ONCE AGAIN we ask our readers to dip into their pockets and purses, and reach for their cheque books, for a cause that, as we know from long experience, is dear to their hearts. Lent is here, and we are appealing for donations to our unique Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund.
Will YOU help to train a priest? Will you spare something this Lent for TAP? Every little counts.
Since 1952, TAP has provided grants for 4865 future priests during their training. Our readers have given to the tune of £3,791,536 — more than £9 million in current values.
Please help again. The Director of the Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council, the Ven. Christopher Lowson, writes to the Editor:
Sir, — Since becoming Director of the Ministry Division just over a year ago, I have been aware of the valuable part played by the TAP Fund in the support of ordinands in training. Grants are made towards the maintenance costs of married and single candidates training on a full-time basis at the theological colleges.
In cases of emergency financial need, grants may be made from the TAP Special Hardship Fund to ordinands training in the Colleges and those training on the Regional Courses and OLM Schemes.
Total numbers of ordination candidates in training (1463) are at this moment higher than they have been for some years. Of the 608 candidates currently in college training, no fewer than 386 (63 per cent) are the grateful recipients of grants made from the TAP Fund.
At the start of the 2007 Lenten appeal, I would like to thank your readers for their support of this important fund. Such grants are not only practically helpful to ordinands and their families, but it is also encouraging for them to sense support in their vocation from their fellow Christians.
Church House, London SW1
This year, there are more candidates than ever in college training: 608 compares with 501 in 2004-05.
The TAP Special Hardship Fund exists to help any candidate for the priesthood in the C of E whose training is jeopardised by unforeseen financial difficulty. Any grants from the Special Hardship Fund will not be taken into account by dioceses when setting the level of ordinary support. Twenty-four candidates received TAP hardship grants last year.
Taxpayers can increase their donations to TAP by an extra 28p in the £1 through Gift Aid. The Archbishops’ Council processes the tax claims for the Fund, and cheques need to be made out accordingly.
We need to receive cheque and Gift Aid declaration together. If you are not a taxpayer, please use the form, as it will help with accounting — but then do remember NOT to make the declaration concerning tax paid.
Full-colour TAP leaflets will soon be available for promoting the appeal. Please request them (stating number) from the Editor, Church Times, 33 Upper Street, London N1 0PN. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone 020 7359 4570.)
Send to TAP Fund, G. J. Palmer & Sons, 16 Blyburgate, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9TB. If you wish to earmark a donation for either part of the Fund, please do so in a covering note. CAF or Sovereign Giving cheques are welcomed. In addition to earmarked donations, ten per cent of gifts to TAP will go to the Special Hardship Fund. The grants are administered by the Archbishops’ Council.