First of all I would like to thank all of you who attended my licensing service on Wednesday 23rd of February at St Mary the Virgin at Westwell. Everyone I have met in the G7 Benefice has made me feel so welcome.
In my previous ministry in Caterham, Diocese of Southwark, I was involved in the food bank programme in Croydon. It therefore seemed very natural for me to volunteer to be the co-ordinator in the G7 Benefice in respect of our contribution to the Ashford food bank. This is a wonderful programme which provides food for the hungry on Tuesdays and Fridays. This provision is available to all in our deanery. Food poverty is a growing problem in our country and affects people from all walks of life.
Our ALM, Dawn Stamper, will be working with me on this project. Dawn and I will be attending the food bank distribution centre as volunteers on a shift in order to gain a greater understanding of what actually happens and engage with the clients. We really need your help in this matter. We intend to place a collection box in each church. What is requested is non-perishable food items. I would hope to empty each box on a weekly basis.
With lent approaching perhaps we might consider taking something on rather than giving something up and continuing with it. St Benedict suggests we should act in a Lenten way throughout the year. I am reminded of words of our saviour Jesus: “When I was hungry you gave me food”
I look forward to meeting everyone in the months ahead.