Raising funds for Middle East

AN AXBRIDGE couple have dedicated their lives to helping people in the troubled Middle East by setting up special needs schools and donating funds to refugees.

AN AXBRIDGE couple have dedicated their lives to helping people in the troubled Middle East by setting up special needs schools and donating funds to refugees.

Reverend John Angle and his wife Janet, of Farthing Combe, have been running a charity called the Hope Christian Trust, which provides support for communities in the Middle East, for 25 years.

Rev Angle, the former rector of 10 churches in the Camelot parish near Yeovil, gave up his post last year to serve as a minister in Bethlehem for five months while a vicar was on a sabbatical.

When he returned to England he decided to dedicate all his time to promoting the charity and the causes it supports.


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He said: “We try not to get involved in the politics of it. We are out there trying to improve standards of living and to show people somebody loves them and cares about them.”

The trust spends up to £90,000 a year supporting a number of community projects including a theological college in Palestine and a special needs school.

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Members of the charity fund teacher training courses, provide free medical clinics for the community, put on activities for children and refugees and give cash to the poor. Rev Angle raises the cash by speaking at churches across the county and drumming up support.

The former vicar used to teach religious studies to A-level students before he was ordained and he fell in love with Palestine when he took his pupils on a field trip to the Holy Land.

He now runs yearly tours to the Middle East to show people what a great place it is to visit.

He said: “I want to create an awareness of that part of the world. It’s fascinating and it’s a safe part of the world to visit.

“The country just isn’t getting the income from visitors at the moment because of the trouble it’s had in the past and the people who live there are really suffering.

“The tourist trade is an important part of the economy and it’s suffered a massive blow.”

Anyone interested in taking a trip to Egypt and the Holy Land can call John on 01934 733695.

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