It’s the time of year when people who aren’t religious often find their way into church – perhaps to buy charity Christmas cards, or for a carol service. Last night I was in the choir at St Mary Islington for our carols by candlelight, and it was lovely to see some unfamiliar faces there.
But now people are being invited to a local church for a very different reason. The family of Clerkenwell woman Rachel Baughen, who has leukaemia, are asking people to come along to St James Clerkenwell on Wednesday to see if they are compatible marrow donors for her. The Evening Standard has more about the appeal here.
What’s encouraging about this initiative is that it is using the new, less intrusive, saliva test rather than a blood test. So no matter how squeamish you are, it’s easy to get screened. Of course if you turn out to be a match, to Rachel or to anyone else on the register, then the donor process is rather more demanding. But how often do you get the chance to save someone’s life?
I shall be heading to St James Clerkenwell on Wednesday where the clinic is running from from noon to 2.30pm and 4.30pm to 7pm: perhaps I’ll see you there!