A charitable foundation which provides educational grants for Anglican women in the global south, to enhance their Christian ministry, is expanding its fundraising efforts.
The Li Tim-Oi Foundation supports women to become agents of change in a variety of lay and ordained ministries across the Anglican Communion. More than 400 Anglican women from 124 dioceses in 14 provinces have been trained by the Foundation.
The Foundation commemorates the life and ministry of the Revd Dr Florence Li Tim-Oi who became a priest on 25 January 1944. This made her the first woman to be ordained within the Anglican communion.
When Li Tim-Oi wanted to study for the ministry her family could not afford the cost of the course at Union Theological College in the Chinese city of Guangzhou [then Canton]. Others provided the resources for her to do so. In her memory, her sister launched the Foundation in 1994 so that other Christian women could, like her, be trained to fulfil their vocations.
The women who benefit from grants refer to themselves as ‘Daughters of Li Tim-Oi’. The Foundation has now launched the ‘Sisters of Li Tim Oi’ in order to expand its fundraising efforts.
Margaret Sentamu, chair of the Foundation’s trustees and wife of the Archbishop of York, described the funding as hugely important for women’s ministry.
“In the years that I have been involved with the Li Tim-Oi Foundation, I have been amazed at how relatively small grants make such a significant and transformative difference to the lives of the women we sponsor,” she said. “It enables them to pursue vocations in the church and communities in which they live and serve.
“Capacity building in the conflict-affected regions in the Anglican Communion is a key priority for us right now. The joy of being part of the Anglican Communion is that we can look to our brothers and sisters around the world to assist us in this very important task”
The Most Revd Paul Kwong, Archbishop of Hong Kong and Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council is Patron of the Foundation. He supports the fundraising plan:
“I am deeply aware that there is a long way to go before the contribution of women to the priesthood, let alone to the episcopate, and even until the status of women is fully recognised and valued across the Anglican Communion. So I appreciate that there is much work for the Li Tim-Oi Foundation still to do, and encourage you to make its work widely known.”