Bishop John Arnold, in his 4th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 26th September 2015, reminded us of what is at the heart of our Church, our faith, our Sacraments and our traditions. He called on us and challenged us to show generosity and embrace a new way of living our faith, a way which looks outwards, generously, to members of our Faith who have drifted away, and to those in our wider communities who are in need, whether they are people of Faith or not.
We try to fulfil this mandate with the creation and coordination of outreach projects and welfare matters within the parish, as well as interaction with the wider community. We try to identify areas of concern and react appropriately by reaching out and supporting those in need
The vision is to ensure that our parish community always responds in a practical and appropriate way, staying faithful to the Gospel values.
This project was launched on Friday July 26, 2018. It is an attempt to open our parish doors to families and individuals who may need to make use of this facility. It is intended to support all those in our community who, for whatever reason, are struggling with the financial expense of feeding themselves and their family, whether this struggle is long or short term.
Two volunteers are ‘on duty’ at each presbytery every Friday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm to organise all the donated food stuffs and help anyone who arrives, including the offer of a hot drink and a chat if wanted.
The pantry runs in the following way:
All goods are colour coded with a sticker in yellow, green, red and blue according to an agreed list. Every-day single use items eg soup are yellow; every-day multiple use items eg tinned fruit are green; several-day use items eg cereals are red and long-term use items and treats/extras eg coffee/ biscuits are blue.
Our visitors are asked to pay £1 and are given a long-life bag (which we hope they bring again!) and then they can choose 4 yellow, 3 green, 2 red and 1 blue item to fill the bag. Some families choose to buy more than one bag. We are presently exploring the possibility of offering more perishable items such as bread and vegetables due to requests from our visitors, although we have to be careful to ensure we do not breach hygiene rules and regulations.
Any donations that near their expiry date are forwarded to other charities that are able to use them more quickly than we can, so they are not wasted.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
If you, your friends or family, or others that you know, are finding life difficult at present, then come and see us. The parish pantry and parish community are here for you! Spread the message.
We are always in need of donations of food with the longest possible sell-by date and these can be left with welcomers at either church. Some families only have access to a microwave, others to a stove, so food capable of being cooked using either is welcome. Please watch out for any particular requests in the newsletter and if you can, please donate regularly as we often run short of popular items.
If you are unsure what to get, we are happy to accept cash donations and shop for you. This allows us to top up quickly on goods that are popular – we use the visitor payments for this as well.
We have a fantastic group of volunteers and you can join them should you have free time on Fridays. Keep all the volunteers and visitors in your prayers. Thank you for all you have done and intend to do.
Coordinator Contact: Parish Office or Shelagh (Or any volunteer)
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