Meeting the needs of the community
10 April 2019 IN: Parish News
St Andrew’s in Hillock transformed an empty vicarage into a community space that offers a food pantry, clothes store, and library for families on the estate.
Frances Lawson explains: “At St Andrew’s we have a heart for reaching people in our community and seeing their lives changed. We are passionate about being the hub of our community and living Jesus-Shaped Lives.
“We had been praying about how God wants us to reach out and be a part of what is happening. We had an empty vicarage after our curate moved and a member of the community approached us with an idea to run a food pantry, so that people can buy low cost, high quality food. We spent a lot of time in prayer and believe that God was guiding us to the Community Hub.”
The church equipped the Hub with financial support from the Council for Social Aid and ‘The Pitch’ scheme run by Bury Council. They offer tea and coffee and a friendly welcome, and they link with Fareshare to offer low-cost, quality food for sale. The parish also runs a Holiday Breakfast Club that provides free breakfasts for children in the summer holidays, with support from the local council and allotments.
Revd Donna Williams said, “The food pantry and breakfast club meet a huge need on the estate and are opening new doors for us as a church. There is real sense of community with those we are ministering to through the Hub, and we regularly have opportunities to pray with and for people."
The church is in the process of installing Wi-Fi and providing access to laptops for anyone who doesn’t have them at home.