Bishop Robert has introduced this year’s Advent Appeal with the opportunity to contribute to building up “one of the most interesting and strategically significant churches in the diocese.”

St. John’s Anglican Church is a thriving English-speaking church in the heart of downtown Casablanca. Regular attendees hail from Europe, Asia and the Americas, a third of the congregation now comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Services are conducted in English, but between services the church grounds are filled with conversation in a wide variety of tongues.

But with a capacity of just under 100, St. John’s is bursting at the seams every week. Pews are filled to overflowing. Folding chairs fill the back and are squeezed into the aisles to provide extra seating, leaving little room to pass by. The average attendance during Sept-Oct 2015 was over 200 in a church that can only seat a hundred!

Moreover, St. John’s has limited space for meeting. A temporary tent structure serves as a fellowship hall, and a repurposed shipping container houses Sunday school classes, with the 11-14 Sunday school class meeting in a coffee shop across the road from the Church.

St. John’s would love to be able adequately to accommodate its congregation, serve the children better during Sunday school time and have proper space for social interaction and fellowship.

A development project launched in late 2015 has developed plans for a westward extension of the church to include a mezzanine level and the redevelopment of an existing parsonage building to provide Sunday School, meeting rooms and a roof-top terrace. The current estimated cost of the project is £300,000 with one third of that sum promised in donations. Bishop Robert says

“I would be thrilled if the diocese could raise a significant sum to help them on their way. St. John’s is a church of historical significance operating under special conditions in a majority Muslim country with an extensive ministry to Sub-Saharan migrants. As usual, we invite each chaplaincy to make its own arrangements for the collection of money towards the Bishop’s Appeal and then for the local church treasurer to forward collections to the diocesan office.”

For the full Appeal Letter click HERE.

Please reproduce it or use the information in local church publications and consider ways of marking Advent with novel ways of raising money.

You can find an inspirational U-Tube video of their plans here: St John’s Casablanca.