that this vital work is enhanced at a critical moment in the nation’s life.
Mari McNeill, head of Christian Aid Wales, said, ‘The Church in Wales has been a key supporter of Christian Aid throughout our 70 years of existence. We’re delighted to see this latest commitment of the Church to partner with us to work for dignity, equality and justice for people living the reality of extreme poverty in South Sudan where conflict is exacerbating poverty and the humanitarian crisis. The funds raised will go towards supporting those involved in essential peace-building activities in South Sudan. Through the generosity of church members, the Church in Wales will be helping communities to respond to real challenges of building peace with courage and hope.’
Standing in solidarity
Canon Carol Wardman, Bishops’ Adviser for Church and Society said, ‘We are pledging to raise £100,000 but if everyone in our churches gave just a few pounds we would quickly surpass that amount. However, the aim is not just about raising money – it is also about deepening our understanding and solidarity with people experiencing hardship and poverty, and to develop our relationship with organisations helping them.’
Donations towards the appeal can be made through an Instagiv site so that people can donate a fixed amount via text on their phone, as well as giving through traditional means.
Below is a short film about the importance of peace building in South Sudan.