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On 12 March 2017, All We Can visited Gracious Street Methodist Church in Knaresborough. The church was holding a second week of fundraising for the East Africa Famine Appeal. All We Can staff were able to ask Revd. Gail Hunt why the church had decided to respond to the appeal.
Have Gracious Street Methodist Church supported All We Can before?
Gracious Street has always been a church that is at the heart of the community. The community does not just have to mean our local community in Knaresborough though, we are part of a worldwide community. We have brothers and sisters all over the world and we are part of that wider global community. We have supported All We Can for a while but on our 200th anniversary as a church we supported All We Can through a partnership as we wanted a focus on being a global church. Folks were really encouraged by that year and since then we have built on that with All We Can.
Why did Gracious Street Methodist Church decide to respond to the East Africa Famine Appeal?
We were aware of the appeal because of the emails All We Can and The Methodist Church in Britain sent us and we responded to those. Since then we have of course seen the news and learnt more. We all remember those horrifying scenes from the past and we don’t want to see those again. We know that we can prevent people dying if we do something now.
In our services we will often reflect on that line, “that God so loved the world.” Of course when we say God loves the world we mean the whole world, our brothers and sisters all over the world. We couldn’t leave this, we had to do something.
What would you say to churches who are thinking of doing something?
The folks at Gracious Street always rise to the occasion, they did in response to this appeal. They did what they could and they gave what they could. This was not just through a church collection but through fundraising. Some baked cakes and bought them to the church, others sold cards and books. Last week when we held a retiring collection one small child placed a bag of sweets on the plate. They did not have money to give but gave what they could.
I would encourage people and say that whether you have fifty pence or a lot more to give just do what you can. When we give we trust that God can use these gifts and that God can transform situations. I am reminded of the story of the widow’s mite… If we all do what we can it will make a difference
Please join Gracious Street Methodist Church and give what you can.
£15 could provide a vulnerable individual with food aid in Yemen for a month. £45 could provide life-saving nutrition for an acutely malnourished child in South Sudan for five weeks.
To support the East Africa Famine Appeal visit www.awcdev.us/famine
To see more of the Gracious Street fundraiser watch Tonight on ITV on Thursday 16 Mar at 7:30pm. #FightingFamine
Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.