Tag Archives: Foodbank

The kindness of strangers (and schools)

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” (Matthew 25, v. 35).

It feels like a dark and anxious time at the moment with deep divisions in the country and real fears for the future, especially for those already on the edges of society. However, from time to time something happens which shines a light into the darkness.

Such a light was shone today (Friday, October 11) when some unexpected visitors turned up at St Mark’s. Five pupils and a member of staff from Edgeborough School arrived, unannounced, in a van stuffed with bags and bags of food for the Farnham Foodbank. They had collected the food as part of their Harvest Festival celebrations and had given with huge generosity.

The six of them unloaded the van, piled the food high, stopped for a brief photo, and disappeared again.  We didn’t even know their names and they won’t know the names of the people who receive their gifts. It was a real moment of unexpected light and sharing between strangers. Thank you!

It shouldn’t be the case in 21st-century Britain that people have to rely on foodbanks but that is a reality for increasing numbers of families. Between April 2018 and March 2019, for instance, the Trussell Trust’s foodbank network, with which the Farnham foodbank is associated, distributed 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year. More than half a million of these went to children. The Farnham Foodbank itself gave 1,499 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis last year.

We are all vulnerable to crisis, none of us intend to be. But sometimes, like Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, we find ourselves depending on ‘the kindness of strangers’. And when Jesus was challenged in Matthew 25 to answer “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?” he replied: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

A heartfelt thanks to Edgeborough School and all those who donate to Farnham Foodbank.

 

Apple Day is back

Come and celebrate the fruits of our community orchard  at St Mark’s Church from 11am this Sunday (September 29) at St Mark’s.

Bring some apples to be juiced in our juicer. Make sure they are in good condition, washed and picked from the tree, and bring clean two-litre plastic milk cartons including the lid to put the juice in.

We will start with a Harvest service at 11am and then move into juicing, apple tasting and apple-y music (and possibly dance). If that isn’t enough apply-ness, there will be pancakes with apple filling to eat. We are also are asking for donations of food for the Foodbank which is run from St Mark’s on Wednesday mornings from 11am-1pm. Click here for a list of what is needed.

A Harvest Worship for All

Come, you thankful people come, and celebrate Harvest Festival at Worship for All at St George’s this Sunday (September 29) at 11.30am. And if you can, come early and help prepare the Harvest sheaf.

Worship for All will be celebrating the fruits of the season at a special service and everyone is invited. Please also bring non-perishable food items to donate to Farnham Foodbank. For a list of what is needed, click here.

All welcome!

 

harvest worship for all 19

Harvest Festival in the parish

It’s Harvest Festival time, the season when we celebrate the gathering of food from the land and give thanks for what the earth has produced and the hard work of those who have produced it.

Harvest Festival takes place on the Sunday nearest to Harvest Moon (the full moon closest to the autumn equinox), which this year was Sunday, September 22. However, the actual date for celebration is flexible and in  the parish we are marking Harvest Festival this coming Sunday, September 29, which also marks the last Sunday in the church season of Creationtide, and then holding the Parish Harvest Supper on Saturday, October 12.

There are Harvest services in all three churches – 9.30am at St John’s and 10am at St George’s, with Apple Day taking place at St Mark’s from 11am, and a special Worship for All service to celebrate Harvest at St George’s at 11.30am. Whichever service you attend, please bring with you items for the Foodbank, particularly the following:

  • instant mash
  • biscuits
  • instant custard
  • tinned meat
  • instant tea
  • tinned peas
  • tinned carrots
  • long-life fruit juice

Harvest Festival – a time to share

Many churches have a tradition of people bringing the ‘fruits of creation’ to the altar at the Harvest Festival service, thanking God for them and then distributing them to those who need them. In the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, the churches of St John’s, Hale, St Mark’s, Upper Hale and St George’s, Badshot Lea will be collecting food for the local Foodbank on 4th October at the Harvest Services which are 9:30am, 10am and 11am respectively.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “Please come along and sing your favourite harvest songs and, if possible, bring some food for those who don’t have enough. We will also be taking a collection at the end of the service at the door for the Syrian refugees.”

The Foodbank are particularly in need of tinned meat, instant mash, tinned Sponge Puddings, powdered milk, chocolate, Long Life fruit juice, tinned fruit, biscuits, snack bars, tinned rice pudding, UHT Milk, sugar, tinned vegetables, tinned fish and toiletries.

Photo accreditation: Georgie Fry