The Cathedral and the Lebanon

Thursday 10 September

In the middle of Covid anxieties and economic uncertainty, it might seem odd to focus on a tiny country that is almost 3,000 miles away and right in the thick of Middle Eastern politics.

Yet this is exactly what Peterborough Cathedral has decided to do for the next 12 months. Canon Missioner, Sarah Brown, explains:

We cannot quite account for it but out of all the wounded places in the world, we feel strongly called to stand alongside the people of Lebanon and provide what support we can over an extended period. We very much hope that you will join us as we work to raise money and awareness and do whatever we can for the peace of that land and its neighbours. Quite what we can achieve depends on who catches the vision but we shall start out and see what happens.

Following the explosion of 2,700 tons of Ammonium Nitrate in Beirut on 4th August 2020, our news headlines were full of images of destruction and suffering. Hundreds of people were killed, thousands wounded or missing, and 300,000 made homeless within seconds. A month later it no longer makes the headlines but the suffering and the need continue.

We plan to help in four ways.

1. Financially

The immediate need is physical: food, accommodation, medical supplies, clearing the streets, friendship. Everyone can help with this, regardless of political view or faith.

We work with the UK charity, Embrace the Middle East. Embrace has worked in Lebanon for decades and has long-standing relationships with 12 Lebanese partners who have stalled their regular activities, and instead are doing their bit to meet the immediate need for shelter, care, meals and medical provisions. Watch their moving video about Lebanon at the foot of this page.

How to donate

  • To donate online, direct to Embrace, follow this link: Lebanon Crisis.

  • To donate via the Cathedral, you can do so either through our online giving page, or direct to the Cathedral Office, Deanery Mews, Peterborough PE1 1XS (cheques payable to 'Peterborough Cathedral'). Whichever way you give, please make sure you include the word 'Lebanon' with your donation so that the Cathedral finance office can make sure your donation is added to others and sent to Embrace the Middle East.

2. By raising awareness

To raise awareness we shall shortly publish a page on the Cathedral website with regular updates from Embrace, plus material that explains the facts and describes a country once blessed but now in a kind of hell. We hope that this will inspire more engagement and in particular be a focus for all our prayer.

3. By prayer

We commit to a year of deep prayer and intercession for the future of Lebanon – for its people, its peace, its restoration and its relationships with neighbouring states. We would love to know that you commit to it too. We hope that as we step up for Lebanon so God will bless and multiply our efforts and bring his miracle of healing and reconciliation.

4. With Cedar trees

As a sign of the hope and healing of the land, we shall cultivate and distribute seedling Cedars of Lebanon as a sign of our hope of restoration of the soul of Lebanon and reconciliation in the Middle East. We have just planted our first batch of seeds, so this is a work in progress.

This is an act of faith and hope and love. Please join in, however seems best to you, and if you have ideas please share them. We can make a difference. Contact:

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