Churches help meet Covid needs

Bob Hough assists his wife Lindsay with food preparation at The Lighthouse

St Mary’s is working with The Stronghold church and St Bede’s Catholic Church to help meet the needs of vulnerable and isolated people in Weaverham.

More than 60 older vulnerable people are receiving between one and four meals a week, produced and distributed by a team of volunteers. Meanwhile a pastoral team is phoning isolated people on a weekly basis, others are helping with shopping, and the churches are praying for individuals and the community.

The meals are prepared by qualified volunteers in kitchens at St Mary’s Lighthouse Community Centre and at The Stronghold Hub Coffee Shop. Hub manager Jon Cook is one of those preparing meals. “It’s not just the practical help that is valued,” he said. “People are pleased to see a friendly face and have someone to talk with – at a social distance – when the meal is delivered.”

Jean Stallard is an older local resident typical of those receiving meals. “The people who deliver are so nice,” she said, “they ask if I am alright, and the meals are really tasty. We are very lucky in Weaverham.”

Costs have been met from church funds, local Councillors’ budgets and from the Westminster Foundation through the Cheshire West and Chester Council Community Response Fund.

St Mary’s continues to keep in touch with its regular congregation in touch through emails, Facebook and through hand delivered letters, and runs services and the young people group using Zoom. The Stronghold live streams services and a weekly “Testimony Time” on Facebook and YouTube.

“Although the buildings are closed, our churches continue to serve the community,” said Paul Withington; vicar of St Mary’s Church. “It is important that churches work together to show God’s love by helping meet physical, social and spiritual needs.”