Rowan Williams visits Cathedral for Christian Aid Week
20th May 2016
Former Archbishop Lord Rowan Williams preached at St Albans Cathedral on Sunday,May 15th, to mark Pentecost and the start of this year’s Christian Aid Week. More photos and article below.
Lord Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, spoke about the importance of sharing what we have with others, as we live in one world and share one humanity, saying that Christian Aid Week is a proclamation of the Gospel. It is not just a fundraising or problem solving exercise, but a transfiguring work of the Holy Spirit and an opportunity to help transform the lives of those in need around the world. The revolution and explosion of Pentecost was a gift to the apostles and one in which we can all recognise each other and see that strangers are more recognizable than we think.
Lord Williams said, “Pentecost is a time for remembering that the Holy Spirit gives the gift of communication – we recognise strangers speaking our own language. Christian Aid Week is all about the implications of living in a world made new by Christ, in which we can respond to this miracle of recognition and sharing – and we are reminded of the need to tackle all the varieties of insecurity, poverty and disadvantage that silence people the world over. The challenge is whether we are ready and willing to be part of this process of releasing the voices of the poor so that – like the people in Jerusalem at the first Pentecost – we can hear them talking in our own language about the wonderful works of God”.
Christian Aid Week (15-21 May 2016 www.caweek.org) is Britain’s longest running door-to-door fundraising initiative. This year’s campaign is asking the British public to love every neighbour and support poor communities around the world, who often are forced to live without the basic needs of food and shelter.
The focus is on helping families in Bangladesh whose homes are regularly ravaged by floods. Increasingly warmer and wetter weather can force families to flee their homes, causing homelessness and hunger. As climate change continues to affect communities around the world, including Bangladesh, it is the poorest that are bearing the brunt. Christian Aid local partner organisation, Gana Unnyan Kendra (GUK) supports families, like that of mum-of-three, Morsheda, whose homes in the low-laying island in the Brahmaputra river in Bangladesh suffer with the consequences of annual floods, which destroy their homes, belongings and lives, leaving them with nothing.
A Christian Aid Home Safety Package (£250) provides an earth plinth, raising a home 6-8ft above water, creating a safe place for a family to rebuild their home and safely keep livestock. The package also includes a goat, seeds and a wormery, all of which will provide a long-term income.
Christian Aid’s Regional co-ordinator for Hertfordshire, Adrian Whalley said: “We were incredibly privileged to hear Dr Williams preach on Sunday here in St Albans. “Christian Aid Week is our biggest fundraising moment annually and unites over 20,000 churches every year to achieve incredible things to support our global neighbours in need, who are often suffering through no fault of their own, and this is a great opportunity for the people of St Albans to do their bit.”
You can help to change the lives of climate-affected families in places like Bangladesh this Christian Aid Week by donating online at www.caweek.org calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘SAFE’ to 70040 to give £5.