Greg Bridge, Chief Operating Officer
Over the summer of 2019/20 there has been continuing drought and many areas have been badly affected by bushfires. This is not new news.
The question that arises out of this is what is BCA doing in the midst of these difficult times? There are a number of ways to answer that question. One of the key aspects of BCA’s response in these situations is that we continue to provide ministry and support long after the news cycle has moved on. BCA isn’t a first responder. There are others that do that well. What BCA does is to seek to deliver ministry that is relational and happens over a period of time.
BCA has an established process that enables parishes and church organisations to seek financial support so they can reach out to their communities. The process is quick and easy, with just a one-page form to complete. BCA doesn’t go out to rural and regional areas and try to determine how to provide support or who support should be provided to. We rely on existing churches to know their communities and decide how to best provide support. We have had applications from parishes that have wanted to supply gift cards for groceries and pet food, hampers, events, water, bedding and clothing. We also expect to receive applications to assist with the funding of community chaplains to work in bushfire impacted areas.
The 2019 End of Year Appeal titled Dry, Dusty but Hopeful saw a terrific response from BCA supporters. A total of $280,000 was raised, well over our target amount. Much of this money went into the Kirkby Trust, which has the purpose of providing relief of suffering and distress. Donations to the Kirkby Trust are tax-deductible. We are so grateful for your generosity in this way but it is important to note that donations to the Kirkby Trust can only be used in limited ways. Normal donations go to fund general ministry and can be used in a much wider range of ways, and support Field Staff in all sorts of locations and circumstances.