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Will you give to our Lent appeal for ordinands?

01 April 2022

Robert Ashinda, a Kenyan ordinand and TAPA bursary student, is described by his college principal as “hardworking and disciplined”

Robert Ashinda, a Kenyan ordinand and TAPA bursary student, is described by his college principal as “hardworking and disciplined”

THIS week we are making a special plea on behalf of the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund.

As we enter Passiontide, we must report that donations to the TAP Fund are lower than in previous years, including at the height of the lockdown. Last year, we raised £35,000, which was lower than in previous years. At present, it does not appear that we will reach even this total in 2022. The current sum donated stands at £7198.

We understand the reasons for this. When a new crisis occurs, other charitable efforts suffer. Also, fears of rising prices are making many readers cautious, especially those on fixed incomes.

But, unlike in previous years, when TAP was devoted to English ordinands, for most of the ordinands in Africa whom we support there is no possibility of any other back-up. Just like those training for the priesthood in the UK, many ordinands in Africa have families to support, and the Churches there are generally too poor to provide much in the way of funding, if anything. Often, the TAP Africa bursary is all that an ordinand has by way of support.

It is an uncomfortable truth that every hardship, every financial concern experienced by our readers, is experienced, too, by those in Africa — and generally to a much greater extent.

In the midst of war, refugee crises, and concerns about the cost of living, we therefore have no hesitation in urging readers to consider a donation to the TAP Fund during Passiontide.

This is the TAP Fund’s platinum jubilee year. We have been running this appeal every year since 1952, supporting countless ordinands when church funds have been scarce or non-existent. It has been a privilege in these past three years to extend this service to ordinands in the poorest countries of the world.

We repeat the reassurances we make regularly to all who give, or are considering giving: that every penny will go to the candidates for training, thanks to our partnership with CAPA, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa. Nothing is retained to cover administrative expenses, either here or in Africa.

We also encourage readers to consider leaving a legacy to the Church Times Train-A-Priest Fund, either for ordinands in Africa or the UK. The need will not go away, and we know that Church Times readers will continue to try to meet it.

How to donate to the TAP Fund

Here is a form to use if you wish to send a cheque or charity voucher. But we would encourage you to donate online, quickly and securely. This is our preferred method: www.churchtimes.co.uk/train-a-priest-fund.

We will accept donations in any shape and size, however. 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 on page 3 of this week’s issue and send it with your cheque.

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