2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Christian Aid Week, which runs this year from 14 to 20 May. Christian Aid was founded by British churches in 1945 to support refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War, and the Christian Aid Week appeal was started twelve years later to help fund this ongoing work.
Today, tens of millions of people around the world are fleeing their homes because of war, conflict and disaster, making dangerous journeys in search of safety, in the biggest movement of people since that time. So once again, in 2017, the Christian Aid Week appeal focuses on helping refugees.
The vast majority of today’s refugees seek sanctuary in poor countries but more than a million refugees have crossed into Europe. They include people like Nejebar, who fled terrible violence in Afghanistan where a family member was killed and the Taliban threatened to murder her husband who was a teacher. Now she and her family are in a refugee camp in Greece. They thought they would only stay for ten days, but have been living in a tent there for more than six months with no end in sight. There is no school for their children and the youngest, five-year-old Sudai, is ill.
Please help us to support Christian Aid as they continue to provide security and basic necessities for refugees. A red Christian Aid envelope will be posted though your letter-box and collected by an authorised collector during the week beginning 14th May. Alternatively you can donate online at www.christianaid.org.uk. More information is on the board at the back of church.
There will be a service to mark Christian Aid Week at St Mary’s Shortlands at 3.30pm on Sunday 14 May. This is organised by Churches Together in Beckenham and the speaker will be Richard Baker, Head of Youth and Campaigns at Christian Aid. All are very welcome.