Saturday, 6 February 2010

Aid to the Church in Need

A couple of nights ago, there was a talk at Sacred Heart Church, Blackpool given by the Lancaster Diocese rep for Aid to the Church in Need(ACN). There were four people turned up, not counting the priest, a poor turnout. As it happens, it was well worthwhile taking the trouble to be there to hear the plight of our fellow Christians throughout the world, mainly in the Middle East and the Far East, but also Latin America. Whilst we have some mild degree of persecution in this country, others across the world have a much tougher life because of their faith. Murder, rape, damage to property, false accusations and poor access to justice, economic and social deprivation are the familiar lot of many Christians. Christian communities are under pressure and in some countries, Iraq for example, the very existence of the Christian community is under threat;this in the place where some of the earliest Christian communities are to be found.

Aid to the church in Need provides help to such communities working though the local Bishops. It is not only Catholics but all Christians who might benefit and, in the case of education, people of other faiths who have access to Catholic schools. ACN has less of a profile than,for example, CAFOD and it's work and its methods are different in some respects, but no less valuable.
As always, there is a need for funds, though Thursday's talk was not a fundraiser. There are all the usual ways of supporting ACN: donations, merchandise, fundraising and, of course, prayer for the workers and for all our persecuted bretheren. It would be good, of course, if other parishes were to invite the local secretary for ACNN to give his talk( perhaps when the weather is warmer and the nights lighter). His contact details are in the Diocesan directory. We should not, though, just walk by on the other side. We are not being asked to suffer and die for our faith: others are. We can do something so that ACN can continue to do something.
Click on the blogpost title to link to ACN UK webpage.