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 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
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
Church Times readers' response was immediate and
generous. Since the TAP Fund started, £4,358,117 has been raised by
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
Candidates may apply to the Fund at any time during their
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
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
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
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,
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
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.