April 2020: Social Concern during the COVID-19 Pandemic

‘ For I was hungry and you gave me food…’  Matthew 25:35

In any crisis, it is those who are vulnerable and on the margins of society who are most deeply affected. During this time of COVID-19, asylum seekers and refugees are among those in greatest need – physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Many NGOs and agencies on whom they have relied for essential provisions, advice, training and psycho-social support have needed to close their doors, as of course, have churches and other centres of worship.

But where those in need are unable to come to us, we, while honouring the necessary government restrictions on movement, are going out to them.

 

Oasis food delivery programme

Existing initiatives such as weekly distribution of food and essential items by Christchurch, Ayia Napa have been able to continue, as has the meal provided on a regular basis by volunteers from St. Paul’s Cathedral for those in need. And from St. Helena’s, Larnaca, a small group of volunteers is distributing gifts of food to individuals on a regular basis through the Oasis Project.

The Anglican Alliance has included our work in Cyprus in their examples of how churches across the Anglican Communion are supporting those in need during COVID-19.  See Providing food to vulnerable and marginalised people in Cyprus – by Joel Kelling, Anglican Alliance Facilitator for the Middle East.

As these social concern initiatives continue, it is a particular joy that interfaith and secular partnerships are being forged and strengthened, so that, together, we can more effectively provide food for the hungry in our midst.

If you feel able to offer practical help – during the pandemic and beyond – please contact me.  And please do continue to pray for all those in our communities who are most deeply affected by COVID-19 and its ramifications.

Food packages in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nicosia

Crucified and risen Lord,
you know the strangeness of these times,
and the isolation we share.
In these lock-downed days,
we open our hearts to you;
that, amidst the suffering of our world,
we may be carriers of hope,
transmitters of joy,
givers of life,
and people of Easter hope.  Amen

Anne Futcher
Archdeaconry Social Concern Officer

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