St Paul's 'Road to Damascus' experience was life changing. As vicar of St Margaret's Church Olton I'm following St Paul on a virtual bike ride from Jerusalem to Damascus on my turbo trainer 17th May to raise money for the Diocese of Birmingham which is under acute financial strain due to Covid19.
It ran from 1:00 AM, 13 May 2020 to 1:00 AM, 31 July 2020
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1147836)
Birmingham Diocese was already the poorest diocese in the Church of England. Keeping churches alive to serve the community, especially in the poorest areas has become a real struggle. Churches have had to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic which means for most congregations this a loss of thousands of pounds of income from collections and from renting hall space to community groups. Multiplied across the whole diocese this is a real crisis.
Clergy stipends (salaries) are largely funded through what is known as the common fund whereby all churches pay into the diocese according to what they can afford. This is a means by which wealthier parishes subsidise ministry in parts of the city that would otherwise not be able to afford a minister. Raising money for the diocese will help to keep more clergy in post, especially in churches which have fewer resources.
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