Clergymen appeal to residents across Suffolk to think of others this Christmas
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Leading members of the clergy are asking people across Suffolk to consider giving some of their time at Christmas to help the homeless, those short of food, or on their own.
In a Christmas message The Rt Rev Dr David Thomson, Acting Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said he like others will be looking forward to celebrating Christmas and receiving presents from loved ones.
But he said it is also a time of year to remember to love our neighbours and to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Among the many church projects to help others, this year volunteers at the East Suffolk Foodbank launched a home delivery service in the area so that people in hardship can access its emergency food parcels without facing a costly journey to the charity’s drop-in sessions in Lowestoft, Beccles or Halesworth.
The scheme, led by local churches under the umbrella Christians Together and co-ordinated on their behalf by the Rev Richard Henderson, vicar of Reydon, was established to cover Southwold, Reydon, Wangford, South Cove, Blythburgh, Sotherton, Walberswick and Uggeshall.
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Bishop David said: “I like many of us am looking forward to getting some lovely presents this year, but of course Christmas is about giving more than receiving.
“And we don’t have to just do this at Christmas. Every day can be Christmas, when we are giving generously to the people around us.”
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Rev John Beauchamp, rector at St Michael’s Church, Beccles, said: “For many this Christmas will be a joyful time with food and presents and trees and family and much more. For many others though Christmas will be more difficult. Many people are lonely and will have no one to call on them this Christmas.
“Many people have nothing to make Christmas special as they struggle on low wages and benefits. Many will turn to foodbanks as they find their cupboards empty and hungry children hope for the food and warmth that everyone else seems to enjoy.
“These though are not people in some faraway place, but rather people here in our community – maybe even your neighbours!”