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Train-A-Priest Fund appeal now open

07 March 2014

geoff robinson

Before the altar: on the eve of Lent, choristers at Ely Cathedral practise on Monday for the cathedral's annual Shrove Tuesday pancake race

Before the altar: on the eve of Lent, choristers at Ely Cathedral practise on Monday for the cathedral's annual Shrove Tuesday pancake race

THIS week we launch our 2014 Lent appeal for the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund. Will YOU help to train a priest?

Every gift to TAP is a vote of confidence in the ordained ministry and for the future of the Church of England. Some of our best givers are priests giving thanks for many years in ministry, and for the help that they themselves received from TAP. This year we begin with £10,191.64, which has come in since last year's appeal ended.

The Fund was set up in 1952 by the Editor at that time, Rosamund Essex, after hearing of the hardship of married ordinands on the meagre diocesan grants. Today, 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, or on a course or OLM scheme - who experiences unforeseen financial difficulties. Candidates may apply to the fund at any time during their training.

In the past year, the average grant to married candidates was £970 p.a.; and 40 hardship grants were made.


Nothing is deducted to cover administration. Every penny is for priesthood. The grants are allocated by the Archbishops' Council's Ministry Division, which is chaired by the Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft. He has written to the Editor:

Sir, - We are very encouraged that the Church Times is about to launch its 2014 Lent Train-A-Priest appeal. Over the years, through the great generosity of your readers, the appeal has raised over £4.5 million and has helped nearly 5700 ordinands - almost the same number as there are stipendiary clergy currently serving in the Church of England.

As always, every penny goes to the ordinands to help with living costs and unforeseen financial hardship: nothing is taken by either the Church Times or the Archbishops' Council by way of administration costs.

We continue to be extremely grateful to your readers, as the TAP and TAP Special Hardship Funds provide our ordinands with welcome relief from financial worries, allowing them to concentrate fully on their training as they follow God's call on their lives.

We pray that through this year's appeal we may continue to provide our ordinands with this vital support. May you and your readers have a blessed Lent and Easter.

Ministry Council
Church House, London SW1

WE STILL take cheques, postal orders, cash, and charity cheques. But many of our readers find it easiest to use our online giving page: www.hymnsam.co.uk/train-a-priest.aspx. This is a secure page.

Please send other donations to: TAP Fund, Church Times, 13a Hellesdon Park Road, Norwich NR6 5DR. If you would like an acknowledgement, please enclose a SAE. To earmark all or part of a donation for the Special Hardship Fund, please use a covering note.

UK taxpayer can boost their gift by making a Gift Aid declaration. Please do this on our online donations page, or by enclosing the form opposite with your donation.

PLEASE encourage other people to give to TAP, too. A colour leaflet can be downloaded, (PDF, will open in new window) and we encourage churches to hold a special collection or fund-raising effort. Please let us know about your support and your stories if you are doing so: we like to mention them in the Church Times.

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