THE Archbishop of Canterbury has launched an appeal to support the communities across the Anglican Communion that are suffering most from the impact of Covid-19.
In a video published on his website and that of the Lambeth Conference on Tuesday, Archbishop Welby says: “The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented and devastating effect on communities across the world. In many places they are ill-equipped to implement even the most basic hygiene and sanitation measures. Hospitals and clinics are without critical supplies, and lockdown measures have brought wages down to zero.”
Funds raised through the appeal, Together in Unity, will be distributed through the Anglican Communion Fund, which is already supporting coronavirus-response projects in provinces already impacted by conflict, natural disaster, and famine.
The video begins with a quotation from the Bishop of Kondoa, the Rt Revd Given Gaula, in Tanzania, who says: “One lady told me she would rather die from Covid-19 than die from hunger. Five days ago, 13 children came to my house asking for food.”
The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Most Revd Justin Badi Arama, explains that, before the pandemic, his Church had “already faced many challenges from continued political and intercommunal violence. The pandemic has just intensified the challenges we face. The Anglican Communion Fund has supported our Covid-19 response to support our clergy, provide food to the vulnerable, as well as hand-washing equipment and locally made face masks.”
The Archbishop of Hong Kong, the Most Revd Paul Kwong, who is the trustee of the Fund, says: “I would like our brothers and sisters who are still very much affected by Covid-19 to know that we see you and we are with you. As a trustee, I know that they are able to reach out across the Communion, and identify areas of real and greatest need, and to get funds where they need to go.
In a separate video message about the appeal, Archbishop Welby says: “The Coronavirus pandemic has hurt families, communities and nations across the world in so many ways. In our Communion, there is not one province, diocese, or parish that is untouched by the pandemic.
“The body of Christ is hurting. We know that some parts of the body are more hurt than others. And they need our help.”
He concludes: “In this time of global crisis, we need to care for the weaker, and the more vulnerable members of the household. The pain and suffering of my own sister and brother must become my own pain and suffering.”
The Lambeth Conference was due to take place in Canterbury this week but has been delayed to 2022 owing to the pandemic (News, 8 July).
For more information, or to donate, go here.