FOR many decades, Church Times readers have generously supported ordinands in England through our Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund. Countless members of the clergy and their families experiencing hardship during training benefited as a result.
A couple of years ago, our focus changed when the TAP Fund received a substantial legacy from a retired headmistress, Angela Tuddenham. Miss Tuddenham’s bequest means that any ordinand who suffers financial difficulties while training for the priesthood in the Church of England now can apply for a TAP grant via the National Ministry Team in Westminster.
This generous legacy meant that we could turn our attention to the Anglican Communion, and specifically, the continent of Africa, where 40 million Anglicans live and worship, and where funds for training priests are often non-existent. The TAP Africa appeal — launched in 2020 with the backing of the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon — offers a lifeline for some of these ordinands.
Of course, we had no idea when we launched that appeal two years ago what the pandemic would mean. Nor had any of us expected that we would be starting Lent two years later with a war in Europe as well as a cost-of-living crisis at home.
Yet there’s no escaping the fact that Covid-19 has had a crushing impact on the developing world. The widespread rates of infection and the slowing down of global trade have been devastating. The financial needs of those in training are greater than ever — and so once more we appeal to the generosity of our readers to contribute to a worthy cause.
We will again be working in partnership with the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), a co-ordinating body that operates in 25 countries in 13 Anglican Provinces, to ensure that funds are targeted towards those most in need.
Under the leadership of its General Secretary, the Ven. J. W. Kofi deGraft-Johnson, CAPA will ensure that funds go to benefit 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.
Last year, readers donated £41,443 to TAP Africa. It would be wonderful if we could equal or surpass that total this year. We start the 2022 appeal with an encouraging £1798 in the kitty, donated since the 2021 appeal closed at Pentecost.
We have no hesitancy in recommending TAP Africa to our readers once again.
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
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.