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Train-A-Priest fund

P2_TAP
 
DIAMONDS may be a girl's best friend, but a Church of England ordinand's best friend is the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund.

TAP supporters who recall that there was a stunning record total for the golden jubilee of our Lenten appeal in 2002 will have already worked out that the Queen's Dia­mond Jubilee this year means that it is also 60 years of TAP.

Like the Queen, TAP has changed in order to stay the same. But, although you can now give online - unimaginable in 1952, when shilling postal orders poured into our offices in Portugal Street - we still begin with the same question: Will you help to train a priest?

Times are harder than they were ten years ago, but will you help us to make this a bumper year? Why not make a special donation, however small, in thanksgiving for the Queen's Christian witness during her reign? Wave the flag for the future of the ordained ministry in every parish in England.

The TAP Fund was begun by Rosamund Essex, in response to stories of hardship from ordinands unable to support their family on meagre diocesan grants.
Church Times readers' response was imme­diate and generous. Since the TAP Fund started, £4,358,117 has been raised by our readers.

Whom it is for

EVERY ordinand, married or single, is eligible to apply for 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.

At present, TAP grants to ordin­ands in full-time college training range from £355 to £1050 p.a. Thirty-five emergency hardship grants were made in the past year.

Nothing is lost

TAP giving is ring-fenced for the support of tomorrow's ordained ministry. The Church Times has never deducted any administrative costs. This means that every pound you give goes straight to the support of the priesthood. The Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council disburses the grants.

How to give

PLEASE give in any way you can. Cheques are welcome, as are postal orders and cash. But you may find our online giving page convenient: www.hymnsam.co.uk/train-a-priest. This is a secure page; so your donation can be given safely in just a few moments.

Cheques, postal orders, cash, and charity cheques should be sent to: TAP Fund, Church Times, 13a Hellesdon Park Road, Norwich NR6 5DR. If you would like an acknow­ledgement, please enclose a SAE.

Gift Aid

IF YOU are a UK taxpayer, you can add 25p to every £1 of your donation by completing a Gift Aid declaration. You can do this on our online donations page, or, if giving by post, by using the form (link below).

A bishop writes

THE Bishop of Norwich, who chairs the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council, has written to the Editor:

Sir, - I am delighted that the Church Times is running its Train-a-Priest (TAP) Fund appeal again this year. The first appeal coincided with the accession of the Queen in 1952; so we have two Diamond Jubilees to celebrate.

As we look back on the Queen's reign, we can also give thanks that, owing to the generosity of Church Times readers, more than 5500 clergy have benefited from grants made available from the Fund. Last year, £92,733 was raised, every penny of which went to deserving recipients, since the Ministry Division does not take any of the funds given for administration.

The primary purpose of the TAP Fund is to help married candidates for ordination who have children to support, and the average grant to them is around £1000. The TAP Special Hardship Fund, to which some of the money is devoted, makes special grants to those who find themselves in unavoidable and unforeseen
financial difficul­ties. It has been a lifeline to many. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has donated in the past, and we hope that, as we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the TAP Fund, your readers
will continue to be generous. It would be wonderful to see a record amount given this year, especially as the number of candidates for ordination is rising again.

GRAHAM NORVIC: Ministry Division Church House, London SW1

Spread the word

PLEASE tell other people at your church about the TAP Fund. At the bottom of this page you will find an A4 leaflet to download and print.

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.

This year, we kick off with £8776 in the bank, which came in after last year's appeal closed.

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