The Christian people of the Holy Land have been under increasing economic and political pressure in the past seventy-five years, and during that time the Christian population there has fallen steadily. Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) was established in 2009 to help and encourage Christians to flourish in the land of their birth, to ensure a secure presence where Christianity began. Working closely with the churches here and in the Holy Land, their work is entirely non-political, and has the backing and blessing of Anglican and Catholic Bishops in England, Wales, Scotland and elsewhere.
Many international agencies are active in the Holy Land, supporting major projects. FHL concentrates instead on smaller, sustainable projects that quickly make a big difference to local Christian families, especially the most vulnerable. Our projects fall into four main categories: Education, Employment, Health and Housing.
This Advent and Christmas St Mary’s and St Paul’s will be raising money towards one of these projects, the Beit Sahour Housing Project, but if the funds exceed the required amount, FHL will use them for one of their other projects.
You may not have heard of Beit Sahour, but it’s a Palestinian town just east of Bethlehem, which you have heard of! And within it, there’s a place that will certainly be familiar – the ‘Shepherds’ Fields’. What place out of all the world could be better for a Christmas Charity?
FHL is facilitating a ‘new build’ project of 10 affordable apartments for local Christians. It will cost £120,000 for the infrastructure to be completed and then families can apply for loans for the remaining funds to complete the project. In due course, the initial funding will be returned to FHL to use for another housing project.
We do encourage you to support this very practical and necessary project so that more Christians can be enabled and encouraged to stay in the Holy Land, keeping alive the message of Jesus in the place of his birth. Donations may be made at church or via The Rectory until Sunday 8 January, and please could you place your donation in an envelope marked ‘Christmas Charity’.
To find out more about FHL, please go to: http://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/