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Soap Builds Hope

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Dec, 2020 09:44 PM

Bishop Andrew is suggesting you put soap at the top of this year's Christmas list, to save lives.

The humble bar of soap has morphed into a key tool in the global fight against coronavirus across the world this year, and Bishop Andrew is joining with Christian Aid to urge the public to put it at the top of their 2020 Christmas list.

The Bishop is encouraging us to buy the traditional Christmas gift of soap for the world’s most vulnerable people, as well as for loved ones closer to home, to help save lives near and far.

3 billion people - 40% of the world’s population - do not have access to soap and water in the home, making regular handwashing very difficult. In a bid to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people protect themselves from the virus, Christian Aid has provided soap for almost 250,000 people worldwide since the outbreak began.

As lockdown forces many churches to explore digital worship and connection, Christian Aid this year has expanded its digital gift selection to include a Charity Gift enabling supporters to help train more women to make soap for £15 or help provide clean water for £30.

Bishop Andrew said:

“Across the UK and the world Covid-19 and measures to curb it have devastated lives and livelihoods, instilled fear and forced vulnerable people into more desperate poverty.

“But as we look to Christmas we turn our eyes to Jesus whose life, in a time of oppression and fear, introduced a hope that transformed the globe as it spread across it.

“We are reminded that God walks with us through deeply difficult times and works through us in all circumstances to show love to this world.

“Thankfully, we have tools such as soap and handwashing to help keep us safe and this year I would encourage people to reach out to our global brothers and sisters and put those tools in the hands of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Please do consider putting soap and water at the top of your Christmas list and together we can save lives and offer hope this Christmas.”

Refugees living in crowded camps are particularly vulnerable to disease and since April 2020 Christian Aid partner organisations in Bangladesh have provided over 40,000 bars of soap for Rohingya families and the local host community.

In Ethiopia where coronavirus is an additional threat to lives on top of the climate crisis and the locust swarms of 2020, Christian Aid partners are training women to make soap from the drought resistant aloe vera plant. The soap not only protects the women’s own families but provides a vital source of income.

To support Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal, visit

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