Feed the Hungry: Our first challenge in January was to gather tins, packets and other essential items of food for the local foodbank. Items were brought into masses during the month and we collected about 12 heavy duty boxes, all donated by parishioners.
Give a Drink to the Thirsty: A chance remark by Fr Gordon made me revisit the Water Aid charity. It provides safe water, wells and pumps in all areas in the world, where they are needed. The charity ran a scheme to give up something over Lent and put saved money into a jar ' an ideal parish commitment. The parish raised £568 for Water Aid.
Clothe the Naked: At a Churches Together Meeting, two local young mums were establishing A Baby Basics ' West Norfolk group. We exchanged information and set up our Clothe the Naked Mercy appeal. There was much activity during the month with both churches used to store temporarily, nappies, breast pads, newborn baby clothes ready for my collection and two Land Rover loads resulted.
Visit the Imprisoned: A very difficult thing to do. We have Deacon John Belfield, in King's Lynn, who is a prison Chaplain for a local category A prison. Many offenders are ex-armed services and KSC has produced with the CTS, an Armed Services Prayer Book. These cost £4 each and over 100 copies were purchased by parishioners and passed to the Chaplain.
Our example has now been replicated nationally with all UK KSC councils offering the books for parishioners to buy.
Comfort the Sick: The call here was to renew individual contacts with families, friends, visiting and writing letters. Parishioners were reminded of the Prayer Cards going to Poland for dedication with the Pope's prayers at World Youth Day as an opportunity to include the intentions and prayers for our sick family and friends.
Shelter the Homeless: St Vincent de Paul Society Vinnie Packs, which contain emergency cold weather essentials, have saved many a life in overnight freezing conditions.
SVP in King's Lynn, never has enough but a hands on approach and rattling of tins resulted in raised £813.48 which have paid for 200+ Vinnie Packs. The joy and amazement on our local SVP members' faces was humbling.
Bury the Dead: For many of us, this is a family or friends provision. Graves are visited, bereaved are comforted, close ones remembered. The parish has raised £275 for two related charities: Friends in Bereavement, developed by a long established local family Funeral services Thornalley Funeral Services, provides free Bereavement Counselling; new national charity Child Funeral Charity provides financial support towards funeral costs for needy families where a young child dies suddenly.
This year has provided many of us with pride in our Parish generosity, in our active engagement, in the support for those who need it and, I hope, a little understanding of the continuous background work of KSC brothers. The totals raised are amazing. I thank my fellow brothers for their work and support.
The next major event, for the needs of the Parish will be the Christmas Fayre on Saturday December 17 at Holy Family Church.