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How churches are providing a lifeline to communities during lockdown

The Rev Julie Boyd, team rector at St Faith's Church, Gaywood, with items donated for the essential supplies bundles. Picture: St Faith's, Gaywood

The Rev Julie Boyd, team rector at St Faith's Church, Gaywood, with items donated for the essential supplies bundles. Picture: St Faith's, Gaywood

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Churches are becoming increasingly creative in how they are providing a lifeline to local people during lockdown.

St Faith's Church, Gaywood, churchwarden Susie Cranko Page, who is involved in the 'essential bundle' scheme. Picture: St Faith's, Gaywood.St Faith's Church, Gaywood, churchwarden Susie Cranko Page, who is involved in the 'essential bundle' scheme. Picture: St Faith's, Gaywood.

At St Faith’s Church, Gaywood, King’s Lynn, the Rev Canon Julie Boyd said they had been running a community scheme for the past few weeks to provide “essential bundles” to local people in need.

Supermarkets Aldi, Co-op and Tesco are giving food and hygiene items and those who need support can then ring a hotline for provisions.

Mrs Boyd said: “The people we are trying to help are those who are in vulnerable groups and so need to be self-isolating and yet do not have anyone else to help them with their shopping. We are not taking people’s shopping lists but we are asking questions about particular dietary needs and how many people live at the property. The parcels are delivered free of charge so that there is no exchange of money taking place and the parcels are left on people’s doorsteps at the allotted hour as the distributor simply knocks on the door and then leaves.”

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The church has a team of people who distribute the food and Mrs Boyd added: “A really important part of the service has been the telephone contact that we are having with people who have felt very cut off and alone. It is very moving hearing some of the stories of people’s complicated situations and how our project has been a lifeline.”

At Martham, the parish church is joining with villagers to celebrate the forthcoming VE Day in style with a stay at home picnic and a live streamed act of remembrance and prayers of thanksgiving.

A Facebook page has been created to co-ordinate a number of planned activities to bring together the local community. Villagers are being encouraged to decorate a window for VE day with red, white and blue and share the picture on the page.

Emma Sivyer, wife of vicar the Rev Steve Sivyer, said: “We’re creating a playlist of 1940s songs for people to use and we’re inviting them to upload a video or TikTok of themselves performing a song or dance from the 1940s, or of them enjoying their picnic.

The Rev Karlene Kerr, team vicar at St Faith's Church, Gaywood, with items donated for the essential supplies bundles. Picture: St Faith's, GaywoodThe Rev Karlene Kerr, team vicar at St Faith's Church, Gaywood, with items donated for the essential supplies bundles. Picture: St Faith's, Gaywood

“It’s a way of celebrating a significant event in our history and bringing our community together, even while apart during this time.”


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