Church Times Train-A-Priest Fund has supported ordinands and their families in England. Over the years, generous readers have donated nearly £4.8 million to help relieve C of E ordinands of financial worries.
Readers have always been concerned about theological education and pastoral care elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, however, and nowhere more so than in the continent of Africa, where funds for training are often non-existent.
Two years ago, the TAP Fund received a substantial legacy from Angela Tuddenham, a former headmistress who lived near Slough, in Berkshire. Her generosity has ensured that any ordinand who is training for the priesthood in the Church of England and who encounters financial difficulties can apply for a TAP grant, via the National Ministry Team in Westminster.
As a result, in 2020, for the first time in nearly 70 years, we were able to invite our readers to look beyond the C of E and address the far more basic needs of ordinands in Africa, where 40 million Anglicans live and worship — half the worldwide Communion.
You responded, as we knew you would, with great liberality, raising nearly £40,000 by the time the appeal ended at Pentecost.
While setting up the TAP Africa appeal, we had no idea, of course, what was in store for the UK and the rest of the world. Uncertainties about the pandemic, and concern about the welfare of neighbours and family members, naturally occupied readers’ minds and prompted a hesitancy about charitable giving.
One year on, we have a clearer idea of the devastation that Covid-19 has caused — and nowhere more seriously than in the developing world, hit by both the infection and the slowing down of global trade.
THE Church Times was fortunate last year in its partnership with the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), a co-ordinating body that reaches across the whole of the continent, operating in 25 countries in 13 Anglican Provinces.
CAPA, under the leadership of its general secretary, the Ven. J. W. Kofi deGraft-Johnson, set up a simple but effective application method to disburse the funds raised, on the principles that the TAP Fund has always followed: that funds go direct to ordinands, not institutions; that ordinands can use them as they please, including for the maintenance of their families while training; and that no account is taken of gender, age, or theological tradition.
TAP Africa has the backing of the general secretary of the Anglican Communion, the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who last year gave the appeal his warm backing, writing: “Resources for ordinands, their families, and their theological colleges are spread very thinly, and often those with vocations cannot receive the education and formation that they need. I am delighted that, during Lent, we have the opportunity to support an appeal for resources for them.”
We have no hesitancy in recommending TAP Africa to our readers once again. The funds raised in 2020 essential primed the pump in a thirsty continent.
How to donate to the TAP Fund
Every penny that you 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, here or in Africa.
Donate online quickly and securely online. This is our preferred method: www.churchtimes.co.uk/train-a-priest-fund.
But you can also 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, the Church Times, through the Hymns Ancient & Modern charity, can recover 25p for every £1 that you give through Gift Aid. If you are eligible, please indicate this when making an online donation, or complete the form here and send it with your cheque.