Almighty God Gave Us Priests
10th April 2009
The founding father of the Additional Curates Society, Joshua Watson, had a particular concern for the poor and populous parishes of England and Wales and the new towns that were emerging as part of the Industrial Revolution, conscious that on their own they would not ordinarily afford a priest without the intervention of some outside agency. He and some other investors came together to form the ACS, whose sole brief was to generate funds in order to provide clergy for these places, thus satisfying the longing and thirst of ordinary men and women for God. Over 170 years later the ACS is still true to its founding father as it continues to pay and to pray for priests in the poor and populous parishes of our land.
Unlike many charitable organisations there is a sense in which the Additional Curates Society cannot produce pictures of starving children and homeless families, and yet there is a real sense in which as well as foreign missionaries the clergy in some of the areas in England and Wales that we support perform very similar works, where they can quite literally be feeding the starving and working for the homeless. The parochial system in the Church of England is its crowning glory and so many of our clergy are the unsung heroes in our land, living in some very tough and dangerous places as part of the community and as living icons of Christ. Our aim is to try and redistribute some of the wealth that is still to be found in our land and to ensure that it goes to the areas of greatest need and our commitment is simple - 100% of everything given goes towards providing a priest for a parish. Our HQ is mean and lean in terms of costs, and we never take anything out of what we are given, but pass it on to those in greatest need.
The work of the society is twofold, paying for priests but also encouraging praying for priests, as our Lord encouraged his followers to do for the harvest is rich and the labourers are few, and in providing free of charge literature for parishes we are able to encourage a prayerful environment in which vocations can be fostered, nurtured and brought to fruition. Our website gives you the full breadth of our work. Please remember the society in your prayers, particularly the General Secretary, Father Darren Smith, as he travels round the country encouraging vocations and working hard to provide the resources to meet the needs of the parishes.