Mercy Ships launches nationwide competition to find the most creative churches in the UK

International charity Mercy Ships has today launched a brand new set of resources that call on UK churches to use their talents and skills to help send free medical care to some of the poorest people in the world.

The charity’s new “Make History” church pack, which is free to download from the Mercy Ships website, includes three #MercyActs Challenge Cards that will inspire churches to have fun and get creative, as they raise money to fund the charity’s hospital ship and medical programmes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Each #MercyActs challenge is worth a certain number of points, and the church or individual who scores the most points will win a prize – Access All Areas passes to the Big Church Day Out festival in 2019.

Darren Richards, Church Partnership Manager at Mercy Ships, said: “The church is a treasure trove of talent. Imagine what could happen if everyone took something they loved doing – their hobbies and sporting passions – and then used that to help the poor in Africa… imagine if kids sang, teens vlogged, students shone on stage, parents picked up a paintbrush and grandma shimmied across a ballroom. Those who can’t draw or dance, can write or arrange flowers. Those who can’t cycle can swap clothes or bake. Everyone can do something! Everyone can show they care with flair!”

Participants will also be encouraged to connect with Mercy Ships on social media by posting pictures or sharing a video of their fundraising ideas along with the #MercyActs hashtag.

Mercy Ships operates the largest charity-run hospital ship in the world, delivering free, safe medical care to some of the world’s poorest countries. This “floating hospital” is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, who give their expertise for free to help treat dental and eye problems, cleft lips and palates, tumours, club feet, childbirth injuries, burns and a variety of other conditions.

Since the charity was founded by Don and Deyon Stephens in 1978, Mercy Ships has visited more than 55 developing countries, providing services worth more than £1 billion that have directly helped more than 2.5 million people.

“The combination of word and deed in the ministry of Mercy Ships is a great example to many,” said Gavin Calver, Director of Mission at the Evangelical Alliance. “They truly are living examples of when Jesus said: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

The “Make History” pack is free to download from: www.mercyships.org.uk/church, where there is also more information and video links.

For more information about Mercy Ships UK, visit www.mercyships.org.uk.

Mike Haydock 

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