The community of Ashford and beyond rallied around today (Friday December 1) and raised over €4,000 for Dublin and Glendalough’s Advent and Christmas appeal – ‘Shine a Light for the Diocese of Jerusalem’. The Hub in Ashford village, which is run by Nun’s Cross Church, Killiskey, hosted a coffee morning in aid of the appeal for the Diocese of Jerusalem which operates, among other institutions, Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.
The coffee morning was organised by local resident, Lesley Rue, and apart from sales of baked goods and raffle tickets, and contributions for coffee, donations were received from local businesses and collections held further afield. Archbishop Michael Jackson joined those who enjoyed excellent cakes in the Hub.
Al-Ahli Hospital reopened following an explosion in its grounds in mid-October. It was the last hospital operating in northern Gaza when it had to effectively close just over two weeks ago due to lack of fuel and medicine. However, the recent ceasefire enabled the World Health Organisation to oversee deliveries of fuel for generators, anaesthesia, ICU supplies, emergency drugs and IV fluids. It became once again the only functional hospital in northern Gaza, according to contacts in the Diocese of Jerusalem.
Canon Don Binder, who is Chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, reported on Wednesday that the WHO told them that the hospital is filled with hundreds of injured patients, with St Philip’s Chapel being used to accommodate the overflow.
Speaking at the coffee morning, the Rector of Wicklow and Killiskey, the Revd Jack Kinkead, thanked all the local businesses for their sponsorship and thanked Archbishop for coming.
Archbishop Jackson thanked members of the parish, community and the locality for raising funds for an indescribable tragedy and towards the continuity of the contribution and the reconstruction of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. He recalled being in Al-Ahli with the Revd Ken Rue, Rector of Narraghmore and former assistant Vicar in Killiskey. He spoke of the contribution of care at the hospital which, he said, looked after anybody and everybody who was in need. “It is in many ways a manifestation and an expression of generous Christianity itself,” he said. “To think if it being reduced partially to rubble, its forecourt being the only safe haven, until it became unsafe, for people who were there is a tragedy and it must have been a tragedy to behold.”
He explained that the ‘Shine a Light for the Diocese of Jerusalem’ appeal intended to draw together a focus of generosity for people across the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. The money will go “undiluted” with no deductions to the Diocese of Jerusalem, with whom Dublin and Glendalough have had a partnership link for almost a decade, the Archbishop added.
The Diocese of Jerusalem encompasses Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The link between Dublin and Glendalough and the Diocese of Jerusalem began with an Advent appeal in 2014 which raised funds for solar panels to support the hospital’s electricity supply and upgraded on-call facilities for staff. The Archbishop hoped that after the current war, there would be a significant contribution from Dublin and Glendalough which will be put to good use by the Diocese of Jerusalem in dealing with the impact of war.
If you couldn’t get to the coffee morning but want to support the appeal you can donate to: Diocesan Funds of Dublin and Glendalough No 1 A/C Current Account, Bank of Ireland, 2 COLLEGE GREEN DUBLIN 2 IBAN: IE50 BOFI 9000 1769 3548 78, BIC: BOFIIE2D. Cheques may be sent to Diocesan Offices of Dublin and Glendalough, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 CF67. All funds will go directly to our partner Diocese of Jerusalem.