This week the Anglican Bishop of Lincoln will be spending a cold winter’s night in a stable to raise money for those without a roof over their heads.
On Thursday 20 December 2012, the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson will be based near Harmston in Lincolnshire in a bid to raise £5,000 to support Christian Aid’s Favela project in Brazil and the work of a homeless charity in Lincoln, the Nomad Trust.
The Bishop was inspired by both the Christmas story and by suffering of many without shelter around the world, says Christian Aid, the UK-based churches' international development agency.
The bishop explained: "The nativity story is often romanticised into something rather charming and magical, and by doing this I hope to discover some of the harsh realities experienced by Mary and Joseph - and hundreds of people around the country and the world who have no bed to sleep in."
He added: "Anything people can give to help me raise much-needed money for those in overwhelming need close to home, and those around the world, will be greatly appreciated."
With just a sleeping bag and a flask, the bishop will spend the entire night in the stable, with a bed made from straw bales. He is being supported by other clergy in the Lincoln Diocese who will also be braving the cold December night in stables across Lincolnshire.
Christian Aid’s Favela project focuses on improving the living conditions of families who dwell in the slums and work in the informal economy in downtown São Paulo, Brazil.
It is one of the projects supported by the agency's 'partnership scheme' where churches, schools and groups pledge to raise £5,000 over two years for a specific project.
They receive regular updates from the project they are supporting and their fundraising efforts are at least tripled in their impact as every pound is ‘match-funded’ by the European Union.
Mara Manzoni Luz, Christian Aid’s country manager for Brazil, commented: "We’d like to say a huge thank you to Bishop Christopher ... We are grateful to all in his diocese and around the UK who are committed to ending the scandal of poverty and inequality."
The charity's national director, Loretta Minghella, added: "The majority of people living in extreme income poverty no longer do so in low-income countries, but are on the wrong end of inequality in middle-income countries."
* Support Christian Aid through Present Aid: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/ad/redirect/15949/t7408?url=node/21