Coming Together in Support of the Bishops’ Lent Appeal 2024

It’s incredibly encouraging to hear how our worshipping communities have embraced the Bishops’ Lent Appeal in support of Baca this year, giving generously to the good cause.

The Loughborough-based charity which provides accommodation and therapeutic care for young people seeking refuge in the UK, without families, was already on the hearts of many, and we are thankful to have come together as a diocese to raise awareness of Baca’s vital work.

A couple of Sundays ago, in Thurnby, the congregations of St Luke’s Church held collections across their services and raised a total of £1,200.

The church family had previously heard about Baca’s mission from a church member who works for the charity, and they’d prayed for the child refugees Baca helps, so it seemed like an obvious next step to support the Lent Appeal.

Revd Rob Miles said: “I was delighted that this year’s Bishop’s Lent Appeal was for Baca, which is an organisation that is close to my heart. The name comes from Psalm 84v6 and that beautiful picture of the dry valley of Baca becoming a place of springs!
"They have a great vision for providing spaces and opportunities for child refugees to be ‘safe to heal and free to thrive’. And I love the way that the care they provide is holistic—it’s about relationships and emotional healing as well as the more obvious needs like accommodation and education.”

The church family watched one of Baca’s videos at the beginning of Lent, and then a couple of weeks later held this collection towards the appeal, as well as hearing more about Baca’s work.

Revd Rob says: “I think the response demonstrates the fact that people love to give generously when they can see that their giving will make a real difference; especially when the cause reflects Jesus’ own care for the least, the last and the lost.”

Having already selected Baca as their Lent Appeal charity, the Wigston Benefice found a rather novel way of encouraging its congregations, young and old, to spare some cash for the good cause.

They invited members of All Saints’ and St Thomas the Apostle to take a tube full of Smarties and return them refilled with donations - the chocolate as a way of saying ‘thank you’.

Messy Church goer, Charlotte, enjoyed eating a few of the Smarties and used the rest to decorate a chocolate cake she made with her grandma and shared with her whole family.

During Lent, the eight-year-old collected as much change as she could find and pledged £10 of the money she had saved-up since Christmas.

Charlotte said: “I love my mum and dad so much and it makes me sad to know some people are separated from their families. I hope the money helps them.”

Revd Paul Betts added: “We see so much suffering across the world, it can feel numbing and we're not always sure how to help. Supporting Baca and their vital work with young refugees is one way to stand alongside those who see the world and its people compassionately, and who seek change.”

There’s still time to donate to the Bishops’ 2024 Lent Appeal here.

First published on: 24th March 2024
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