The Annual Hospice Sunday Appeal in some of the Church of Ireland Dioceses in Northern Ireland has been taking place since its inception in 2014 when it began in the Diocese of Armagh. The initiative was the concept of the Rev’d Matthew Hagan, Rector of Tynan, Aghavilly and Middletown Group of Parishes in Co. Armagh and to date has raised £188,988.35.
Amazingly during the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic when Church of Ireland Churches were closed for periods of time the magnificent amount of £28,683.87 was donated to the Annual Hospice Sunday Appeal by many parishes throughout Northern Ireland. Rev’d Hagan who co-ordinates the appeal each year stated “ I am truly amazed at the support the hospice appeal receives each year and especially during this past year when life for everyone has been particularly difficult and with our Churches having to close periodically. I am truly astounded that nearly £30,000 has been donated and distributed to the local hospice or Palliative Care Unit as chosen by each parish. I very sincerely wish to thank the Rector, Select Vestry and the parishioners of each parish who made contributions - your support for hospices and palliative care units is very much needed in these very volatile times in healthcare settings. Please continue to support the appeal and thank you.”
The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev’d John McDowell commented “This a remarkable achievement, given the very difficult conditions parishes and the whole community have been experiencing over the past fourteen months. I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause to support and want to thank also the Rev’d Matthew Hagan for his optimism and perseverance, when others might have thought twice about making the appeal in such difficult circumstances.”