Friday, 15 January 2016

Interview with an Aid to the Church in Need volunteer: Tony

Summer 2015 - Distribution of food packages in Iraq to 13,000 refugee Christian families. 

Photo: Aid to the Church in Need

Tony tell us a bit about yourself...

Initially a graduate of history from the University College of Wales (Aberystwyth), I subsequently spent 40 years in the Civil Service, with HM Customs and Excise, and then HM Revenue & Customs.  During that time I worked in a number of widely different roles. I am married, and have four children over 21.

How long have you been volunteering at the Charity?

If you exclude my time as Parish Rep for Aid to the Church in Need, at the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon (3 years), then I have acted as a volunteer at the UK Head Office in Sutton for one and a half years.

How did you hear about the charity?

By pure chance, at the last moment, I attended a Mass in the above Church and John Pontifex, Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need, made an appeal on behalf of the suffering church. I found John’s talk so moving that I resolved to help ACN in any way I could. I started by becoming a benefactor.  

What role do you play at Aid to the Church in Need UK?

I work in the press department at least once a week, and have performed a number of functions there.  These include updating records, proof reading text, providing visual displays for events, supporting appeals made in London, and in one case, my parish, actually making the appeal myself (4 masses). I will also be representing the charity in the body “Faith in Europe” in the New Year.

Why do you think people should support the work of Aid to the Church in Need?

A leading question. We, as Christians and Catholics, cannot ignore the suffering and torment of others throughout the World. They are in effect our brothers and sisters, and we cannot look away from their plight. We cannot stand aside and enjoy our own pleasures. ACN works in 140 countries throughout the World, and in many different ways. It is not a small organisation with limited impact. Over the last year it has spent around £7 million supporting those fleeing to the north of Iraq from Daesh (ISIS).  This is but one, very important example.

Do you have a message for the persecuted Church?

Have faith. We will support you in your time of trouble.

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