September 17 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Christians across Suffolk have been praised for their voluntary work serving communities with projects such as shops, cafes and gardens for playgroups.
The Right Reverend Dr David Thomson, Acting Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said worshippers were joining volunteers to provide vital services in both rural and urban areas of Suffolk.
But Bishop David believes even more good community work is still to be done – and he is encouraging churches at Easter, the start of the year for churches, to look afresh into their communities to see what help they can give.
He said: “Easter gives the church its marching orders. At last spring is here, the parks are full of people again, we’re meeting up with friends and family, and everything is coming to life.
“I love to hear the stories of how churches little and large across the county are getting out too and making a difference for good and for God in their local communities. Bringing a bit of Easter to everywhere.
“In Suffolk that means lots of things.
“For people living at Thorndon, near Eye, it is using their new kitchen and toilet to run a community cafe for the whole village.
“At Badingham there is a community garden in an extension of the churchyard and the village playgroup uses some of this.
“For people of St Mathew’s in Ipswich it is running a community shop with good second hand clothing, and a laundrette, and lots more I could mention.
“Even though there is a lot going on now I would love there to be even more.
“I would love to be bombarded with good news stories. Church and communities working together.
“I want to see worshippers out of their doors and in the community working alongside other volunteers.
“In Suffolk we are putting in place a fund to help people, our new Centenary Fund, which the Suffolk Community Foundation is running for us. This is more than ever about churches and communities working together.”
The diocese has forged a partnership with the Suffolk Community Foundation to launch the fund as a permanent legacy for its 100th year that will support good work across the county and this was officially launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury during his recent visit to Suffolk as part of the diocese’s centenary celebrations throughout 2014.
The diocese says the fund is a very practical way of helping local churches and communities to build a good future together.
It is envisaged that the fund, which is currently gaining donations and support financially, will be supporting projects by the end of the year.
These projects will work with young people, and support church work and community projects, such as town pastors on the streets of Suffolk towns helping people who may be vulnerable, an initiative the Archbishop saw first hand during his visit.
Bishop David said: “Lets all get out and live the story of Jesus, and be his good news in our own generation.”
For details of Easter services in Suffolk and more Easter news, click here