St Albans churches host virtual Christian Aid Week

Josh Pollard, Christian Aid Week co-ordinator, St Saviour’s Church, St Albans.

Josh Pollard, Christian Aid Week co-ordinator, St Saviour’s Church, St Albans. - Credit: Archant

Churches across St Albans are supporting the annual Christian Aid Week virtually.

Christian Aid Week has brought communities together in action and prayer since 1957, raising millions of pounds annually across the country for people in poverty overseas.

In “normal times”, the week conjures up pictures of the iconic red envelopes through doors, plant sales, Big Brekkies, concerts, banners in front of churches, special services and much more.

This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging all around us, the week is very different and churches across the country are being invited to stand in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people in new and innovative ways.

St Saviour’s Church St Albans and Churches Together in Marshalswick hosted this year’s Christian Aid Week service, which can be viewed on St Saviour’s YouTube channel.

With daily quizzes and live-streamed worship, supporters can be involved from their own homes and can 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. Donations can be made online at: most vulnerable and marginalised people are at the greatest risk from COVID-19. 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 per cent of the world’s population do not have access to soap and water.

Vicar of St Saviour’s Church, Rev’d Richard Watson, said: “COVID-19 is teaching us what it feels like to feel vulnerable, to fear, to be separated and to experience scarcity.

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“It is at times like these – testing and painful times – that we recognise we are all in this together. COVID-19 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.

“Christian Aid was established after the Second World War when people across this country had lost so much but knew that refugees across Europe 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.”

“Communities and churches across St Albans have shown their resilience and adaptability since social distancing began and Christian Aid groups have inspired me with their ingenuity and resolve. Historically, St Albans has always been one of the most generous communities of its size, raising some 20 churches raising around £30,000 each year. It will be a different Christian Aid Week this year 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 in supporting Christian Aid financially in these difficult times.”