Christmas Appeal

I’m afraid this is not a run-of-the-mill Christmas appeal, but one we are making in especially difficult times.  We feel that we should explain our situation, so beg your patience as we set out what has happened.
In October this year, Barclays Bank suddenly and without warning closed our account.  They said we had failed to return information requested in May as part of their anti-fraud measures.  As we were at the time in process of changing authorised signatories to the account, there followed some discussion as to what was actually required, but the information was duly returned, in time and in person, to a local branch of the bank, and receipt was acknowledged.  Barclays subsequently denied all knowledge of this, and then asked for further information.  Which again was supplied. 
Notwithstanding, in October, they suddenly closed our account.  There followed numerous, lengthy phone calls, at the end of which they admitted that the closure was an administrative error on their part, and that it was they who were at fault.  They said they would fast track the account’s re-activation, which would take between 5 to 10 days working days.
10 days later nothing had happened.  After another phone call, we were told that re-activation would take place in 30 days, which time we were told, and despite previous assurances, was standard.  At this point we threatened legal action, which at last produced a response.
Altogether, it has taken Barclays some seven weeks to re-activate our account.  During that time, not only have we had no access to our money, so that we have been unable to meet financial obligations – including payment of staff salaries – but the bank returned to donors all donations given by direct debit, standing order, or one-off gifts.  As a result, we lost a considerable amount of money for that 7-week period.  But the story doesn’t end there.  The account was finally reactivated a few days ago, at which point we discovered that all standing orders – an essential part of our monthly income, enabling us to carry on our work – had been permanently cancelled, meaning that, not only had we lost income for the period of the closure, but that potentially we have lost vital revenue for the future as well. 
At each point, although Barclays eventually acknowledged that the fault has been entirely theirs, we have been met with vacillation, obfuscation, and what has felt to be outright obstruction. So, is what we’ve gone through purely the result of ineptitude and incompetence on the part of Bank staff, or is there something more malign at work?  
We simply don’t know, but since then a well-known insurance firm has refused to give us cover, because we are, to quote, ‘a Christian organisation’, and they have to remain –in their words – ‘impartial’.  Are they serious?  Are they really refusing to provide cover to all groups with Christian, or any religious, associations?  
We are proud to be a Christian group, campaigning to uphold Christian belief and values in our society, and to defend those who cannot defend themselves.  As conditions seem daily to deteriorate, there has never been a time when those freedoms have been more at threat, and we believe we have been called to this work by God.
With our much-needed Commission of Inquiry Into Discrimination Against Christians (CIDAC), our campaign to stop end of life abuse, our continuing work to protect children from ideological indoctrination in education, and our work through Followers of the Way to uphold Christian belief, we find ourselves now facing an unprecedented financial crisis which undermines and is liable to destroy our work and what we stand for.  The only consolation is that, if things have stacked up against us recently, we must be doing something right!  However, without urgent help, our Finance Director tells me that we have sufficient funds to continue, at best, for 3 months.   

As already said, we believe we are called to this work by God, 
and that it is vital we continue.
Please, will you help?

To ensure continuance of our work for the coming year, we need to raise £60,000.  A one-off gift towards this would be wonderful – but even better would be a regular gift, so that we can better plan our work.  In particular, we would be grateful if those who have supported us on a regular basis so far (to whom we are, of course, already immensely grateful) would ensure that their support continues.

Please, if you can, help support our work, that we might be a light in the darkness, and uphold Christian truth.  Help us defend those who cannot defend themselves

                                    It will always be a long battle, but together we can make a difference!

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