Donations of freezers have arrived as we plan to set up “Mary’s Meals” frozen family meals that will be distributed to particularly those families who are dependent on free school meals, but also families and individuals who are struggling with illness.
So many of you have offered to volunteer and we are busy collating lists and matching people to jobs. So far today we have linked the people to go and help triage patients, deliver medicine and help with admin at the Health Centre. Wigwam offered their van to collect freezers.
The polyanthus that we normally give out on Mothering Sunday have been given to the teachers and admin staff at the three schools in town and the healthcare workers at the hospital and health centre to thank them for the AMAZING work they are doing and to assure them of our prayers.
Flyers have been sent out in book bags with all school children and will be available around the town signposting people to resources, and I am busy negotiating with supermarkets how we can order in food to stock freezers (we had been in conversation with Cottsway Housing who have agreed to put some money towards this). We are also busy delivering 5000 “I can help” cards to supermarkets, garages and churches, to encourage people to pop an offer of help through a neighbour's door - let us know if you receive one!
Meanwhile lots of people are asking how they can contribute towards all of this. Here are some ideas:
you can volunteer,
you could buy a meal for Mary’s Meals when you are out shopping (lasagne, pie, sausages, joint of meat) and drop it off in the freezer which is down in the Church - the doors are open, you just walk in, open the freezer and pop it in. So sorry, but we are unable to accept anything homemade.
Others, who can’t get to the shops are wanting to make a donation - you can do this byclicking here, or sending a cheque to the Church Office reference "C-19”, then we will make sure it reaches the families who really need it as the weeks go on.
So it has been a busy day - oh! I nearly forgot the most important thing. Today saw the launch of “The Chippy Larder”, a group you can join and pay a monthly subscription to, and can choose products that were surplus to supermarkets' requirements, but in date - so a brilliant way to reduce food waste. Currently it is FREE. That will operate from the Leisure Centre every Friday between 3-4.30pm. Today they have received 120 boxes, I will let you know how that went. If you would like to join the scheme - it is open to everyone - please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So please be encouraged that much is going on in the town to help our neighbours and we will continue to share good news stories. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING AND FOR YOUR PRAYERS.
Please be praying for:
the healthworkers who are doing AMAZING work and are stretched
teachers having to make plans to take care children of essential workers
protection around the team, who are working flat out
pray for Rizvana who is leading “The Chippy Larder” scheme
God to prompt who he wants you to reach out to - whether it is on the phone or in other ways
Do you want to stay in touch with your small group, or talk to your friends using your laptop, but don't know how?
Well, fret not! Toby and Jonny have made some excellent videos explaining how you can do just that. Please click on the links below:
Instructions for setting up Google Hangouts
To use google hangouts you must have a gmail email account.
To listen to St. Mary's sermons and services from a landline number, please call: 01183 240971. Try it - it really works! (When it says "press any key to execute code", literally just press any number.)
This will connect you to the most recent content and we'll update it regularly. If you know someone who doesn't have internet, maybe ring them and let them know. (The call should cost the same as a normal call, and it depends on your tariff; please don't rack up a huge bill!)
Don't forget to check out our website for lots more useful resources.
"prayers in the Old Bank are postponed until further notice"
However, if anyone is keen to continue praying together through an online platform please email (email@example.com) and I will endeavour to set up a 'virtual' prayer group to continue praying between 12 and 1pm on Mondays. This will be trialled this coming Monday 23rd March so please reply by Sunday evening at the latest so that you can be included in the 'virtual' group. We are all being given the opportunity to get better at using this technology which is simpler to access in reality than it may at first appear so please don't be put off!
Thank you to all those who are committed to praying into God's plans for the Old Bank, and for the building to serve project. We will continue to update you through the Prayer Tree so that we can all pray as and when we can.
If you need food, help or just a chat then please don't hesitate to get in touch. You're not alone. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01608 646202 between 10am and 12noon, or 07418 059434 if it's more urgent.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Everyone has questions about what life is all about. We believe that everyone should have a chance to share those questions, explore the Christian faith and give their point of view.
Alpha is a place where you can ask those questions in an honest, friendly and open environment.
In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...
So many people in our community feel the weight of debt, and we are passionate about helping to release anyone we can from a life sentence of debt and poverty. At St Mary's we are working with Christians Against Poverty to bring good news, hope and freedom. If you need support, we'd love to hear from you.