Bishop of Europe’s 2019 Advent Appeal

“My appeal focuses on the ACF’s work with empowerment of women, because we know that women often both bear the heaviest costs of poverty or conflict and are also those whose empowerment can do the most to bring development that reaches grass roots and bring hope for the future. The appeal covers the first two levels of ACF’s interests.   

  1. Tanzania Strategic Partnership

The Anglican Church of Tanzania has a vision for spiritual and socio-economic transformation across the country and, with the help of ACF funds, they are rolling out a Church and Community Mobilisation Programme (CCMP) in over 20 dioceses. CCMP uses Mothers Union Bible Study groups to help people bring positive change to their families and communities.

Village and Community Banks enable group members to contribute towards and receive micro-loans to help them create businesses.

  1. Women on the Frontline

Women on the Frontline’ is a programme designed for senior Christian women, usually wives of bishops, in areas affected by violence, conflict and poverty, bringing them together on retreat and giving practical training in reconciliation. The programme is led by Mrs. Caroline Welby, wife to Archbishop Justin Welby, and by Mrs. Sarah Snyder, the Archbishop’s Advisor on Reconciliation.

In many parts of the Communion, bishops’ wives are thrust into an important role as the ‘Mother’ of the diocese and are expected to provide leadership to women in the church. Unlike their husbands, who will have had some training for their roles, these women are very often unskilled and undereducated for the role they find themselves in. They need encouragement and equipping to carry out their role with confidence.

The Lambeth Conference in July 2020 will bring together 500 or so bishops plus spouses from across the Anglican Communion. This is our diocese’s opportunity to strengthen mission work across the Communion and to make the Communion real for people (especially women) in other continents. We can make a difference both to senior Anglican women in conflict-stricken areas and to community groups in Tanzania. Advent is the season of hope, and we can share some of this delightful virtue with others.

Please do support my appeal.

With every blessing,

+Robert Gibraltar in Europe