COVID-19: Community Update
We are writing to give you some important updates about the work of the Community Team.
As you will already know, due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have had to close most of our church activities and in terms of our community-focused work, this means that Community Church, Community Lunch and Community Recovery are not taking place at the moment. However, the Foodbank is still very much in action! In fact, on Monday alone, we gave away the equivalent of over 6000 meals! Claire, Donna and the team, with the support of Julie Couchman-Boor, have been working very hard to restructure and reorganise the way that the Foodbank runs, in order to meet the changing needs of the community in Sunbury and also our church family. We have created three separate volunteer teams, working in rotation, to ensure that the Foodbank can keep running at all times.
The Foodbank is open every Monday and Thursday from 10-11am. Our amazing volunteers arrive from 9am to set up and leave by 11:30am. Surplus food continues to be available to everyone and is served by the volunteers from the front of the church. Other volunteers work inside the church to process food donations, restock the shelves, pack parcels and serve the Foodbank clients. Others make deliveries to people who are in isolation or who are advised not to leave their homes. If you would like to get involved, are well and able to volunteer then please email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org,call or text 07946672641.
You may be unable to volunteer in person but we would be so grateful if you could still support us from home by praying for the team. Please pray for the work of the team but especially for protection for their health during these difficult times. Perhaps you could set a reminder to pray for us at some point between 9-11am on Mondays and Thursdays? Whilst surplus food continues to be available to all, it is necessary for us to restrict Foodbank parcels to referrals within Sunbury only (TW16 postcode). We are however able to support church family members who live outside Sunbury. If you or someone in your Life Group requires support with food then please email email@example.com or phone 07496524693. You may want to save the numbers and emails shared in this update to your phones for easy reference.
We are still receiving and in great need of donations to the Foodbank in terms of food, toiletries and cleaning products . At the moment we are desperate for tea, coffee, tinned vegetables, tomatoes and fruit and also UHT milk. Any donated items can be dropped off during Foodbank opening times. The trolly in Sunbury Tescos is still being emptied regularly and if you would like to give financially to the work of the Foodbank then this can be done through the giving page on the website.
Finally, we have another very important update to share with you.
Claire Hopkins has been serving the church as Community Transformation Pastor for more than three and a half years and in that time she has grown and developed the ministry, the Foodbank and the opportunities that we have to serve the community in many exciting ways. We are incredibly grateful to Claire for all that she has done in this time, for her many, many hours of hard and sacrificial work, her passion, drive and commitment. However, at the end of February, before the current situation with Coronavirus developed, Claire decided to step down from her role to take some time to focus on her family and wellbeing. Claire's official last day is 2nd June and she is currently working her notice period. We are working really closely with Claire, Donna and the community volunteers to ensure that a smooth and well organised handover can take place with minimal disruption to the Foodbank.
As our period of closure comes to an end and a new Vicar is appointed, we will work together to build back up the Community Ministry to include the parts that have closed for now. We will keep you up to date on all of these activities as things progress.
It is sad that in this period of closure we won't be able to give Claire a proper send off, however, if you would like to express your best wishes to Claire in words or videos then please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can collate your messages together. Hand written cards can also be posted to the church or hand delivered to the mailbox next to the front door of the Glebe.
Keep watching your emails and social media for new information as it becomes available. God is with us in this unusual time. He loves His church and we will continue to trust Him and follow His leading.