The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the launch of a new initiative which aims to support churches and communities across the globe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 'Together in Unity' programme, which is to be organised by the Anglican Communion Fund, will help raise support for coronavirus relief in areas of the Communion worst affected by the disease and will seek to demonstrate solidarity across the Communion.
The initiative will work hard to provide income support, facilities for basic hygiene and equipment to slow the spread of the virus. It will also seek to provide food security provisions - including for clergy.
"The Coronavirus pandemic has hurt families, communities and nations across the world in so many ways", Most Rev Justin Welby explained. "In our Communion, there is not one province, diocese or parish that is untouched by the pandemic. The Body of Christ is hurting. We know that some parts of the body are more hurt than others. And they need our help."
The Anglican Communion Fund has already designated more than £180,000 to support churches in areas of need across the Communion as part of its COVID-specific grant cycle.
Some of the work already undertaken in conjunction with the Anglican Communion Fund grant includes 200 pastors and lay readers in South Sudan being provided food relief, and church leaders being trained in virus prevention. In addition, bicycles and hand microphones were provided for five pastors so that they could effectively communicate the virus prevention message to crowds of people in remote areas.
In Bangladesh, hundreds of vulnerable families, from both church and the wider community, have received support to enable them to buy food and daily necessities.
"In times like this, the body of Christ is called to come together...we have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our unity right now, through supporting our sister and brother who need our help," Archbishop Justin said in the video appeal. "Where you can, please give generously to the Together in Unity appeal."