Christian Aid Week 2020 goes digital
Think of Christian Aid Week and you might picture red envelopes through doors, plant sales, Big Brekkies, banners in front of churches, special services and much more.
Since 1957 the week has brought communities together in action and prayer and while the coronavirus pandemic means that Christian Aid Week 2020 (May10-16) will be different, churches across the diocese are being invited to stand in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people in new and innovative ways.
With daily quizzes and live-streamed worship, supporters can be involved from their own homes and could also take part in the 300,000 steps in May challenge which will be run through Facebook or send an electronic donation envelope - an ‘e-envelope’ – to friends and family.
Some groups are arranging online plant sales, while others are doing sponsored runs, cycles or walks in their daily outdoor exercise or in their own homes and gardens.
Christian Aid Week manager Sophie Brightwell said: “Coronavirus is teaching us what it feels like to feel vulnerable, to fear, to be separated and experience scarcity.
“It is at times like these – testing and painful times – that we recognise we are all in this together. Coronavirus impacts everyone, but love unites us all. Christian Aid Week has always been a joyful celebration of what we can achieve together for the world’s poorest people and in this time of global crisis Christian Aid’s work is needed as much as ever before.
“The most vulnerable and marginalised people are at the greatest risk from coronavirus. In Sierra Leone there are no ICU beds and in Malawi there is one ICU bed for every one million people. In refugee camps, people are not able to keep socially distant from one other and 40% of the world’s population do not have access to soap and water.
“Christian Aid was established after the Second World War when people across this country had lost so much but knew that refugees across Europe had were in a desperate situation. As we mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day at the start of Christian Aid Week, my hope is that we can show that same compassion and resolve as we saw in a different time of crisis as together we show that love never fails.”
Christian Aid churches engagement officer for Wiltshire , Yvonne Penn said: “In recent weeks, we have been overwhelmed by the messages from our fundraising community, looking for guidance on how they can support us.
“Communities and churches across the South West have shown their resilience and adaptability since social distancing began and Christian Aid groups have inspired me with their inventiveness and resolve, with a broad range of initiatives from petition signing to virtual plant sales and virtual hymn singing. It will be a different Christian Aid Week but with all the great hallmarks that we recognise of compassion, love and vision for a more just, equitable and healthy world. Please join us if you can.”
To explore ideas about how to celebrate Christian Aid Week digitally call Yvonne Penn on 07778 109480 or visit caweek.org/virtualresources