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).