Almost 25 years ago, the late Archbishop Donald Coggan, former Archbishop of Canterbury, saw the need for a fund in the Anglican Communion to give financial assistance to clergy and members of their families facing personal medical emergencies. He arranged for a sum of money to be invested, from which the interest could be allocated, in the hope that churches and individuals would add to the annual amount available by donations.
For all these years the Anglican Communion's Personal Emergencies Fund has been able to help hundreds of Anglican clergy and their families as they have faced medical bills that have been well beyond their means. Lives have been spared and prolonged because a former Archbishop of Canterbury had responded to the heart rendering stories of people who had no hope of medical treatment because of lack of finances.
Today that Fund is in crisis. The needs have been so great over this past year that the funds are drying up very fast. We have responded to every deserving need so far but despite careful stewardship limiting grants to an upper limit, this has brought us to a full stop unless the funds are replenished. The Fund has been able to assist about 35 people this last year who have faced major surgery, because of cancer, car accidents, diabetes, heart problems and kidney problems to name a few.
The Anglican Communion spans the globe. It includes many countries with little or no government provision for health care and, if there is private treatment, it is frequently way beyond the means of most people.
The Fund provides help for urgent or critical medical needs of bishops, clergy, lay-workers, and their families or dependants.
Where possible, medical treatment is provided in the applicant's own country.
The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Canada in May 1979 (ACC-4) saw the need for a fund to help with personal emergencies of church workers world-wide.
In August 1979, the late Archbishop Donald Coggan arranged for the provision of a capital sum of £28,000. By the end of 2003 the investment value had reached £101,000.
The fund's income is derived from the investments, grants, and donations from churches and individuals.
The Anglican Communion Secretariat
St Andrew's House
16 Tavistock Crescent
Tel: +44 20 7313 3900
Fax: +44 20 7313 3999
Charity registration number 276591
Investment of the initial capital has yielded a steady income flow, but the Fund has also depended on generous gifts from individuals and churches in the Anglican Communion. Two UK based charities, the Friends of the Clergy Corporation and the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, have also contributed to a number of cases.
The following charts summarise the income and expenditure of the Fund from 1979 to 2000.
Grant applications are prayerfully considered by a committee comprising:
The Revd Stephen Green
Mr Guy Heald
Individual donors in the United Kingdom may make gifts under the Gift Aid scheme. This enables basic rate tax paid by the donor to be recovered by the Fund. A Gift Aid form will be provided on request.
Donors outside the UK may prefer to arrange for their churches to co-ordinate gifts to the Fund.
Anglican Communion Sunday is an occasion for special offerings for the Personal Emergencies Fund. This is observed on the third Sunday of January each year.