Several courageous students of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute had their heads shaved while others had their legs waxed on Shrove Tuesday.
Proceeds of the mass defuzzing will go towards supporting St Francis Hospital in Zambia through the Anglican Mission Agency, USPG (the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel). The students are appealing to every parish throughout the Church of Ireland to collect at least one euro from each parishioner during Lent.
"Lent is quite properly a penitential season," explains event organiser Patrick Burke, a final year student at the Institute. "But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it while doing some good for others. Shaving one’s head is a traditional way of doing penance. Doing it with a bunch of friends in front of your colleagues and teachers is a bit of a laugh. And doing it for a worthy cause is the best of both worlds."
Church-run St Francis’ Hospital in Katete is the only source of healthcare for a large rural population in Eastern Zambia. Malaria, AIDS and TB have decimated the working population of this region and left many children as orphans in an area where most live at subsistence levels. The intervention of the church is vital because its broad network means it can reach remote rural areas that are frequently overlooked by other charitable agencies. USPG provides funding that is essential to their mission.
Donations may be sent to: ‘Head Shave’, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Braemor Park, D14. Contact Patrick Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org