Weekly Update from Fiona – 13th Feb

Hello All,

It really feels like Spring is around the corner with the lovely sunshine that we have enjoyed for the last week or so and the fact the days are definitely getting longer. The more observant of you may have also spotted the very brave purple crocuses that have made an early appearance in the church garden! All of which means that the shops certainly, are encouraging us to think of LOVE, as in case you had missed it, it’s Valentine’s Day on Monday! February 14th¬†is actually the day that St Valentine was killed, not very romantic! He was a priest or maybe a Bishop in the 3rd¬†Century, when it was still dangerous to be a Christian and spent his time ministering to Christians who were persecuted for their faith. He is also the patron saint of beekeepers.

All this talk of love made me think of the many different types of love – did you know that the Greeks had over 10 different names and types of love? Particularly thinking of the love that we show to our neighbours, or those around us. In Luke’s Gospel a Pharisee (a teacher of the Jewish religious laws) came up to Jesus and asked him “who is my neighbour?”. Jesus replied by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan, where a man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by robbers and left for dead by the side of the track. At various times 3 people passed by – a priest, a Levite religious man and a man from Samaria, who were supposedly enemies of the injured man. Only 1 of them put themselves out to help and it wasn’t the first 2, who you would have expected to help.

Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Which of the three became a neighbour to the man attacked by robbers?”

“The one who treated him kindly”, the Pharisee replied.

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

What can we do for our neighbours, those people that need our help, that we wouldn’t necessarily spend time with?

Make a donation to our foodbank of course!

Sadly, the amazing amount of donations that we had from Harvest and over Christmas are now severely depleted with the amount of families and people that are finding it hard to make ends meet. The news has been full of the “cost of living crisis” as food and energy prices keep rising with no end in sight and we are seeing the outworking of this in the number of referrals we are receiving for food parcels. In addition, we are supporting the Winter Shelter which still has another 6 weeks or so to run, the Soup & Sandwich run, the homeless hostels in our parish and have even sent food over to the Salvation Army who are regularly supporting 80 families and individuals. Our local schools will be holding “donation days” and we have regular support from the Community Champions at our local Waitrose but we need your donations into the red crate on the doorstep of the Rectory to show that you care and are prepared to “love your neighbour”!

In addition to non perishable food we really need toiletries (male/female/children’s) and cleaning products.

Thank you in advance for your generosity

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fiona