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Will you help train a priest? Will you donate online to TAP? Our Lenten appeal opens

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Petertide scenes: ordinands from last July in Durham Cathedral

Petertide scenes: ordinands from last July in Durham Cathedral

THE start of Lent means that we appeal to our readers once again for the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund. Will you help to train a priest?

This year, we have made giving to TAP even easier, with a simple method of giving online.

The TAP Fund was begun in 1952 by the then Editor, Rosamund Essex, in response to stories of hardship that she heard from ordinands who were unable to support their family on the meagre grants received from their dioceses. The response from Church Times readers was immediate and extraordinarily generous. It has been so every Lent since then.

Whom it is for

TIMES have changed, but training for ordination still involves sacrifice. Every ordinand, married or single, receives a TAP grant if he or she is in full-time training for the priesthood in the Church of England.

In addition, ten per cent of every donation goes into the Special Hard­ship Fund, which exists to help any ordinand training for the priesthood in the C of E in a college, on a course, or on an OLM scheme, whose train­ing is jeopardised by financial dif­ficulties. Candidates may apply to the fund at any time during their training.

Nothing is lost

TAP giving is ring-fenced for the support of tomorrow’s ordained minis­try. The Church Times has never taken anything to cover the cost of administering the appeal. This means that every pound you give goes straight to the support of the priest­hood.

We are grateful to the Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Coun­cil, who disburse TAP grants, again without holding anything back for administration.

How to give

WE ARE delighted when people give in any way they can. Cheques are fine; we will even accept postal orders and cash.

The easiest way, though, both for you and us, is the new online giving page: www.hymnsam.co.uk/train-a-priest. This is a secure page, and so your donation can be given safely, in just a few moments.

If you wish to send a cheque, please note the new address: TAP Fund, Church Times, 13a Hellesdon Park Road, Norwich NR6 5DR. If you would like an acknowledgement, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

Gift Aid

IF YOU are a UK taxpayer, you can add 25 per cent to your donation just by completing a simple Gift Aid declaration. Last year this boosted the TAP total by more than £5000. You can do this on our online donations page, or, if sending a cheque, by using the form below.

Even if you are not a taxpayer, it helps our accounting if you send a copy of the form along with your donation. Just do not tick the Gift Aid box.

Why you should give

THE support of new candidates for the priesthood is one of the most valuable things you can do. The period of training is an intense one, and helping to free ordinands from anxiety about finance is a tre­men-dous gift to them.

At present, TAP grants to or­dinands in full-time college training range from £355 to £1050 p.a. The average grant to a married candidate with children is £980 p.a.

Since the TAP Fund started, more than four-and-a-quarter million pounds have been raised by Church Times readers. We appreciate that, at times such as these, there are many other claims on your generosity. But it is also at such times that your donations to TAP are most needed.

A bishop writes

The Bishop of Norwich, who chairs the Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council, has written to the Editor this week:

Sir, — I am extremely heartened that the Church Times is running its Train-A-Priest Fund appeal again this Lent.

The TAP Fund is crucial in providing much-needed assis­tance for those training for ministry in God’s Church, and, since 1952, 5457 clergy have benefited from grants made from the fund.

The cost of ministerial train­ing continues to rise, and this fund is invaluable in providing ordinands with assistance to­wards their living expenses whilst in training.

Additionally, the TAP Special Hardship Fund provides finan­cial help to those who find them­selves facing unforeseen finan­cial difficulties, and 45 grants were made from this part of the fund last year.

Last year, through the great generosity of your readers, £89,598 was raised for the TAP fund. As your readers know, we take no money for administration, mean­ing that 100 per cent of this was available to support ordinands and their families.

We are tremendously grateful to everyone who has donated in the past, and we hope that, through donating to this year’s ap­peal, your readers will con­tinue to help our future clergy as they prepare for their ministry.

GRAHAM NORVIC:
Ministry Division
Church House, London SW1

Spread the word

PLEASE give generously, and tell other people at your church about the TAP Fund. Also on the online-donation page (www.hymnsam.co.uk/train-a-priest) you will find a copy of an A4 leaflet that you can download and print out to give the details to others.

Another way in which the Fund has benefited is through legacies. A small provision in your will can be an excellent way of saying thank-you for the ministry you have received over the years.

The TAP appeal gets off to a good start: we already have £29,165.94 in the fund, made up, in part, by donations since May last year, and in part by a big Gift Aid payment. Please help if you can. Every £1 you give will go straight to the people who need it most, and secure the next generation of priests.

The Train-A-Priest donation form can be printed as a pdf via this link or the link below.

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