Aid to the Church in Need’s (ACN) new office in Scotland was officially opened and blessed in a service of special significance for persecuted and other suffering Christians.
Dermot Lamb, ACN’s newly-appointed Scottish administrator, welcomed friends and benefactors of the charity for the suffering Church on Tuesday, October 13th, at the new office in Scott Street, Motherwell. In the presence of Tom Curley, Provost of North Lanarkshire, the office was blessed by Bishop Joseph Devine of Motherwell and Bishop Joseph Coutts who had flown in from Pakistan to take part in the proceedings.
During a brief address, Bishop Coutts, who is Bishop of Faisalabad in Pakistan’s Punjab province, said, “The opening of this new office is very reassuring to those of us who suffer as Christians. It is an indication of your generosity; it is a sign of your willingness to do more. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the various ways in which ACN in Scotland is helping us.”
Describing ACN as “a wonderful, wonderful charity,” Bishop Devine said, “I cannot believe the amount ACN provides to help the suffering Church. Very best wishes to ACN in the years to come.”
ACN-UK National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith paid tribute to the “compassion and prayer” of Scottish benefactors who over many years had helped the charity to grow. Offering thanks to ACN board member Fr. Paul Morton and his Parish of St. Bride’s, Cambuslang, near Glasgow, Mr. Kyrke-Smith encouraged Scottish supporters of the charity to continue their work for the suffering Church.
Other key ACN figures present included Dr. John Watts, ACN Scottish Secretary, who gave a brief meditation on the importance of the charity’s work. Dr. Watts continues his work leading a team who give talks and appeals in support of Aid to the Church in Need.
Tuesday’s event attracted wide media coverage including STV, BBC Scotland, Catholic publications such as the Scottish Catholic Observer and Flourish, as well as local media. Reporters also interviewed pop singer Bobby Frank, a Christian from Pakistan who is seeking asylum in the UK.