Christ Church in Bay St. Louis on Mississippis's Gulf Coast. one of at least six Episcopal (Anglican) churches destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (Photo: Christ Church Parish Website)

The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is accepting donations to support church-backed relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, which has left tens of thousands homeless along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Primate Andrew Hutchison and Cheryl Curtis, PWRDF executive director, have sent a message of solidarity and assurance of prayer to the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA). PWRDF said it would ask Canadian Anglicans to support the relief work of Church World Service, of which ECUSA is a member.

In the United States, Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of ECUSA, has called on Episcopalians to donate to the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), which has been helping dioceses in the areas affected by the hurricane

Bishop Griswold said he has been in contact with the bishops of Alabama, the Central Gulf Coast, Louisiana and Mississippi, who have told him of the "unimaginable ravages of the hurricane

"As you would imagine, they are ministering to their communities the very best they can under extraordinarily difficult circumstances," said Bishop Griswold in a statement. "Communication is tenuous, and in some cases impossible

The Diocese of Mississippi reports that it has lost at least six of its 13 church structures in its Coast Convocation. Two are intact, but another five have not yet been heard from. There are no reports of damage to church structures in Louisiana, but both dioceses are actively engaged in helping hurricane survivors.

If you would like to make a donation for the victims of Hurricane Katrina through the PWRDF, please contact your parish PWRDF representative, or make out a cheque to "PWRDF, USA Hurricane Katrina Relief," and mail it to PWRDF, The Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden St., Toronto, ON, M4Y 3G2.

For credit card donations, contact Annie Au-Yeung at (416) 924-9199 ext. 355. (Please do not send credit card number or information by e-mail or fax.)

US and Canadian Anglicans who are able to receive credit for charitable donations when paying US taxes may wish to make donations directly to Episcopal Relief and Development via their web site at (be sure to include the hyphen).