14 June 2015
The Church is out for blood
More Christians give more blood than the general
population, claims new research released today by the fleshandblood campaign. According to the figures, close to 10 per cent of Christians
gave blood in 2014, compared to around four per cent of the general population
who have given blood in the last two years. But much more is needed, say
Churches across the country are encouraging donations of a different kind today as vicars and congregations celebrate World Blood Donor Day with their local communities;inviting people to register as blood donors and arranging parish visits to local blood donor sessions.
World Blood Donor Day this year falls on Sunday, 14 June and churches are using the opportunity to raise awareness of blood donation needs and encourage the estimated six million regular churchgoers in the UK to see blood donation as a part of their regular giving.
The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Rev James Newcombe says: "When you visit a donor session, the smiling nurses who attend to you and put you at ease actually take 10 per cent of your body's blood volume. A perfect tithe.
"I do hope that many more who call themselves followers of Jesus may choose to offer a tithe of their blood as a gift to strangers whom they will never knowingly meet as a natural act of faith, asking in return only a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. "
The Evangelical Alliance and the main church denominations took part in the NHS Blood and Transplant's own #missingtype campaign this week for National Blood Week by removing the letters A, B and O –the letters that make up the blood groups –from their logos to help raise awareness for the need for new donors.
The push comes in response to figures released last week by NHS Blood and Transplant, revealing that 40 per cent fewer new volunteers came forward across England and North Wales to give blood last year compared to a decade ago.
Launched in 2012, fleshandblood is the first national initiative between the Church and NHS, encouraging Christians to consider blood and organ donation as a part of their giving.
Today's release of survey results finds that, in the two years since the campaign's launch, there has been a 77 per cent increase in the number of local churches that talk about blood and organ donation alongside an accompanying increase in new donors from within the Christian community.
The fleshandblood campaign has already witnessed widespread support across churches, community groups and from government ministers, with over 35,000 church leaders across the country having been resourced and registering some of the most successful recruitment drives for new donors in the history of NHS Blood and Transplant.
The fleshandblood campaign has been sponsored by Give.net in association with denominations and organisations including the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales, Church of England, The Salvation Army, The Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church In Wales, Church of Scotland, Church in Ireland, Methodist Church in Ireland, Seventh Day Adventist Church, HOPE and Evangelical Alliance.