Church aid agencies have issued a plea for help following the 25 April 2015 earthquake that devastated Nepal. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey reported. The death toll was estimated at 4000 with another 6,500 injured, the BBC reported on 27 April. The earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks heavily damaged the country’s infrastructure and heritage sites, caused landslides in rural areas, and triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least eighteen people. The UN Development Program estimates that more than 40 percent of Nepal was affected by the quake. The death toll is expected to rise sharply after communications are restored to the rural highlands Writing from the United States, the former Dean of the Anglican Church in Nepal, the Rev. Norman Beale, said: “Many Anglican Church communities are near the epicenter, NW of Kathmandu. Saturday is the day of worship for many churches, as Sunday is a normal workday in the mountainous Hindu nation. Many Anglicans and other Christians would have just left church or might still have been together when the massive quake struck.the quake struck.” Church Aid agencies across the Anglican Communion have issued appeals for financial support. Sydney’s Archbishop Glenn Davies described the scale of the Nepal tragedy as “staggering”. “Nepal has suffered a heavy death toll, as well as overwhelming property damage. Traumatised survivors are still being terrified by aftershocks.” the Archbishop said. “In the short term, we pray God will comfort and shelter those who have lost their homes; we pray for the rescue teams that they might speedily intervene; and we pray for the medical staff that their skill and healing hands will bring compassion and calm to the chaos of this tragedy. In the long term, we pray that our financial aid might bring fresh hope to a shattered nation.” Dr Davies said. A formal Anglican presence was established in Nepal in 1999 when the Diocese of Singapore appointed Fr. Beale as Dean. In the 15 years since it was established, the church as grown rapidly. The Rev. Lewis Lew of Singapore currently serves as Dean of Nepal and is assisted by two native priests and 76 full-time catechists and lay pastors overseeing 48 churches with 9,000 worshippers in Kathmandu and in the rural highlands.