Thursday, 4 March 2010

What the church is for

CARE in North East Lincolnshire ( makes an extraordinary impact on social issues locally. It is a major contribution by evangelical churches and evangelical Christians (it uses the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith) and those willing to work with them. It reopened its refurbished shop in Cleethorpes yesterday, and it was good to be invited (and to take a contribution from St Nicolas’ to the Daily Bread Food Larder which should have been delivered ages ago).

Here is their Patron (the Bishop of Grimsby) and Chair (the Pastor of the King’s Church) outside the shop. Here also is the local paper taking one of the three shots which recur in its pages - I spot often someone who doesn’t quite seem to have his or her heart in what the photographer has told a group to feel and do by looking glum, waving hands in the air or (in this case) pointing at something .

But I was reminded most of a memorable evening a few years ago when the then new Chief Executive of North East Lincolnshire Council came to the annual event organised by Churches Together in North East Lincolnshire. Around St James’ Church were stalls staffed by Christian organisations which who support the homeless and vulnerable locally.

CARE was there. So were those who provide hostels (Salvation Army and YMCA), day centres (Harbour Place), financial possibilities (Churches Together's Credit Union) - at least a dozen in all. The message about the role the church plays locally could not have been more explicit, something the Bishop pointed out again yesterday.

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