By a Correspondent
Members of the Church of England are to be asked to give I per cent of their net "takehome" pay to help development in the Third World.
Most of the funds raised by this appeal will go to Christian Aid, the British Churches'
development agency. but with a small proportion — perhaps 10 per cent going to the World Development Movement for the purposes of education and political action.
The Church's Board for Social Responsibility was asked by the General Synod on Tuesday. the first day of its February meeting, to promote this appeal, which is on similar lines to appeals launched by the Methodist and United Reformed Churches.
The idea was put forward by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Robert Runcie, in an amendment to a motion on development aid which followed the last meeting of the British Council of Churches, in October, 1974.
This called on the British Government to increase official aid to 0.7 per cent of gross national product, to work for better access to the markets of the more developed countries for Third World products, and to support and contribute to the international control of food resource stocks and multilateral channelling of food aid.
Moving the main motion, Mr R. A. Abernethy, a lay member of the Synod from Durham, said that in 1973 official United Kingdom aid had amounted to only 0.35 per cent of GNP and total aid to only 0.61 per cent, but extra spending on aid was essential if the "cycle of deprivation", which he believed affected many countries, were to be broken.
The money would have to be raised in extra revenue, "fairly shared by the people of our country."
But the Synod could not accept his additional proposal that 1 per cent of the Church's central budget should go to overseas aid because the Church's central funds were already and increasingly cornmitted.
Instead, it voted to encourage the dioceses and parishes to maintain and expand their support of Christian Aid, the missionary societies, and other development agencies.
Sister Marie-Xavier's diamond jubilee
Sister Marie-Xavier of Rosary House Convent, Exeter, celebrated her diamond jubilee of 60 years in Holy Orders last Sunday. To mark the event a Thanksgiving Mass was offered by Mgr Michael O'Neill at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament,