St Stephen’s Lent Appeal 2020

During Lent this year we encourage you to support the Bishop of London’s Lent Appeal for our link diocese in Mozambique and Angola through ALMA – Angola London Mozambique Association.

The appeal, called ‘Wheels for Climate Change Emergency,’ is to help buy trucks and other vehicles to enable the dioceses to respond to increasing extreme weather and climatic events caused by climate change across the region.

There is a lot of information below.

You can support the appeal through St Stephen’s by:
Placing cash or a cheque made to ‘St Stephen’s Canonbury’ in a special appeal envelope in the offering at any service in March or April.
Making a donation by bank transfer to: Bank: Nat West; Account name: St Stephen’s Church, Canonbury; Sort Code: 50-30-09; Account number: 04811151 Please reference the payment Lent appeal and your surname.
Posting a donation by cheque to The Church office, St Stephen’s Church Centre, 17 Canonbury Road, London. N1 2DF.

Gift Aid.
If you are a UK tax payer we can claim Gift Aid on your donation. If we already hold a gift aid declaration for you we will claim this as long as we know who the donation is from. If you are not a regular giver to St Stephen’s, and are eligible to Gift Aid your donation, please email your contact details to administrator@ststephenscanonbury.org.uk and we will send you a Gift Aid declaration form.

Thank you for your support.

A short film about the effects of climate change in ourpartner diocese.

ALMA Lent Appeal 2020
Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies
Based on the prayer used during the ALMA Pentecost Appeal for Mozambique

Lord, we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ for every part of our world, but especially for our partners in Angola and Mozambique.
We pray for those daily affected by the ravages of malaria, HIV and TB.
For those who day by day face the devastation wrought by climate change – the intensifying drought in Angola and the more extreme storms and cyclones in Mozambique.
We lament the loss of lives, homes and harvests, and the damage to roads, bridges and core infrastructure.
We cry out for those in remote places who are still without proper shelter and for those who are hungry. We thank you for international efforts to reach those who are suffering: for food and clean water, tarpaulins and vaccinations and those who enable functioning communications.
We pray too that we may learn from their stories of community service, generosity and resourcefulness. Learn from a vision of being Anglicans in the face of adversity and fear.
Learn from joy, witnessed in a confident and deepening love for Jesus Christ.
As we learn, may we also reflect on our use of finite global resources, recognising that our choices can have a direct affect upon others.
We pray especially for Bishops Andre, Carlos, Manuel and Vicente as they seek to provide practical and pastoral support to our brothers and sisters in Angola and Mozambique.
We lift The Spirit of the Church in these countries with our prayers, our lifestyle choices and our Lenten offering.
May we, as partners, stand generously alongside them in the rebuilding of damaged communities, churches, church schools and pastoral houses.
Amen

ALMA (Angola, London, Mozambique Association)

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.
1 Chronicles 12:26 (NRSV)

Christians across our diocese are engaged in seeking to respond prayerfully to climate change. Jesus commands us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Climate change impacts our poorest and most vulnerable ‘neighbours’ most severely. These are the very people we are instructed to show particular care for.

For this reason, the Lent Appeal 2020 will focus on ALMA, the diocesan partnership between the Anglican Church in Angola, London, and Mozambique.

The four Partner Bishops with the ALMA link are seen, and looked up to, as community leaders. They need to respond quickly in a community that is suffering; struggling as a result of adverse conditions – drought, flooding, etc. However, the sheer size of the areas that the Bishops must cover, means that they have a mammoth task. In many cases, it is not just the Bishops’ physical presence and ministry that is required; they need to offer practical assistance, delivering vital supplies wherever they are needed.

As the incidents of climate change disasters increase and grow in intensity, each diocese in our ALMA partnership needs a new set of wheels to respond to more powerful climatic emergencies. So together as one people of God, we can respond more effectively. Angola (with significant drought in the South) and Mozambique (with two Cyclones in 2019 and further flooding in 2020) are at the forefront of this increasing climate change humanitarian crises. The money raised by Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies on behalf of ALMA will be distributed equally between the four Dioceses to help them replace these old, and in some cases, broken down vehicles. This practical assistance will enable the Bishops to continue to provide the much-needed pastoral support in a practical way.

Angola
In this western African country, the newly created diocese needs to respond with just one truck to an area the size of 481,321 sq mi, twice the size of France or of Texas. Here the country is facing a significant drought in the south and has been exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall. According to USAID, the country is responding to climate variability after nearly three decades of civil war. “Extreme rainfall events and temperature changes are expanding
the range and transmission period for disease vectors. Sea level rise is placing coastal populations (approximately 50 percent of the total population) and infrastructure at risk of inundation and storm surge.” (USAID, Accessed Jan 2020) The government declared an emergency in the three southern provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe in January. Angola has been pursuing a humanitarian self-reliance policy but there has been an inadequate humanitarian response to address urgent needs and the situation is deteriorating. The drought in Angola continues to be exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall.

Mozambique
In this eastern African country, the Diocese of London is associated with the three dioceses of Lebombo, Nampula and Niassa, together they are covering a land mass the size of Turkey or 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), it is the world’s 36th-largest country. For each diocese there is one truck. In the last year, there has been two cyclones to hit the country. Firstly, Cyclone Idai in March 2019, that was probably the worst ever natural weather-related disaster to hit the whole of the southern hemisphere. (National Geographic, Accessed Jan 2020), and it moved in from the sea to cause massive devastation in the southern part of the country and continue towards Zimbabwe.

A month later in April 2019, Cyclone Kenneth, hit the Northern part of the country. Towards the end of 2019 and into 2020 flash flooding has hit
parts of Mozambique as the area is still attempting to recover from the cyclones last year, compounding the impact. Here more than 1.7 million people were identified as ‘in crisis’ between September and December 2018 across 11 provinces. As a result of Cyclone Idai and Kenneth, an estimated 1.85 million are now in need of aid. Recent information from USAID has highlighted acute food security in Mozambique between September and December 2019.

Marta’s Story.

Marta lives in Lamego, a small community in the district of Nhamatanda.
The village was very badly hit during the cyclones. Many of those who live there, like Marta, lost everything.
Leonel Manuel is the Local Reconstruction Coordinator. He is helping Marta and the other vulnerable women who live at Lamego to start rebuilding their dwellings and their lives.
Unfortunately, because Leonel is based in Beira, he is finding it difficult to visit and work with target communities at Nhamatanda and elsewhere because he has to travel by “Chapa” – a form of public transport that runs within a town or between towns.
During a recent visit to Lamego, Bishop Carlos was able to meet and talk to Marta. He found her living in a makeshift tent whilst patiently waiting for the help she needs to start rebuilding her hut.

Marta has piles of clay bricks but they need to be fired before they can be used. The firewood has to be collected from the next village 15k away which is an impossibility at present. Stronger houses also need cement blocks for foundations and larger construction stones for the actual build. zinc sheets for the roof would be the final touch. None of this can happen without a 2 or 3 ton truck.
There are many other vulnerable people like Marta living in Lamego who need help. A new truck would make it easier for Leonel to travel throughout Nhamatanda and keep in touch with those like Marta who have lost everything due to climate change emergencies. Firewood could be brought in from nearby villages and essential building supplies - cement blocks, construction stones and zinc sheets could be delivered to those in need of them.
As Bishop Carlos notes:

“Climate changes are really affecting our part of the world more frequently and each day we do not know what to expect”.

Anifa’s Story.

The first time the mission team found Anifa, she was toasting dried maize for her family; it was their lunch time meal, one week after cyclone hit the village.
It was Anifa who convinced her family to be interviewed and listed for the diocesan relief program.
They had been planning to move away to other side of the Lurio river, exchanging their labour for food which is how people in northern Mozambique normally cope with hard times of hunger: working for a landlord, in exchange for food rations.
Unfortunately, this meant Anifa would have to drop out from school – something she was trying hard to avoid.
When the first food aid arrived, Anifa and her family received their share (above left): their plans to move away changed immediately and Anifa went back to school.
At a visit by Bishop Manuel and senior Diocesan staff members to Chimoio, Anifa received the materials she needed for her schooling. (Photo right)
When she was asked about her families plans to cross the big Lurio, she said in a typical local shy voice ‘n’nari’- ‘No, I have changed my mind, I need to finish school’.
Anifa‘s story inspired and has continued to inspire many more children. Her story is very similar to many of those living in the aftermath of cyclones Idai and Kenneth.
Although the food aid received had a dramatic effect on the whole family, it is Anifa who felt the most benefit. She was able to stay in her village and continue with her learning (Below left). It is these quite small gestures that are beginning to change people’s lives. Hunger and poverty caused by climate emergencies are major triggers of social ills for those in rural communities such as the one Anifa lives in.
It was the delivery of the food aid and school materials that enabled this change to happen. If a vehicle had not been available, the outlook for Anifa would have been in a very different direction - dropping out of school, forced marriage, early pregnancy, gender dependency.
Anifa would have been one of many among numerous and poor rural households. But now she is inspired and hopefully reversing her previous fate.
The impact on families affected by climate change can be devastating.
Together we can touch lives, one at time, and help our brothers and sisters in Mozambique.