Since the first lockdown Helen Ford has been sewing scrub bags, face coverings and other items for friends and family. In the summer she joined a sewing group of volunteers across Sussex (from Crawley to East Grinstead, Forest Row and beyond) and together they have now donated over 20,000 items including scrubs, scrub wash bags, face coverings, lavender sachets, ear savers and care items such as hand creams, lip balms etc. to NHS workers in a variety of settings. Any additional care items that can be donated would be most helpful.
Thank you very much to those who continue to support the Children’s Society Work through the Society’s giving boxes. During the pandemic, many young people have felt feel isolated and lonely, fearing for their futures. Sadly, many young people have run away from their homes where abuse has increase. The Society Project workers who are contacted give the youngster much needed help. Our regular giving has helped give these youngsters hope for the future.
Our curate, Rev’d. Lizzi, has also been actively supporting Children’s Society on Radio Sussex, helping to produce their Lent course and to produce prayer resources for the charity.
FAMILY SUPPORT WORK
During Lockdown, Becky (our local FSW worker), has continued to support families in need. Since local Food collections dwindled due to the pandemic the Mothers Union worked with FSW to organise a massive collection of food across the diocese to fill the depot in Brighton and has continued with regular collections.
Becky and Merle also worked together to get a home furnished at very short notice. All help is so welcome anyone can continue to give a food item per week.
LINK TO HOPE
In spite of the difficult times, Link to Hope were able to send 20,768 boxes out to Eastern Europe last year. In addition to the many shoeboxes people filled and sent, others donated to the appeal and also many items were donated for the boxes direct to the warehouse.
The appeal will run again in 202,1 as well as an appeal for Bags for Education (aiming to equip as many children as possible with a bag full to bursting with stationery items that enable them to go to school).
Our local hub at Worthing has had lots of problems this year, they moved into new premises which sadly caught fire. Please hold them all in your prayers as they work to find a new way to move forward.
Please hold them all in your prayers as they try to move forward.
As a church we continue to pray for the persecuted church as part of a continuing wave of worldwide prayer. We have now become a Connected Church with Open Doors which means that we will:
- Hold at least one church service for persecuted Christians each year (This will be on 17 October this year)
- Pray regularly as a whole church for persecuted Christians.
- Engage with emergency appeals as and when they are launched (on an individual basis)
- Share petitions that call on our political leaders to support persecuted Christians.
(for further information go to https://www.opendoorsuk.org)
Open House continues to support and give shelter to homeless people during the pandemic. They are currently unable to accept physical donations but appreciate any money donated in this difficult period. Open House are currently aiming to raise £10,000 through the sponsored Hundred For The Homeless challenge Please refer to their website. https://www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk/
The YMCA caters for young people aged from 16 – 25 who might otherwise be homeless. Helen and Rita have been volunteering at the Foyer for a few months now and are part of a team of 8 or 9 volunteers from across the churches in Crawley who are rota-ed to prepare evening meals each Tuesday night for the young people who reside there. The young people are pleased to see them and thankful for the meal and enjoy the social time
They would be grateful for our prayers for the volunteers and the young people. Donations of practical things like cooking equipment, large pans, cutlery, crockery would be gratefully received.
The young residents often arrive with nothing, so any items that might help them ie bedding, self-catering equipment and young peoples’ clothes are also needed.
During lockdown Helen and Rita and the other chaplains have been unable to cook and meet with the young people (16-25 year olds who might otherwise be homeless). However, since December they have been able to provide a dinner once a fortnight. It has been great to be able to do something for them in this difficult time. We have heard that that although they cannot gather together to eat, they are enjoying having some home cooking again and are happy to know that we have not forgotten them!
Below are some comments from one of the young people about the Chaplaincy.
“Without Chaplaincy, it would have taken me much longer to find the confidence to speak to others. When I first moved to the Foyer I didn’t speak to anyone for the first 2 weeks. I don’t know why, but Chaplaincy seemed like a safe place to introduce myself. Chaplaincy was a space where I felt comfortable, it helped me with my ability to talk to strangers, a place where I could get things off my mind and chest.”
You can see the full comments on their website https://www.ymcadlg.org/what-is-chaplaincy-at-ymca-downslink-group/