Fredericton bishop hits the road for HIV/AIDS

By on June 1, 2006

Bishop Claude Miller and his diocese of Fredericton are walking to raise $50,000 for the Primate’s Fund’s HIV/AIDS initiative.

Fredericton bishop Claude Miller and Anglicans in every corner of New Brunswick last month launched a creative – and healthy – way to raise $50,000 to help combat HIV/AIDS: they will walk and receive pledges of support in return.

Bishop Miller, who describes himself as a “walker,” has committed to walking 500 kilometres – the equivalent of the diagonal width of the diocese – before mid-October. Parishioners in his diocese have taken up his challenge to join him in walking and raising funds for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s AIDS campaign – Partnership for Life, For a Generation Without AIDS – which aims to raise $1 million by the end of the year to finance HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. So far, the initiative has received $950,000.

Bishop Miller said his idea was inspired by Bishop Rodney Andrews of the diocese of Saskatoon, who last year spent 14 days driving an antique tractor across his diocese to celebrate Saskatchewan’s 100th birthday and to raise funds for church causes. The 1,500-kilometre trek raised more than $42,000 and benefited PWRDF’s HIV/AIDS initiative, among others.

“I thought I can’t do much but perhaps I can walk and get pledges,” he said, adding that money raised from the walk is also intended as an offering of thanksgiving for the diocese’s successful youth ministry, particularly in camps Medley and Brookwood. “Someone is dying of AIDS every eight seconds. It’s incredible the impact it has on the world and the fellowship of humanity,” he said. “Individually we can’t solve things, but collectively we can make a difference.”

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