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Christ Church in Exeter gets grant for Cuba work

EXETER — Christ Church has received $7,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire’s Millennium Development Goals Grant Fund to support a partnership between the church and the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba.

The money will help efforts to provide water filtration systems in Cuba.

In January, Mark Pendleton, rector at Christ Church, led a pilgrimage to Cuba of church members and others.

Pendleton said, “One of the greatest needs in Cuba after decades of economical isolation and government mismanagement is clean drinking water. The public water and sewage system has broken down after decades of disrepair. Malaria, typhoid, cholera and even dengue fever are prevalent throughout Cuba. Clean drinking water is vital to public health. ”

The New Hampshire group saw several water filtrations systems that have been donated and installed by other U.S. churches. The installation of ultraviolet water systems, like the one installed in Cuba, are popular throughout India and Africa because of the low maintenance requirement.

Because of the U.S. trade embargo, all materials for this system have to be transported in checked luggage by travelers — items cannot be shipped. Pendleton said, “These systems serve as important outreach for the wider community and gave the church a vehicle to reach out and begin a faith conversation.”

In addition to working on water systems, the New Hampshire group toured local churches in the countryside, the Cathedral in Havana and spent the week making connections with Cuban Episcopalians.

The New Hampshire Diocesan Outreach Commission budgets annual grants to not-for-profit organizations deemed by the Millennium Development Goals Committee to best fulfill the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; gender equality/empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, disease; environmental sustainability and global partnership development.

Another pilgrimage to Cuba is planned for March 2015 by the Episcopal Seacoast Convocation and will be open to others throughout the diocese.

For more information about the 2015 trip, visit

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