Beccles Parish, which includes the St. Michael’s and St. Luke’s churches, have been keeping busy with creative ways to bring families together safely, by providing much sought-after picnic lunches and reflections, as well as organising a uniform bank. Plenty of new families are being welcomed into the churches. Here are two uplifting stories about what has been going on…
Weekly summer takeaway picnic and prayer boxes go down a treat.
Every Wednesday during August, Beccles Parish have been busy making takeaway picnic boxes alongside materials to explore faith.
The first two weeks saw about 30 children and 15 adults take part – and numbers are still growing as word spreads and those taking part invite others to join them. Last week over 72 lunches were given out – and many of them to new faces. Each picnic contains family resources on the theme of ‘bread’ and over the weeks we have explored Bible stories like ‘Feeding the 5,000’ and verses such as ‘I am the Bread of Life’ and ‘This is my body.’ The activity packs are great for children – and also contain an alternative reflection for adults too.
Claire Kiddy, Assistant Curate at Beccles Parish says, “It is one of those small ideas which God uses in extraordinary ways - yesterday was a real blessing for us all - people went to the park, the common, the beach and had a lovely day and it was a delight to receive messages of appreciation.”
It’s great to hear how this church continues to connect with its local community - all following Church of England guidelines and socially distanced with masks and frequent hand washing.
Providing for an ever-growing congregation of families by organising a uniform bank.
Beccles Parish have welcomed over 60 families into their church this summer by providing a uniform bank full of good quality second-hand school clothes. The project has kitted out over 250 children for school in September whilst also providing a practical and eco-friendly way for the church to follow God’s call to care for creation by encouraging recycling and reusing.
Back in June the church asked for donations of outgrown uniforms from local schools. With six primary schools and two senior schools within their group of parishes, it is not surprising that they were flooded with clothes in response. Churchwarden Fran Tuck organised volunteers from the church to wash, iron, label and package the clothes ready to be reused by others.
Claire Kiddy, Assistant Curate at Beccles Parish says, “The uniform bank has brought us into contact with a lot of new families. We’ve had so much help and enthusiasm from our church members, and we are seeing new relationships flourish.”
In total five sessions were organised where families could come and collect whatever they needed. Everything was offered free of charge, but any cash donations received have been put towards further children’s and families’ work.
Beccles is an Eco-church, you can find out more about Eco churches and how to become one please click here.