Worthwhile working

02 November 2006

ST BARNABAS's in Northolt Park, west London, has an invaluable worshipper with huge energy, says its Vicar, the Revd Patricia Hillas. He is Bernard King, a retired police inspector who was also once a builder. When it came to clearing up the neglected and overgrown church grounds, and redecorating the large church hall, he knew just where to get the help.

For the past year, teams of offenders serving community orders have been coming twice a week to clear rubbish, clean off graffiti, prune shrubs, pull ivy off the walls, and paint the church hall. They were supervised by probation officers only too glad to have a variety of work using a variety of skills for their teams to do.

Even better, parishioners have worked alongside them in easy friendship, and have provided them with sandwich lunches. Those coming to do their community service have been very mixed ethnically, socially, and in age, says Ms Hillas.

A couple of weeks ago they were able to celebrate the completion of the work with a celebratory lunch, at which the Vicar could thanks all concerned. It was attended by the local MP, Stephen Pound, representatives of the Police and Probation Service, and not least by those offenders who had been currently working on the site.

Job of the Week


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