LENT has begun, and that
means that we appeal to our readers once again for the Church
Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund. Will you help to train a
We have asked the same
question of our readers every year since 1952, when the appeal was
first made 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 diocesan grants. In their
turn, the response from Church Times readers has been
amazingly generous every Lent since then.
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 C of E.
In addition, ten per cent
of every donation goes into the Special Hardship Fund, to support
any ordinand training for the priesthood - in a college, in a
course, or an OLM scheme - who experiences particular financial
difficulties. Candidates may apply to the fund at any time during
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.
WE ARE delighted when
people give in any way they can. Cheques are fine; we'll even
accept postal orders and cash. The easiest way, however, both for
you and us, is the online giving page: www.hymnsam.co.uk donations/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 send to our Norwich office: TAP Fund, Church
Times, 13a Hellesdon Park Road, Norwich NR6 5DR. If you would
like an acknowledgement, please enclose a stamped addressed
IF YOU are a UK taxpayer,
you can increase your donation just by completing a simple Gift Aid
declaration. You can do this on our online donations page, or, if
sending a cheque, by using this form.
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 tremendous gift
Since the TAP Fund
started, nearly £4.5 million has been raised. In the present
economic climate, there are many other claims on your generosity.
But it is also at such times that your donations to TAP are most
The Bishop of
Sheffield, who chairs the Ministry Division of the Archbishops'
Council, has written to the Editor:
Sir, - We are extremely
grateful to the Church Times that, once again, it is
running its Lent Train-A-Priest appeal. Last year the appeal
celebrated its Diamond Jubilee, and now, as its seventh decade is
well and truly under way, it remains as vital as ever in funding
our future clergy as they train for their ministries.
Last year, through the
generosity of your readers, the appeal raised £74,076, bringing the
total raised since 1952 to over £4.4 million. As neither the
Church Times nor the Ministry Division of the Archbishops'
Council takes any money for administration, every penny of this has
gone to help ordinands in training with their living costs, or, via
the TAP Special Hardship Fund, to those ordinands who find
themselves in unexpected financial difficulty.
Since its inception, more
than 5600 ordinands and their families have benefited from
assistance from the TAP and TAP Special Hardship Funds. We know
that this has been greatly valued by its recipients, for the relief
that it has provided from financial worries.
We thank God for the
generosity of all who have donated to the TAP Fund over the years,
and pray that this year we may continue to support our ordinands as
they pursue their vocation in obedience to our Lord Jesus
Church House, London SW1
PLEASE give generously,
and tell other people at your church about the TAP Fund. A colour
leaflet can be downloaded here.
The TAP appeal gets off
to a good start: we already have £17,077 in the fund donated since
the last appeal closed in May 2012. A large portion of this,
£10,000, came to us as a legacy. This is another way in which you
might donate to the Fund. Even a small provision in your will can
be an excellent way of saying thank-you for the ministry you have
received over the years.
Please help if you can.