Appeal launched for victims of fire

Published February 1, 2002


Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney has launched an emergency appeal to raise money for Anglican victims of the bush fires that ravaged Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the South Coast of Australia in January.

As thousands of local residents were forced to leave their homes and the damage to properties worsened, the archbishop called on all Australians to show compassion and generosity in their response to the disaster. Nearly 200 homes were destroyed.

The fires, which began Christmas Day amid hot, dry weather conditions, cast a pall of smoke and ash over metropolitan Sydney. Nearly two dozen people were arrested on suspicion of arson. Many other parts of the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, were affected, including the Australian capital of Canberra.

(In Canada, a spokesperson for the Primate’s World Relief and Disaster Fund said it was not planning to contribute to the fundraising drive.)

Archbishop Jensen on Dec. 30 led a special service of prayer at St. Andrew’s Cathedral for victims of the fire crisis.

The Christian Conference Centre at Stanwell Tops, south of Sydney, was severely damaged by the fires. In Sydney, the only Anglican church and property affected was the rectory in Mulgoa parish, which was destroyed.


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