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Cathedrals join churches in feeding the hungry this harvest, through foodbanks

06 October 2017


Harvest message: an installation of a giant pelican at St Peter’s, Port Isaac, in the diocese of Truro, part of the “Harvest of the Sea” arts project. It consists of artwork created by children in Kosovo and Port Isaac. The project organisers said: “With its colourful feathers gleaned from materials gathered from beach cleans, to the shimmering shoal of fish that it’s feeding on, it sends out a strong message of one community supporting, caring and nurturing another at Harvest time.”

Harvest message: an installation of a giant pelican at St Peter’s, Port Isaac, in the diocese of Truro, part of the “Harvest of the Sea&rd...

CATHEDRALS are among the churches around the country which are con­trib­uting, this harvest-festival season, to the feeding of thou­sands of people who live in poverty. They are sup­port­ing food­banks and homeless shel­ters.

York Minster, Durham, Norwich, Winchester, Salisbury, Guildford, Chester, St Albans, and St Edmunds­bury were among the cathed­rals collecting for foodbanks. Liver­pool Cathedral is supporting the Hope Plus Foundation for people living in poverty in the city centre, and Wakefield is donating its harvest gifts to the Wakefield Rent Deposit Scheme, which helps young people out of homelessness.

The congregation at Manchester Cathedral on Sunday collected for the Booth Centre, which offers advice and practical support to home­less people in the city. And Ripon Cathedral hosted a Harvest Thanks­giving for the Yorkshire Agricul­tural Society, which recognises and supports the agricultural commun­ity, and a fund-raising supper for the Ripon Salvation Army foodbank.

DIOCESE OF WINCHESTERHelp: a collection point for foodbank donations at Winchester Cathedral

Harvest gifts collected at Brad­ford Cathedral are to be given to the homelessness charity Abigail Hous­ing, to support refugees and asylum-seekers. The community can also donate fresh food to a “pay as you feel” café, which uses food destined for landfill to make nutritious meals in the village of Saltaire near by.

Tractors led the procession through Chelmsford Cathedral at its Harvest Festival on Sunday. Donations were collected for Tools with a Mission, a Christian charity that collects, refurbishes, and sends out unwanted tools to its mis­sion partners in Africa.

The Archer Project at Sheffield Cathedral is continuing to support homeless and vulnerable adults in the city. It was set up almost 30 years ago with the “Slice of Toast” project to feed homeless people who were struggling to buy food. Today, its day centre supports vulnerable adults, with food parcels, showers, laundry facilities, an in-house nurse and dental clinics, and a programme of activities to help people gain skills and accreditation.

The Dean of Sheffield, the Very Revd Peter Bradley, said: “The sea­son of harvest festivals is an op­­portunity for cathedrals to com­muni­cate their thanksgiving in gen­erosity through sharing the gifts we are given with those who find them­selves facing great need. . . The Archer Project was born out of feed­ing one homeless man who walked off the streets into the Cath­edral 28 years ago, and today, we are proud to say, it helps hundreds of lives every week.”

A report from the Church Urban Fund last month estimated that one mil­lion adults in the UK used a food­bank last year. Many more had missed meals because they could not afford food (News, 22 Septem­ber).

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