Hurricane Irma devastation: relief efforts through local Anglican churches need help

Sep 13, 2017 by

Opportunity to assist those affected by Irma in the Caribbean.

The Diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba (NECA)  covers the low-lying islands that were heavily hit by Hurricane Irma in early September. Their main economy is tourism, and four islands in particular have been badly affected.  You may have seen Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory, which was featured on the BBC 2 programme “An Island Paradise” earlier in the year. Bishop Errol Brooks is currently on Anguilla, one of the affected islands where he lives as the parish priest of St Mary’s.

[Chris Sugden writes]: St Mary’s was damaged, and St Andrew’s Island Harbour has sustained significant damaged, but St Augustine’s in the eastern half of the island was destroyed. This church was built with help from people in Slough and had lovely coloured windows.

I did locum duties for Bishop Errol in the years 1998 – 2008 and have ministered in St Katherine’s and St Mary’s. I am a commissary for him in the UK.

People have asked how they can help and I have been in touch with the Diocesan Office on Antigua which escaped the worst of Irma, which was the size of France.

The office has sent this request:

“I am enclosing a list of items which will be immediately needed to help  those persons who were affected in our Diocese (Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Statia) by Hurricane Irma.

  • Water
  • Dried Goods and juices
  • Toiletries (sanitary pads, deodorants, Pampers for adults and children, toilet paper, soaps, underwear for adults and children, disinfection, paper towels, hand sanitizers)
  • Bedding (Sheets, Pillow cases, pillows)
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • First Aid Kits”

Please pray for all church leaders in the affected areas as they bring comfort and play a role in the distribution of emergency relief in the area. Pray for world governments as they respond to the need for the massive task of reconstruction.

How to give practical help now

Anglican Mainstream has the details of the Diocesan bank account to which funds to purchase these necessities can be channeled and will pass on all monies received through cheque (including charity and gift aided cheques) to Caribbean Relief, Anglican Mainstream, 21 High Street, Eynsham, OX29 4HE, or donated online through the ‘Donations and Appeals’ section on the website.

Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Chair of Trustees, Anglican Mainstream, and Bishop’s Commissary for the Diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba

Message from Bishop Errol Brooks on 13th September:

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of the Northeastern Caribbean and Aruba:

Hurricane Irma has dealt a hard blow to the people of our diocese and beyond.  We are grateful to Almighty God for sparing our lives and we mourn for those whose lives were ended.  Let me urge you to remember the Apostle Peter when he got out of the boat to join Jesus walking on the water.  He was fine until he let the winds and waves distract him from the Lord.  When he began to sink, he cried out; “Jesus, save me.”  And He did.
As we go through these difficult days of cleaning up after Irma and struggling with the loss of life and property, let me urge you to be like Peter.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  Remember also the words from the Urbs…”Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.  Trust ye in the Lord forever, for our Rock of Ages is the LORD.”
Please pray for one another and do not let Satan cause you to stumble.  Many of our places of worship have been damaged but few of the flock taken from us.  By God’s grace, we will rebuild and prosper in our Lord Jesus.
Your bishop and friend,

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