Churches raise cash for African refugees

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews - Jonathan Ged­des

Kind-hearted parish­ioners in Ruther­glen have been able to help refugees thou­sands of miles away in Africa.

St An­thony’s in Spring­hall and St Mark’s in Fern­hill have a faith shar­ing group, who heard about a Scot­tish priest cur­rently work­ing in South Africa.

Fa­ther Peter Laf­ferty is based in Dur­ban, and has worked with the poor there for over 25 years.

His work of­ten in­volves refugees who have fled to South Africa to es­cape war, famine or drought, and when the faith shar­ing group dis­cov­ered his work they de­cided to raise funds to help him.

In just over a month they raised £6,000, and when Fr Laf­ferty was over in Scot­land re­cently on hol­i­day he vis­ited St Mark’s and St An­thony’s to thank them for their ef­forts.

Ian Robert­son, one of the church-go­ers who helped raise funds, felt it was good to help such a worth­while cause.

He said: “Fr Peter’s brother lives lo­cally in Ruther­glen and he alerted the group to the work his brother has been do­ing.

“When the refugees ar­rive in South Africa they re­ceive no form of aid there.

“There’s a lot of chil­dren who ar­rive there, who have of­ten lost their par­ents while try­ing to get there, and it’s a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion for them. “Fr Laf­ferty tries to help them. “The faith shar­ing group were look­ing for some­thing to do, and some­thing they could help out with.

“People hear about Euro­pean crises a lot of the time but it can be harder to hear about things tak­ing place in Africa, or about how many people get dis­placed there. To raise money there was a ther­apy day, with all sorts of aro­mather­apy prod­ucts. There were bake sales and cof­fee morn­ings too, and as soon as money was raised then it was trans­ferred over, so that it could be put to use im­me­di­ately. It will go to­wards clothes, food and help­ing pro­vide shel­ter for them.”

There are a lot of chil­dren who ar­rive there, who have of­ten lost their par­ents try­ing to get there

Kicker Fa­ther Laf­ferty thanks the church mem­bers who have helped him

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