Fredericton bishop hits the road for HIV/AIDS

Published May 23, 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 this 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 personally 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, the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic. So far, the initiative has raised $600,000.

Bishop Miller said his idea was inspired by Bishop Rodney Andrews of the diocese of Saskatoon, who spent 14 days a year ago driving an antique tractor across his diocese to celebrate Saskatchewan’s 100th birthday and to raise funds for church causes. The trek, which covered 1,500 kilometres, raised more than $42,000 and benefited the 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. “It’s a tangible way of remembering children,” he said, noting that as a result of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, many children have been left orphaned. “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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