You can’t fail to have seen the terrible news from Beirut this week. As you may well know, there had been a plan to set up a link with a church in Lebanon and, while we hope that this can still go ahead, Bishop Philip has urged us all to do what we can to help now.

A fund has been set up here by the Church Mission Society (CMS) of which Bishop Philip was executive leader before he came to us. This will channel aid via a church near the blast site.

Bishop Philip said: “Like everybody, I was horrified to see the shocking explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, and I am grieving for the city, its people and friends there. I was blessed to visit Lebanon with the Church Mission Society (CMS) two years ago, and am still looking forward to setting up a link between the Diocese of Truro and the church there. But they need our help now; I feel we cannot wait.

“We are in touch with a church right in the port area of Beirut which has already started giving practical help to those caught up in this tragedy, but could do more with the assistance of outside resources. CMS has set up a Just Giving page to raise money to help in this effort, and I would urge my brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Truro to please consider giving what they can.

“We know that thousands of people have been injured, and the hospitals that were already stretched to breaking point by Covid-19 on top of significant financial challenges are struggling to give the care that people need. Hundreds of thousands have lost their homes – the problems are almost beyond comprehension.

“The Church of the Resurrection, in the port area of the city, and close to the site of the explosion, is a key partner of Church Mission Society and CMS mission partners are placed there. I have visited and know its pastor: they have a very significant and impressive ministry amongst the poorest of the city including many Syrian refugees. I am confident any gift sent to support their work will be put to good use, and encourage you to give generously.

“I know you will join me in praying for everybody there, and hope you might feel able to send some money. Their need is great and urgent.”