Christian News from Scotland

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Moderator Visits Africa

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend David Lacy, is marking the New Year with an official visit to Africa.

Mr Lacy’s trip will take him to Malawi and Kenya, including the northern districts which border Sudan. The focus of the visit will be the impact of HIV and AIDS on the people of these countries and the work being done to bring hope to the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS.

The Moderator will fly from Edinburgh on Wednesday 4 January and will arrive in Blantyre, Malawi late in the morning of the following day. He is set to return to the UK on Monday 23 January.

During his time in Malawi Mr Lacy will visit an AIDS-widows' self-help project and a youth HIV awareness-raising programme, as well as seeing the work of home-based carers and visiting hospitals in Blantyre and Ekwendeni. The Moderator will meet with local representatives of the UK government’s Department for International Development, and with officers from the Kirk’s Malawian sister churches.

On 12 January the Moderator will travel to Kenya. Building on the Edinburgh event that he hosted earlier in December, Mr Lacy is set to participate in a conference organised by the Church of Scotland’s HIV/AIDS Project. Funded by the Scottish Executive, this capacity-building event will bring together delegates from 26 supported projects in 15 countries.

The Moderator will visit HIV/AIDS initiatives on the Sudanese border and projects associated with St Paul’s Theological College in Limuru in addition to meeting with Church of Scotland mission partners and visiting congregations of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

Commenting on his visit to Africa, David Lacy said: "Every Moderator makes overseas visits during their time in office, and it is my privilege to be able to visit Kenya and Malawi.

"The impact of HIV and AIDS is an important issue in all countries, be they G8 nations or countries in the developing world. However, HIV/AIDS poses particularly tough questions for societies in East Africa and, as such, this had to be the focus of my trip to the region.

"Amongst those living with HIV there are stories of despair, yet there are also stories of hope. I want to hear these stories, and learn from them. Humanity is now living with HIV – individually and collectively – and it is up to all of us to do what we can to help."

Ends

Wednesday 4 January 2006

Church of Scotland Press Release
nr/133/12/05
Note to newsdesks
For more details on the Moderator’s itinerary, please contact Nigel Pounde, Church of Scotland HIV/AIDS Project, on 07941 151075. Please note that Nigel will be accompanying the Moderator during his visit.

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