This website is best viewed with CSS and JavaScript enabled.

Bishop urges Christian generosity 'to give the blood that flows through your veins'

Posted on: January 28, 2013 12:22 PM
Related Categories: Carlisle, England

The Bishop of Carlisle today urged Christians to consider giving more than money in a new campaign launched jointly with the NHS and Churches.

The fleshandblood campaign aims to profile the need for more blood and organ donors and encourage donation as another way of personal giving within churches. Sponsored by and in association with denominations, organisations and festivals including the Church of England, Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Baptist Union, the fleshandblood campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the Church on a national initiative of this kind.

The Rt Revd James Newcome, lead bishop on healthcare for the Church of England, said: “fleshandblood is an exciting opportunity for the Church. Christians have a mandate to heal, motivated by compassion, mercy, knowledge and ability. Extending our understanding of the central Christian themes of generosity and stewardship to include blood and organ donation has the potential to tangibly transform the giver and the receiver. The benefit to others is not only life enhancing but can mean the difference between life and death.

“I would encourage individual Christians and local churches to engage with the campaign as we help address an important social issue and generously serve the communities to which we belong. Being willing to give our time, money and gifts is a significant aspect of our stewardship of what we have received. But this applies just as much to the blood that flows in our veins; and the organs that are such an intrinsic part of our bodies.

“By joining together to support fleshandblood, the campaign associates play a vital role in representing the church and enabling a collaborative voice on the issue within their communities and networks. Each associate commits to raising the profile of blood and organ donation and highlighting the various ways that individuals and groups can get involved at a local level.”

Lorna Williamson, Medical Director of NHS Blood and Transplant service, said: “We’re excited to explore this in more detail by working with the Church. By raising awareness amongst its members and community about the daily need for blood transfusions and organ transplants across the NHS, we hope to banish myths, educate people and encourage blood and organ donation. Donating blood, joining the Organ Donor Register, or consenting to organ donation from a deceased loved one is a unique gift and one that can truly save lives.”

Every day 7,000 units of blood are needed to meet hospital demand, with approximately 225,000 extra blood donors needed each year to maintain consistency. More than 1,000 people die each year in the UK waiting for an organ transplant. The Church, which has a long history of giving and generosity and has millions of people across the country as its members, is ideally placed to raise awareness and help to meet the need for blood and organ donation in the UK.

The campaign seeks to equip individuals and churches as advocates for blood and organ donation enabling them to raise awareness of this key issue with their family, friends and community and potentially help to save thousands of lives each year. 

Notes to editors

To request an interview with the Bishop of Carlisle contact the Church of England Communications Office, on 0207 898 1456.

For more information on the campaign, interviews or comment please contact Press andMedia Officer, Gareth Russell: [email protected], 07967 468008.

For more information about the campaign visit or contact: [email protected], Twitter @fleshandblood, Facebook fleshandblooduk is a hub of free resources, stories and media, providing information and practical ideas for churches and communities to engage with the campaign.

There are 3 calls to action involved in the campaign accessed via the website:

1. Register Online: Sign up to give blood or join the NHS Organ Donor Register

2. Make a date to donate: Book a date to give blood at a venue near you

3. Be an advocate: Lend your voice, raise awareness, find ways to involve others.

Mobile blood donor units will also be present on-site at a number of festivals and events throughout 2013/14.

Over the campaign’s two-year duration its effectiveness and impact will be monitored through registration statistics measured by NHS Blood and Transplant and research polls conducted by Christian Research.

Please Note:

- fleshandblood is always written as one word in lower case with both ‘flesh’ and ‘blood’ in bold:

- fleshandblood is a collective unit so should be referred to in the singular i.e. fleshandblood is…

- Always use the approved fleshandblood logo provided, it must not be edited or altered in any way.

NHS Blood and Transplant branding cannot be used without permission.  Any queries regarding the use of other branding relating to the campaign should be sent to [email protected].

Church of England Communications Office
Church House
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3AZ