The Church has by tradition always been involved in reaching out to those in need and doing what it can to help, right from the collections in the early Church to help the widows and orphans. It is a tradition that has been handed down the centuries and our parish churches have often been the focus of helping the poorest in our communities. With the coming of the Welfare State the need for churches to help in this way reduced. But times are changing.
We live in times of economy spending cuts, reductions in benefits and high food and fuel bills. Now is the time for our churches to become involved again and help to make a difference.
It is important for our churches to be looking out into the communities around them, be it urban or rural, seeking to identify the needs. Through partnership with other churches and agencies, appropriately funded, a strategy of support can be put in place that makes a difference to people’s lives and makes a statement about how Christ’s love is at work in the lives of Christians in the Church.
Where to look for help
In the Related Resources and Related Links on this page you will be able to access a whole variety of resources that you can draw on to help you engage better or to consider a project which will make a difference in your area. It is important to talk to other people in your area or the particular work you want to engage in in order to collaborate with one another and join forces. We can achieve so much more together than trying to go it alone.
There are links to the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) which has lots of fact sheets and advice; the Buildings Website has pages on how to approach any kind of project as well as useful information on accessibility. Hereford Diocese has produced a tremendous resource on how to engage with your community and is well worth a visit.
Homelessness, food poverty and debt are increasing problems and there are whole ranges of resources that you can turn to which can provide help from where to go for help on homelessness to setting up your own food bank.
Finding the right funding is obviously crucial and there is a help sheet on some key sources as well as tips on how to apply. List of Funding Sources
It is also essential that if you are considering any kind of major project to discuss it with your Archdeacon, and if it will involve any changes to the fabric of the church property to discuss it with the Diocesan Advisory Committee Sectretary, Beth Hale (01273 425690 or email.)
Finally make sure you keep yourself informed. Sign up for your local Council for Voluntary Service newsletters and subscribing to key newsletters can help to keep you abreast of current trends.
Together we can make a difference!
Parish Nursing is a very special and particular ministry which makes use of trained nurses within a parish ministering to people in their homes and in the community.