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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
London: annual Mass for Leprosy Guild
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¬†The Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood, will be chief celebrant at the St Francis Leprosy Guild's annual Mass this evening at 6pm at St Cecilia and St Anselm in Holborn . In spite of great advances in medical treatment, the scourge of leprosy, which once killed many thousands of people in Europe, continues to spread in poor countries around the world. St Francis Leprosy Guild collects funds to support leprosy hospitals and treatment centres, rehabilitation and residential care for the elderly affected by leprosy. The Guild approached Bishop McMahon to officiate at the Mass because of his knowledge of the Guild. There was a leper community at St Giles, Bicknacre, near Chelmsford in the Diocese of Brentwood until relatively recently. In 2002, the Guild raised £474,663 donations, subscriptions, church collections and legacies. Its direct charitable expenditure was £456,781. It increased its yearly maintenance grants to 85 missions and centres in Africa, Asia and South America to a total of just over £300,000 and doubled the amount it spent on special one-off projects. Projects ranged from an ambulance for Akure, Nigeria, a bathroom block for Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a care home for the elderly at Muniguda, India to two bicycles for Arua, Uganda. It also increased spending on education and training courses, giving scholarships to an occupational therapy course in Tanzania and training courses at the leprosy training centre in Ethiopia. Despite international efforts orchestrated by the World Health Organisation, the incidence of new leprosy cases has continued to increase in recent years, said Gwen Sankey, president of the Guild. For more information about the Guild visit: http://www.stfrancisleprosy.org Source: Diocese of Brentwood
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