Our New Outreach Project - St Paul's At Work (SPAW)
Food and Care Pantry
In 1997 St Paul’s Church experienced an increasing number of callers at the Vicarage, asking for food. This led to the vicar at the time, Fr Mark Elliot-Smith, making an appeal to the congregation for donations of items of food and toiletries. The response was overwhelming, and this led to the setting up of what was then called and up until recent months, the “Deacons’ Cupboard”. This was tied to the role of the Deacon, who in their year of transition to the priesthood, would be responsible for not just assisting with worship in Church, but for pastoral care and outreach into the community? Some months ago, our current Parish Priest, Fr Staffan Dawkins felt that this project needed to evolve given the extent of need now present in our communities, not least the devastating impact Covid has had on the lives of the poorest.
After much conversation among the Parochial Church Council, we launched our new Charitable Initiative (St Paul’s At Work) on 4th October 2020 at our 10:30 am Harvest Parish Mass. All items donated at our Harvest service were stocked into the pantry, with the help of the SPAW team of volunteers. All subsequent donations will go towards helping those with a genuine need.
The response to this well needed service to the community has been overwhelming. We are now having to make weekly appeals for donations of food, toiletries, personal hygiene items, children's clothing and toys.
St Paul’s At Work in Partnership with the online Charity Acts 435
St Paul's have decided to partner with Acts 4:35 because we believe in their ethos which is about, directly connecting those who want to give with those who are in genuine need of their help, through a network of local churches and charities.
Check https://acts435.org.uk/ to find out how this wonderful Charity works through Churches like St Paul’s.
St Paul’s At Work with You Recycle for Free Cycle
Anyone can Free Cycle at St Paul’s Church by placing an Advert on our notice board or in our weekly newsletter with pic of item. If anyone is in need of anything, for example, second hand furniture or appliance they can make a request by speaking to the Vicar or a member of the Church who will ensure the request gets published and if there are any donors, we will facilitate arrangements between donor and recipient for transfer of items. Unfortunately we are unable to store items of furniture and appliances at in our building so arrangements will need to be made to collect items in person from donors.
There is no qualification criteria and anyone can simply turn up and ask for a food and care parcel or ask for information about how to access or use any of our projects. We are opened several times a week (please see worship schedule). But we now have a dedicated day for parcels collection or donations on Fridays between from 9 - 11 am. Please feel free to turn up during one of those times and we will be happy to serve you. The hope is that once we are able to and Covid behind us, we will be able to invite people in for refreshment and conversation, as they collect their parcels.