Warm Spaces and Opportunities to Support One Another

‘‘We are all in it together!”

I’ve heard this said far too often about the current financial crisis. Yes, we are but we are not on a level playing field. So many people with low and limited incomes have very little choice in the decisions they make as they have been at their limit for so long. Many of us are reminded of our experiences of our earlier life when there wasn’t central heating or double glazing and we often woke up to ice inside the windows. It’s not quite that bad in The Rectory but, like many people, we have certainly been struggling with the cold over the past few weeks.

January and February, and sometimes early March, are traditionally the months when we have the coldest weather here on the East coast, just at the time when the Christmas bills start to come in.

The Parish Council have been offering Warm Space at the New Road Sports Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the John Green Institute on Saturdays, but neither venue has had much take up on their offering. All Saints Church has received a small grant to help us offer some warm space too.

We are proposing to have the church open on a Thursday from 10am-4pm Part of that time will also include an Adult Learning Cookery Course on cooking on a low budget with a slowcooker.

Further information regarding that is available on the church website.

As the church is usually open for the parents group –Refill– on Fridays from 9am. We will offer to have the church heated and warm and open to anyone/everyone from 10.45am until 2.45pm. We can offer the opportunity for crafting or playing boardgames, as well as general conversation over a tea or coffee. We plan to be able to offer a soup lunch with bread too.

It is so important that we all support one another at this time; prolonged cold temperatures and reduced food intake is not good for any of us, but in the more elderly in our community it can be dangerous. Let’s look out for our neighbours over this New Year period and into the weeks to come.

The Belton Church Pantry Foodbank will not be operating its usual service during the Christmas and New Year period. However, in an extreme emergency please contact 07359422742. Normal service resumes on Tuesday3rdJanuary2023.

For some a new year brings the opportunity for a new start ,or a fresh outlook on a situation or a problem. We all benefit from those opportunities, in many ways.

For me, as a Christian, Jesus offers me a new start each day, if I want it. To be able to leave the mistakes and hurts of one day behind, in that I am forgiven and can forgive others, is quite something; however, we always live with the consequences of mistakes. Jesus doesn’t just airbrush them away, but he does help us work through them. I am grateful for that.

There is a passage in Lamentations 3(19-24) that is a real encouragement when things are hard:

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Even so, it is always good to have others around us who help us when we stumble, encourage us to keep going when it’s tough and celebrate with us when good things happen.