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My earliest memories of The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund go back to my childhood at Christ Church in Dartmouth, N.S. Our rector Leonard Hatfield, was a great champion of its work. Through Lent, he encouraged everyone to consider a special gift to support this work, including the children of the parish. Each of us would receive a coin box and we were encouraged to put something in it every day.

On Easter Day in the afternoon, there would be a lovely service of Lessons and Songs to which everyone would bring their special offering. I can still see the long line of children, a couple of hundred of us winding our way down from the Parish Hall and into the Church. Most of us were shaking our coin boxes and more than a few of them burst their seams and the coins rolled everywhere! Leonard would be at the front of the Church just beaming as he received our offerings.

In time, he would ordain me a priest. He always reminded the clergy of our responsibility to be good ambassadors of PWRDF. In parish ministry, I always opened that big box from Toronto with great anticipation of what the theme of that year's PWRDF promotional material would be. The one for 1983 was "together it's possible." I have never forgotten it because it speaks to partnership, the core principle of how PWRDF goes about its work.

We work in partnership with locally based community initiatives. We work in partnership with the Canadian Food grains Bank. We work in partnership with the Government of Canada. We work in partnership with Action by Churches Together (ACT) and with the Anglican Alliance of relief and development agencies of the member Churches of the Anglican Communion. All our work is grounded in a shared commitment that together it's possible to birth a "truly just, healthy and peaceful world."

In my years in episcopal ministry in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, I was always glad to see extensive use of PWRDF materials in parishes --bulletin covers and brochures and bookmarks, posters and placemats at potluck suppers. Many parishes made huge efforts to raise awareness of PWRDF and to encourage giving.

In my years as Primate, I have had the privilege of working with three fine Executive Directors--Cheryl Curtis, Adele Finney and Will Postma --and an incredibly competent and committed staff. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the Board of Directors and see the passion of the Youth Council in its work of engaging young people in PWRDF's view of a world made new in the compassion and justice of God for all peoples.

It has been wonderful to meet diocesan representatives and parish representatives all across our Church. I say a special thank you to them for their very good work as spokespersons for PWRDF.

In combatting HIV and AIDS, advancing food and water security, accompanying refugees, enhancing maternal, newborn and child health, promoting gender equality and equity of opportunities for education, supporting microfinance projects, and defending human rights, PWRDF is a valued partner among many in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. We believe that "together it's possible."

By Archbishop Fred Hiltz


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Author:Hiltz, Fred
Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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