Bishops in Eight Dioceses Recommend FHL to receive Crib Offerings
FHL are delighted to announce that Bishops in eight dioceses have recommended Friends of the Holy Land to be beneficiaries of their crib offerings this year.
This generous gesture, made by the dioceses of Arundel and Brighton, Birmingham, Hexham and Newcastle, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Salford and Southwark, will have a significant impact on our ability to bring hope to vulnerable Christians living in the Holy Land. Last year crib donations raised nearly £75,000, helping us to support over 2,000 named Christians living in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan. Each parish church within participating dioceses will receive FHL newsletters and a display board to position next to the crib, giving information about our Charity and our work in the Holy Land.
See copy below for participating parishes to use in newsletters etc.
Christmas and Advent is a key time in the FHL calendar as Christians across the world focus their attention on the ‘little town of Bethlehem’. Unfortunately, ‘peace and goodwill’ is not reflected in the harsh realities lived by many Christians in the West Bank today. Bethlehem’s Christians are increasingly fleeing what has become a virtual prison for their community. Faced with towering walls of separation, water shortages, and an uncertain future for their children, many emigrate if they can. Those who remain face poverty and unemployment as the travel restrictions make commerce almost impossible. There is little access to medical care and the traditional ways of life, such as farming, are often no longer available to them. The fields surrounding Bethlehem, where shepherds once ‘watched their flocks’, are now barred to their descendants as large areas of land have been confiscated.
It is FHL’s mission to raise awareness about these difficulties and to let Christians living in the Holy Land know that they are not forgotten. By channelling donations of time and money, we aim to encourage and support these Christian communities, with funds going to a mixture of sustainable projects and emergency relief to help the most desperate cases. All beneficiaries are identified and verified by our network of Holy Land professionals, including parish priests from both Latin and Anglican traditions.
To support parishes in letting their congregation know about our brothers and sisters who will directly benefit from crib offerings, we suggest the following words which can be used in newsletters, notices and email bulletins:
CRIB OFFERINGS This year, with encouragement from the Bishop, this parish will be donating crib offerings to the Friends of the Holy Land. Every penny given will help the poorest Christian families, especially in and around Bethlehem, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, with education, employment, health and housing costs. FHL is non-political and ecumenical. For further information, please look at their website www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk and keep our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land in your prayers at this time.