What a fantastic response we had to the Harvest collection at Tesco’s for the Food Bank.  For 2 days Cornerstones volunteers handed out to shoppers leaflets which listed the Food Bank’s most desperately needed foods.  The Community were very generous in their giving and the donations kept pouring in.  The heavy crates of food were then brought to our church where they had to be individually weighed before they were mixed with the donations from our members.  This was because  Tesco then donates directly to the Food Bank an equivalent of 20% of the weight of the food collected in their store.  About 125 crates weighing 2 tonnes and 169 kilos were collected which equates to 2,711 meals. It was a tremendous effort to help some of the most needy and vulnerable in our community.  Thank you to everyone who helped in any way.

Starting on Friday, 1st November from 10.0am-12noon for 5 weeks there’s a new Sugarcraft Course.  This is a great opportunity for beginners to learn different icing techniques.  The course costs £35.     On 27th and 28th November from 9.30-4.0pm there’ll be another  Food Safety Course.   Would you be interested in an Introduction to Beauty Therapy course learning beauty therapy procedures and developing skills?  The course would last 5 weeks and cost £35.  For any of these courses please call at the office to register your interest.    On Sunday, 10th November at 12.30pm the N.E. Stephen Sondheim Theatre presents ‘LEGACY’, a concert featuring the composers that inspired Stephen Sondheim and those inspired by him.  Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions.  On Saturday, 30th November from 9.0am – 1.0pm we’ll have the Christmas Fayre.  All the usual stalls will be there and, of course, Santa will be in his grotto.  Doreen will need lots of help so please have a word with her soon.    Advance warning!  There’ll be 2 unmissable concerts in December so be sure to keep the dates free in your diaries:  12th December for the Youth Connection/Drama Tree Concert and 21st December for the Argus Singers Concert.  More details later.

Volunteers are needed to help with the  Meals for Needy Families  which Neil Garlick, our Families and Children’s Worker is organising during the October and Christmas holidays.  If you or any of your friends or families can help, please contact Neil or let the Office know.  Volunteers are also desperately needed by Joan Evans and her team for the Friday Stall.  Some long-standing helpers in the team have had to stand down and they’re looking for new assistants.  Please contact Joan if you can help.

The recent collection for the Food Bank was a way of showing the community around us how much we as Christians care.  People who are helped by the Food Bank are usually folk who, through no fault of their own, have suddenly found themselves unable to feed themselves or their families;  sometimes through losing their job, sometimes during a long wait for Universal Credit payments to be sorted out, sometimes when leaving a job which is paid weekly and taking up a job where they have to wait until the end of the month for their next pay.  Before they can use the Food Bank they have to be vetted to prove they’re in real need and then they qualify for a bag holding sufficient food for 3 days’ meals.  It’s not a lot but it must be a godsend to anyone who’s at the end of their tether and doesn’t know where else to turn.   It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must be for someone who’s always prided themselves on looking after their family to have to admit they need help and to go to a Food Bank.   Thankfully  most of us haven’t experienced how that must feel.  If we are attempting to follow Christ’s example we must help those less fortunate than ourselves.  We sing along to Bernadette Farrell’s hymn:

“Longing for food, many are hungry.  Longing for water, many still thirst. 

Make us your bread, broken for others, share until all are fed.

Christ, be our light!  Shine in our hearts.  Shine through the darkness.’”

It’s a sad reflection on our modern society that Food Banks are needed at all.   Cornerstones, through its volunteers, can ‘shine through the darkness’ and show the community around us a glimpse of Christ’s love for all mankind.

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