TROUBLE at home has, in the past, badly affected charitable giving. The 2008-09 financial crash almost halved donations to the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund, although the effect took a while to filter through.
Fortunately, any English ordinand who experiences hardship during his or her training can expect a generous response from TAP, thanks to the legacy of Angela Tuddenham (News, 28 February).
Because this year’s appeal is being focused on ordinands in Africa, however, there is no such cushion. Clearly, a legacy to TAP Africa would be of great benefit down the line; but, for the time being, African ordinands are relying on the pockets, purses, and wallets of our readers.
The coronavirus has the potential to undermine the appeal. Potential givers be fearful that living under the threat of the virus will make unexpected demands on their finances. Certainly, many people in the UK have had their income suddenly reduced, some to nothing.
None the less, such experiences should not diminish sympathy for African ordinands, but, rather, increase them. The risk of sudden and potentially fatal illness, financial insecurity, the threat posed by others, and unpredictable shortages and medicines are common to many millions in Africa, and the people who attempt to minister to them. And not for a short period of weeks or months, either.
We believe that the coronavirus pandemic will make our readers more willing than ever to donate generously to TAP Africa. It might take extra effort amid the distractions of the present time; but, using the form on page 8, or, even better, the Gift Aid form online, the effort is not too great.
And readers can give in the confidence that the TAP pledge, made at the very beginning of our annual appeal, in 1952, still holds: not a penny will be withheld for administering the funds. With the help of our partners, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), all will go to ordinands whose needs, perhaps this week, are a little more imaginable than before.
How to donate to the TAP Fund
Every penny you can give goes to ordinands in Africa who face financial difficulty, to support them as they complete their training. Nothing is retained to cover administrative expenses.
Donate online quickly and securely: www.hymnsam.co.uk/donations/tap-fund/
Or you can give by cheque or charity voucher. Please make cheques payable to: “The TAP Fund” and send to:
TAP Fund, Church Times, Hymns Ancient & Modern, 13a Hellesdon Road, Norwich NR6 5DR
If you are a UK payer of income or capital gains tax, a payment by Gift Aid means that the Church Times, through the Hymns Ancient & Modern charity, can recover 25p for every £1 that you give.
If your donation is eligible for Gift Aid, please include a completed TAP Gift Aid form with your cheque. You can also opt for Gift Aid when making an online donation.