The Bishop of Ely Hands Over Cheque For His Lent Appeal

THE Bishop of Ely, the Right Rev Anthony Russell, has raised almost £17,000 for The Leprosy Mission through his Lent Appeal. This year s appeal focused on the work of Schieffelin Institute of Health in Karigiri, South India, is located within the Diocese

THE Bishop of Ely, the Right Rev Anthony Russell, has raised almost £17,000 for The Leprosy Mission through his Lent Appeal.

This year's appeal focused on the work of Schieffelin Institute of Health in Karigiri, South India, is located within the Diocese of Vellore, which is linked to Ely Diocese.

The money was raised by parishes across the Diocese as part of their charitable giving during the Lent season - together with help from individuals and other organisations.

The Bishop presented a cheque for £16,735.69, to the director of The Leprosy Mission, Rupert Haydock. The chairman of the charity's Trustees, Colin Osbourne, and the area representative Mike Griffin were also present at the hand-over. The international charity has its headquarters in Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, which falls within the Ely Diocese.


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"This giving is a magnificent result and an increase on last year's giving," said Bishop Russell.

"It is especially fitting that our Diocese has been able to work with The Leprosy Mission to raise funds for the Karigiri Hospital.

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"This venture has enabled us to encourage vital work close to our link Diocese in South India and to be involved with a charity based in our own area. I am most grateful to all those who gave so generously."

Ever since its foundation in 1955, the Schieffelin Institute has been at the forefront of leprosy care. It was a pioneer of the Multi Drug Therapy which now transforms the lives of leprosy sufferers, and also of innovative surgery on tendon transfer to restore some use to damaged limbs.

Today this modern community hospital cares for the medical needs of a large and expanding population. It has over twenty five medical staff and specialists in dermatology, reconstructive surgery, ENT, ophthalmology, gynaecology, community health and pathology. Physical and occupational therapists, social workers and counsellors combine their skills and experience to provide the best possible care. No one with leprosy is ever turned away. There is also a vibrant hospital church and committed chaplaincy team who provide vital spiritual care.

More than 1,400 people per day worldwide were diagnosed with leprosy in 2005. This disease is acquired through airborne infection and has been curable for the last twenty years. Yet the stigma remains, and many of those who could be cured do not come forward for treatment for fear of shame and rejection. Often treatment is started too late to prevent permanent damage to hands and feet. Leprosy is found today in areas of poverty in South America, Africa and Asia.

The Diocese of Ely is one of 44 dioceses of the Church of England. It has a population of 641,000 and comprises a group of some 350 parishes under the pastoral and administrative care of the diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Ely.

The diocese covers the county of Cambridgeshire (except for three parishes in the south which are in the diocese of Chelmsford); together with the western quarter of Norfolk, a few parishes in Peterborough and in Essex and one in Bedfordshire.

Pic cap: The Bishop of Ely, the Right Rev Anthony Russell presents a cheque for £16,735.69 to the chairman of The Leprosy Mission, Colin Osbourne. Left to Right: director of the Leprosy Mission, Rupert Haydock, chairman of The Leprosy Mission, Colin Osbourne, Mike Griffin, area representative, The Bishop of Ely Dr Anthony Russell and the bishop's wife Sheila Russell.

Photo: SUPPLIED.

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