Spring Harvest meets Mercy Ships to transform lives in Africa

Mercy ShipsThe Africa Mercy

Mercy Ships, an international charity that operates the world's largest non-governmental hospital ship, and Spring Harvest have formed a partnership to help churches in Britain bring new hope to Africa.

Mercy Ships and Spring Harvest will come together at the Easter event in 2018 to tell the stories of lives being transformed in Africa, and how the church in Britain can get involved.

Essential Christian has chosen Mercy Ships to be the official charity partner for Spring Harvest 2018 and 2019. This is the first time that Spring Harvest has partnered with Mercy Ships.

Peter Martin, chief executive at Essential Christian, which runs Spring Harvest, said: 'We have been greatly impressed at the way Mercy Ships is channeling the skills and talents of ordinary Christians into front-line service – and always in partnership with the local church. This fits closely with our own vision for the transformation of lives and communities.'

Lea Milligan, executive director at Mercy Ships UK, said: 'We are delighted to announce this partnership with Spring Harvest and Essential Christian. Their passion to serve the local church and encourage Christians to put their faith into action is hugely inspiring, and fits perfectly with our mission at Mercy Ships. Through even the smallest deed we can effect real, lasting change – be it here in the UK or in Africa, where our volunteers are currently serving.'

Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, Mercy Ships' state-of-the-art 'floating hospital' provides free medical care and surgery to people in some of the poorest countries in the world. As part of the partnership, members of the Spring Harvest leadership team will visit the ship, the Africa Mercy, in January 2018 while it is serving the people of Cameroon.

Spring Harvest will take place from 2-12 April next year, and is expanding from two sites to three: Minehead, Skegness and Harrogate. More than 12,000 people have already booked their place. The theme for the festival is 'Only the Brave', using the book of James to explore what it means as a Christian to lead a life of 'determined discipleship'. Booking information can be found at www.springharvest.org.