Norwich church members take part in more than 1,700 hours of voluntary work to mark Lent
- Credit: Archant
Members of a Norwich church have clocked up almost 1,800 hours of voluntary work to mark Lent this year.
Gateway Vineyard Church asked members to contribute towards 1,000 hours of voluntary work and acts of kindness over a six-week period.
The challenge saw around 3,000 bars of chocolate, fruit and snacks given to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
At the end of the 40-day challenge, called 1,000 Hours, church members had almost doubled the target, amassing 1,761 hours.
Other acts of kindness included baking cakes and brownies for hairdressers and school pupils.
Josie and Esther Baker gave away an 196 cakes to the pupils and parents of Cawston Primary School.
Josie said: 'We had so much fun giving away cakes. People were amazed that we weren't charging for them. It's was great to be able to tell them that we just wanted to bless them as God loves them.'
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Chocolates were given out to stewards at Carrow Road, to bin men, care home workers, and to the crew on a Ryanair flight from Alicante to Heathrow.
Church member, Sue Hatherly said: 'You can't imagine the crew's response. The flight attendant's face lit up and she kept thanking me, saying they'd been up since 2am and this was just what they needed! I even got a thank-you from the captain.'
Volunteers have been cleaning road signs in Thorpe Hamlet and preparing school snacks in Hellesdon.
Big Issue sellers and the homeless in Norwich have benefitted from a sandwich, a hot drink and a chat every Saturday and Sunday thanks to the Gateway Vineyard Soup Run team.
Bags of litter have been picked up from beaches, schools, villages and city streets. Family fun days at the Trowse Sports Hall and Poringland Play Barn were also offered for free to local families.
Church pastor, Hannah Deal, said: 'We believe that simple acts of kindness will send ripples across our city and county. We hope that in big ways and small we have been able to show God's love and kindness to people.
'To see so many people contributing to 1000 hours with such creativity and generosity of heart and time was awesome to see. We were overwhelmed by the reaction to the many acts of kindness during the 1000 Hours project and the difference simple acts can make.'