Bishop Michael Burrows’ incredible fundraising efforts: Route 66

Oct 12, 2017

Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, Bishop Michael Burrows, visited 66+ churches and schools during his Route 66 fundraising challenge.

29 September 2017 marked the final day of Route 66, a fundraising challenge that started on 13 September raising funds for Feed the Minds and Mothers’ Union. During Route 66, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, Bishop Michael Burrows, visited 66+ churches and schools, visiting about ten venues on each of the seven days of the challenge. He presented a short sermon at each venue, based on a text from one of the 66 books of the Bible, in which he emphasised the presence and role of women in the Bible, and the empowerment of women through literacy.

Bishop Michael Burrows said:

“Route 66 certainly presented challenges as well as opportunities. It was a marvellous opportunity in a widely dispersed diocese to meet people in every parish over a concentrated period of time, and to draw them together in a worthy project. However, choosing a text from all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments to preach about (briefly!) in such a variety of locations was quite a challenge, especially as I wanted to relate each talk to the theme of empowering women through literacy while also remaining true to the biblical text. However, we made it through to the end, and I certainly feel reacquainted particularly with some of the minor prophets about whose utterances one preaches rather rarely!

“At the end of the day this was a celebration of the accessibility to us of the Word… Something we so often take for granted….and the goal was that we would share that access with those deprived of the spiritual and practical empowerment that derives from literacy. It was a source of satisfaction for me that Feed the Minds is to be a major beneficiary in financial terms of what we have done, and while contributions are still coming in I can promise at this stage that Feed the Minds will be receiving a significant five figure sum for our diocesan partner project. The priority now is to think of another novel idea for the next similar endeavour!”

Route 66 - Bishop Burrows receives cheque from Principal in Gorey school
Route 66 – Bishop Burrows receives cheque from Principal in Gorey school

Bishop Burrows undertakes what he calls ‘peregrinations’ every two years and previous events have included his one-day rapid rail trip ‘Stations at the Stations’, a cross-county vintage vehicle event and a church organ playing marathon across the Diocese that encompasses seven counties – Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.

Josephine Carlsson, Director of Feed the Minds, has said:

“We wanted to thank Bishop Michael Burrows, his team and all who supported his fundraising challenge. A really significant amount of money has been raised through Route 66, which will help us to continue our life-changing project in rural communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The project facilitates home-based literacy classes to empower poor, marginalised and non-literate women, and it also facilitates soap-making vocational training to low-income women and men.

Due to poverty and conflict, people in rural areas of DRC are deprived of the right to access basic education, which is an essential building block in the path to individual development. This project will not only support women to gain confidence through literacy skills, but it will also help them gain more independence through economic empowerment.

On behalf of Feed the Minds and all the communities we work with, we wanted to say a huge thank you Bishop Michael, and everyone who supported Route 66, for their incredible fundraising and awareness raising efforts.”

Bishop Burrows fundraising presentation at Tullow church (left), Route 66 Poster (centre) and Bishop Burrows outside St Canice's Cathedral (right)
Bishop Burrows’ fundraising presentation at Tullow church (left), Route 66 Poster (center) and Bishop Burrows outside St Canice’s Cathedral (right)