FAMILY friends of the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, have donated £50,000 to a diocesan appeal to support Sudan and South Sudan through the Covid-19 crisis.
Addressing the diocesan synod on Thursday of last week, Bishop Holtam said that the appeal, which was launched in July (News, 10 July) and is now closed, had been seen by friends of his parents. “Members of that family have made a generous gift of £50,000 in honour of our parents, Dermot and Margaret McCracken and Sydney and Kathleen Holtam,” he said.
“The gift was made on 1 August, Lammas Day, Loaf Mass Day, which celebrated the first fruits of the harvest and used for communion with God. In this case, it is literally the sharing of bread with those in need.”
A further £78,600 was raised through a JustGiving site, individual donations, and parish fund-raising — well over the original appeal target of £50,000.
The fund is to provide education and photovoltaic electricity and to improve healthcare and hygiene in the geographical area of the Episcopal Churches of the Provinces of Sudan and South Sudan. It is to be spent within five years from 11 November. Any remaining balance after this time will be given to the Churches Conservation Trust.
Responding to the appeal in a message to the diocese, Canon Joseph Bilal, of the Episcopal University in Juba, said: “We thank each and every person in Salisbury diocese for this substantial and generous support despite the economic challenge brought by the pandemic.
“We have started the training and providing the awareness to the church leaders (pastors, lay Readers, Mothers’ Union, Revival members, young families, and youth) across the parishes in Juba diocese. The Mothers’ Union are producing masks that will be taken to the provinces. We will send you detailed report about our work.”