Looking back on 2022... President's Report for the AGM held in April 2023

I have a feeling that, perhaps forever now, 2022 will be remembered as the year in which Russia invaded Ukraine. The silver lining in that particular very dark cloud has been the amazing response from so many people towards the plight of the Ukrainian people, both those who have remained in Ukraine and those who have fled to other countries. Whilst, in the wilds of SW France there has been limited opportunity to provide much in the way of practical support to the refugees, the Chaplaincy responded to the appeal for funds with the usual level of generosity with over €8000 being sent through Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Shelterbox and the Bishops’ Appeal.

Sadly, however, the requirement for funds elsewhere in the world didn’t go away with, most notably, a volcanic eruption near Tonga and devastating floods in Pakistan and ChapAid was able to supply a further €4500 to these causes. In a new venture for 2022, the Chaplaincy of Aquitaine forged a new link with the Henry Henderson Institute, a Christian foundation boarding school in Malawi. The school was in desperate need of a fresh water supply and Chaplaincy members, encouraged by Heather Gardiner (Bordeaux) were keen to help provide them with a borehole and pump. The trustees agreed that funds for this project should be passed through ChapAid rather than the private on-line giving page that had previously been used to provide the initial funds to the school (around €5000). A further sum of around €1250 was, therefore, passed through our accounts.

It has been an established target that the amount of money raised by ChapAid each year should ideally represent the equivalent of 10% of the total net income for the Chaplaincy sectors. During 2022, contributions significantly exceeded this target with almost €26000 (including the private donations to the Malawi project) being channelled to various charitable beneficiaries. In a year that also saw significant economic turbulence, this is a quite outstanding achievement and one with which I, as President of ChapAid and as Chaplain, am immensely pleased. Thank you all!

Rev'd Tony Lomas, Chaplain