North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

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May marks Christian Aid week. This year it will take place 10 – 16 May.

Christian Aid work began in 1945. It was founded by British and Irish churches to help refugees following the Second World War.

For more than 75 years, Christian Aid has provided humanitarian relief and long-term development support for poor communities worldwide, while highlighting suffering, tackling injustice and championing people’s rights.

Christian Aid week was established in the 1950s as a fundraiser for the charity. And over the years its nature has changed considerably. I have memories of Christian Aid weeks in the 1970s consisting of Sponsored Walks and these seemed revolutionary at the time. (A ten mile walk alongside a canal, or one a year a more taxing walk over Welsh hillsides, seemed a major achievement for a 10 year old.) Then there was the delivery of envelopes and the collecting them back in later – tedious work for sometimes little reward or so it seemed.

Things are different now. Not least because of Covid. Christian Aid week seems more low key. Though a couple of years ago I was heartened to see Christian Aid posters and bunting outside several churches in the City of London – sending a subtle message to nearby financiers.

If you use Facebook, you will know that every so often it generates a “memory” of the “On this day” type. On the day I sat down to write this, Facebook reminded me that on 28th April 2013 I’d taken a photo of a Christian Aid poster which contained this prayer:

Lord to those who are hungry give bread

And to those who have bread, give a hunger for justice

It is a prayer which perfectly sums up Christian Aid’s ethos and those of us who have supported it in some way for many years. Giving “bread” to those in need and working for justice for those who need it, seems a truly Christ like attitude. Jesus promised ‘good news’ for the poor and ‘freedom’ for the oppressed, calling us to action.

Revd David P. Gray