Tearfund's 50th anniversary will be celebrated by Songs of Praise in an episode due to be aired on Sunday 15th April at 16:10 on BBC One.
The episode will explore how the relief and development agency has shared Christian compassion in different ways over the last 50 years, and will also follow personal stories of how people have been involved with Tearfund's work in helping to end extreme poverty.
One of the features will follow three students in Manchester who are taking part in Tearfund's Mean Bean challenge, living on just rice and beans for a week. The students record daily video diaries sharing their experiences, struggles and also personal and spiritual revelations. Towards the end of the week Reverend Kate Bottley visits the group as they share how the challenge has impacted their lives and the reminder that one small meal is a daily reality for many people around the world.
As part of the episode Tearfund ambassador and award winning chocolatier and patissier, Will Torrent, is interviewed by presenter Claire McCollum. Following a recent trip to see Tearfund's work in the Ivory Coast, Will shares how the local church is playing a key role in working with cocoa farmers and how his experiences have shaped his views around chocolate.
The episode will include hymns and songs from across the UK, including Tearfund supporter Churches.
Dr Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund, who is interviewed as part of the episode, says: "We are honoured that Songs of Praise is celebrating some of the work that Tearfund has achieved in this special episode. As we enter our fiftieth year, we are more motivated and determined than ever and I hope that this episode inspires people to join with us in working through the local church to help end extreme poverty."
Founded in 1968, Tearfund was born out of an outpouring of compassion among UK Christians in response to images of worldwide suffering. The Evangelical Alliance set up a fund to distribute donations that they were receiving and on the 29th May 1968 former curate, George Hoffman, and members of the Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund Committee met. Determined to marry Christian compassion with practical action, a vision was established for a new organisation to be called Tearfund. 50 years on and it has grown beyond all expectations.
Songs of Praise airs on BBC One, on Sunday 15th April at 16:10. The full episode of Songs of Praise is also available on BBC iPlayer.
For further information please contact:
Ann Hallam, Tearfund on 020 3906 3146 or 07929 330366
Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. Founded in 1968, Tearfund has been working around the world for 50 years responding to disasters and helping lift communities out of poverty. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit www.tearfund.org.