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This page last updated 8 March 2010
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 1 to 7 March 2010

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

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A view through the AO lens

Forsooth! What is the world coming to? No letters this past week! So, I write to commend you all on such an excellent website! I enjoy the leaders (such variety and all so very well written and provocative of further thought and reflection.) As someone else has remarked the links are especially valuable. I use them to read about what is happening in other Australian Dioceses. I find their publications of especial interest because they help me to gain a picture of life within a specific Diocese — and they provide background on the way each Diocese grapples with its own regional problems, whether is is the aftermath of bushfires, the influx of refugees, outreach to the young (and the old), leadership and worship issues etc and etc. I feel uplifted when I read their local stories. You get the picture that exciting things are happening in Australia despite the bad press that The Anglican Church occasionally attracts across the major cities.

The welfare arm of the Anglican Church here in Sydney (Anglicare) is a remarkable organization capable of consistently excellent delivery of services. In Australia 3 church organizations have done wonderful work in addressing the needs of the less fortunate in our society. The St Vincent de Paul Socity (Roman Catholic) deserves the highest praise as does the Salvation Army welfare arm. Supporters of Anglicare can also be proud of those who represent the welfare face of the Church.

And one hears uplifting stories out of local churches. A few weeks ago I heard of a small Anglican congregation that has welcomed a Nepalese student into their midst. They have agreed to sponsor him (and his family) and everyone from the impressive and energetic Rector down has been supportive in practical ways. What is most interesting is that the Rector is in his early 60's and is so committed to cross-cultural ministry. Age is certainly no barrier to effective ministry!

So, thanks AO — and I write as one who has not given up letter writing for Lent.

Harry Pont
St Andrew's Cathedral
Sydney, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
2 March 2010

Anglican schools in Belize: a view from the inside

I write to let you know about the role of the Anglican Church in education in Belize. Education here is a Church/State partnership, with all the various denominations and faiths running schools which in general serve the whole local community. The government pays for teachers' salaries, some aspects of training, primary school textbooks and a small amount of capital expense. The churches fund the rest.

We have 22 schools, mainly primary (elementary)and preschool with one high school and a theological college. We are considered to be one of the best managements in the country, with strong quality control and an excellent teacher training programme.

We believe in creating schools where children are loved and respected, but where there are clear guidelines for behaviour. Many of our children come from disturbed and chaotic backgrounds, and truly benefit from the certainty that fair rules offer. Of course, the foundation of everything is our Christian belief, which we share with all the children who attend our schools be they from Anglican backgrounds or not.

Needless to say, the church here is broke! Continuous calls on our resources means that any money that comes in has an immediate use. My role is to beg the funding we need to bring our schools up to a good level throughout the country.

We have special problems in rural schools, where we are struggling to provide simple necessities like flushing toilets and clean drinking water. Some of our city schools are in bad repair, and most of our schools are in need of basics like suitable furniture, fans, books, support for feeding programmes, the list is endless, brothers and sisters.

I am working on a web site right now which will show you more of what we are doing here in Belize, The site is under development, so please bookmark it and visit from time to time as it grows.

In these days of really desperate need around the world, a country like Belize can get forgotten. We aren't by any means in as bad shape as some of the African countries, and in our schools, our children have been collecting their pennies for poor Haiti. But our beautiful children deserve the best education that we can give them, intelectual, practical, moral and spiritual. At the moment, we have a long way to go before we can say, "Job done!".

Anyone who can point me to possible sources of funding, contribute themselves, or offer advice or material help would be conferring a great blessing on the Anglican schools of Belize. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and God bless.

Sue Harris
St. Stephen's Church
Monkey River, Toledo, Belize (Central America)
3 March 2010


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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published our archives.



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