East Africa Famine Crisis
The United Nations is warning that the world faces the largest humanitarian crisis in more than 70 years. Severe drought, lack of food, and civil war, mean that now over 16 million people across East Africa are facing starvation.
Please support our parish collection for this appeal. Your donation will get food, clean
water and healthcare to people in desperate need. Find out more at cafod.org.uk/eastafrica
Crisis in Africa
In South Sudan, alone, 4.9 million people - nearly half the population - urgently need food aid. Famine has been declared in two areas of Unity State, where 100,000 people face starvation and fears are growing that more vulnerable families in other parts of the country are on the brink of famine.
In last month (February) in a pastoral letter, the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan have called on the international community “for immediate and unconditional concrete intervention and action before thousands of innocent lives are carried away and before it is too late.”
In Somalia, the UN estimates that half the population are in now need of urgent food aid with over 400,000 children now in need of urgent life-saving support.
In northern Kenya, the government declared drought a national disaster in February, affecting more than 2 million people in northern region of the country.
In Ethiopia, failed autumn rains in 2016 have led to a new drought affecting 5.6 million people in the southern and south eastern regions of the country.
Fundraising for Sick and Retired Priests campaign
What follows below is a shortened version of the bookle issued by the Campaign Team who are leading this Fundraising campaign. This shortened version was issued to all who attended Mass on the weekend of 24/25 January.
Open 'Other News' ' on our website and scroll to 'Links' to access the full document on the diocesan website.
For now this will give you a flavour of what is needed over the next four years to make this campaign a success.
Archdiocese of Southwark Sick and Retired Priests
A four-year Fundraising Campaign Request for your financial help
Message from Archbishop Peter Smith.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Retirement brings with it hopes and fears for all of us. After a life of dedicated service to the church, a priest needs support and guidance as this new chapter in his life begins to unfold. He may be concerned about where he will live, how he will maintain contact with friends and manage financially. Without the day to day responsibilities that have characterised his working life he may wish to explore how he might continue to serve the church in new ways. Similarly when a priest falls sick he needs our support at a personal level and in working through the consequences with his parish, in order to minimise the impact on his congregation. Our Diocese has always supported its priests at these crucial points in their lives and must continue to do so.
We all want the best for our families and, as part of the family of the church, our priests should be accorded the respect and support they need at the times when they need it most. I therefore hope you will join me in giving thoughtful and prayerful consideration to the needs of our sick and retired clergy, and that you will lend your support to the Clergy Support Fund Campaign as generously as possible in accordance with your means.
With assurance of my prayers
Archbishop Peter Smith
Current annual income for a priest in the Diocese of Southwark
Christmas and Easter offerings; Mass Stipends; Stole fees from baptisms, weddings and funerals; annual salary of £1200. With this limited income it is not possible for many priests to save towards retirement.
A priest will normally retire from full-time parish ministry when he reaches 75 years of age. However, almost a third continue to work in some form of ministry after they officially retire. There are several retired priests who provide supply cover for other clergy, visit homes or offer other pastoral services to the Diocese.
When a priest resigns from his parish ministry or full-time ecclesiastical appointment and plans to live independently, the Diocesan Finance Office establishes his likely income and needs. Because every priest’s situation is different, these are carefully assessed on an individual basis. Thanks to independent means or the support of his family, a priest may not need any financial help, whilst many will need at least some level of assistance. Whatever his situation, the Diocese will ensure he has sufficient financial resources to afford the necessities of life, live in properly heated and adequately maintained accommodation and can pay for some recreation and travel. Life in a presbytery is very busy and usually quite demanding, particularly these days when an increasing number of parishes are run by a single priest. Being constantly available to respond to the diverse needs of his parishioners over many years can be extremely fulfilling, but can also take its toll. Some priests unexpectedly have to retire early for medical reasons. In general, a presbytery is therefore not a suitable place for a priest to spend his retirement. Depending on the resources available at the time he resigns from parish ministry or a full-time ecclesiastical appointment, the Diocese will provide or purchase a property for the priest to occupy in an area appropriate to his needs within the Diocese. It will provide basic furniture and equipment and cover the costs of internal and external maintenance. The priest is expected to meet all the running costs associated with the property, including utility bills and Council Tax. In time, sheltered accommodation may become more suitable and a contribution to residential or nursing home facilities can be provided for within a financial arrangement agreed with the Diocese, again in accordance with the priest’s own means.
The Appeal to your Generosity
Covenanted Gift Aid: giving over four years
As the Campaign spans a four year period, it is possible to spread the cost of a gift over that time through a Deed of Covenant and, if you are a tax payer, the Diocese can reclaim the tax you have already paid on your gift. This is an effective way to give your support because it enables us to predict future income to the Campaign with greater certainty, whilst enabling significant sums to be given by way of relatively modest monthly or annual contributions.
A suitable form is available after Mass on any day.
The figures below indicate what the average tax payer taxed at 20% would raise for the fund over a four year period
Single Payment by Gift Aid
For those able to make a significant lump-sum payment, or unable to covenant, giving by Gift Aid is the tax efficient way of contributing one or more lump sum gifts. The tax advantages are the same as for Gift Aid covenants. This will increase the value of your gift by nearly a third at no extra cost to you because, as with covenants, this method also allows income tax to be reclaimed by the Diocese. Forms are available after any Mass.
If we, as a parish, are unable to meet the requested sum of £18,429 over the four year period then we will need to hold extra collections and draw from our parish resources to fund this request.