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Focus

by
28 October 2016

1. The founders of Friday Fridge, a late-night drop-in centre and café at St Jude’s, Southsea, celebrate ten years of ministry and outreach. Left to right: Nikki Chester, Catherine Benford, and the Revd Mark Rodel, a tutor in pioneer ministry at St John’s School of Ministry, set up Friday Fridge in 2006 to offer food, warmth, and conversations about faith to people as they left pubs and clubs in the early hours. Today, the centre is open from 9 to 11 p.m. and concentrates on sup­port­ing homeless people, and those strug­gling with mental-health issues or drug or alcohol addictions. Its current leader, Jim Campbell (far right), said: “I love it. It is a fantastic to be able to say to people that ‘church’ is available for you at a time that suits you.” Volunteers are welcome. Diocese of Portsmouth

 

 

2. Jo Sellers (right) embraces her mother, Barbara, at St Mary’s, Honley, last month, after donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for children who suffer hair loss during cancer treatment. Jo decided to “brave the shave” after her mother was diagnosed last year with stage-four bowel cancer and 11 secondary liver tumours. She was supported by Macmillan Cancer, and wanted to help others. Eight people, including Jo and a churchwarden, Karen Atkinson, cut their hair or waxed for the event, which raised more than £600 for the trust. Diocese of Leeds

 

 

3. The Hungarian cellist Pal Banda, and his wife, Zsuzsa Berényi, a violinist, were at St Andrew’s, Steyning, earlier this month, where their concert raised more than £1000 towards the restoration of the 400-year-old church tower. Mr Banda, who began touring last November to help raise funds to restore struggling churches, appeared in a report in the Church Times (News, 20 November) which caught the attention of a parishioner of St Andrew’s. The resulting concert included two of Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites. “It was a truly inspiring and wonderful afternoon,” Carol Mitchell, who helped to organise the concert, said. Dio­cese of Chichester

 

 

4. The Chaplain of the University of Cumbria, the Revd Matthew Firth, who founded The Way Church in Carlisle three years ago, seen in the window of his new community café, Lost On A Mountain. Mr Firth set up The Way with Andy Dykes, a young-adult mission worker, in 2013, at the university chapel. The café in the city centre was set up to fund its mission, and that of the parish, he said. It will also host student dinners for up to 40 people — at £1 a meal — on Wed­nesday evenings. “If, through these out-of-hours events, we can make a connection with ten or 15 new people, then all the money and time spent will have been worth it.” Diocese of Carlisle

 

 

5. The Friends of St Augustine’s, Penarth, have been awarded a grant of £8000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to transform its crumbling church­yard. The Heritage and Habitat Project was set up to protect the environment, con­serve and restore the graves, and promote the churchyard as an “educational and recreational area” for the community. The chairman of the group, Andrew Davison, said that the grant was a “fantastic boost”. “We have a responsibility to record the history of the site, and make better use of it,” he said. “It is a huge project, but the money has enabled us to make a start with confidence.” Diocese of Llandaff

 

 

6. Ben Richardson travelled along the Oxford Canal at Braunston, War­wickshire, during his 83-mile spon­sored walk to Coventry, last month, in aid of the Benefice of Blenheim’s Restoration Fund, and Woodstock Youth Club. He was blessed on his way by the Chaplain of Christchurch, Oxford, the Revd Clare Hayns, and was greeted at the finish line six days later by the Dean of Coventry Cathedral, the Very Revd John Witcombe, on the cathedral steps. Mr Richardson raised more than £4000 to help rebuild the 50-year-old youth club, and improve access, heating, and lighting in the church. Diocese of Oxford

 

 

7. The community at St Mary’s, Fording­bridge, has raised more than £300 to support the twinning of the church lavatories with latrines in Uganda, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Toilet Twin­ning, a partner­ship between the charities Cord and Tearfund, was set up to help some of the 2.5 billion people worldwide who lack basic sanitation. A special service was held at St Mary’s in September to kick-start the fund-raising. Members of the congregation were invited to take home a tube of Smarties from a new lavatory and fill it with coins. Diocese of Winchester

 

 

8. Some of the 19 teddy bears who have found a home at St Faith’s, Great Crosby, after being paraded round the building in celebration of the church’s patronal festival, earlier this month. Each bear represents one aspect or individual of church life, including Bertie the choir bear; Alice the Chalice; Nigella Pawson, the catering bear; Prudence, the PCC Secretary bear; and Angie, the Junior Church Superbear. Children can search for the bears on a “Teddy Bear Trail” around the building to learn more about the church community. Diocese of Liverpool

Forthcoming Events

14 September 2020
Festival of Pilgrimage
From Christ Church Oxford: a chance to reflect theologically on pilgrimage and come away with practical ideas for your parish.   Book tickets

29 September 2020
Festival of Preaching
A one-day online version of our popular preaching festival. With Mark Oakley, Sam Wells and Anna Carter Florence.   Book tickets

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