- Conscience and the Commons
Following his election as Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron was grilled by the media about his beliefs as an evangelical Christian. Has the focus on faith, which began with Tony Blair, reached the point where it is harder than ever to hold religious beliefs and play an active role in political life?
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Catholic aid agencies have so far received donations of close to £1 million to support the Philippines in the wake of the storm caused by this month’s typhoon.
Proceeds from emergency collections in parishes across England, Wales and Scotland last weekend are expected to swell the total in the coming days. Individuals and schools have also been sending money direct to Cafod, the agency for England and Wales, and the Scottish agency, Sciaf.
Both charities said they had been overwhelmed by the response to Typhoon Haiyan, which left thousands dead, millions severely affected and many homes destroyed after coming ashore on 8 November.
By Wednesday this week, Cafod had received donations of £500,000 though this figure did not include the proceeds of parish collections, which were still being calculated. Sciaf had meanwhile raised £369,934, which included some parish donations with more yet to be received.
On Wednesday, the Disasters Emergency Committee – which is made up of 14 British charities including Cafod – said its Philippines Typhoon Appeal had raised £50 million.
Cafod this week gave £250,000 to local Caritas Church partners for food, clean water, shelter, medical supplies and sanitation. The aid organisation says that 6,500 shelter kits have arrived in Cebu port to be transported to Leyte Island in the east of the country. Some 30,000 extra kits, including tents and tarpaulin, were due to arrive by the end of this week.
Cafod’s Robert Cruickshank said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of our supporters since we launched our appeal; the phones have been ringing off the hook, and there were more than 2,000 donations made on our website in the first 24 hours of our appeal.”