Vicars Monthly Letter

Vicars Letter August

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago I along with other clergy in this episcopal area attended a Clergy Study Day at St Catherine’s Church Sandal.  The session was part of Bishops Tony (the Bishop of Wakefield) continuing development of clergy and raised awareness on poverty, isolation, debt and homelessness.  Sadly, all on the increase not just in our own city but throughout the country.  There were a number of guest speakers from various organisations which included Christians Against Poverty and St Catherine’s church themselves. 

One of the things that I took away with me is that the Church with its congregations and volunteers are supporting so many people in their parishes and indeed the greater community.  Often in many cases quietly going out as disciples to meet people where they are physically, emotionally and spiritually, where the need actually is.  Churches in many areas are supplementing and supporting services that are simply struggling under the many demands made of them, and yet we gladly do this because we are called to serve as a disciple of Christ.

As you may already know St James the Great Chapelthorpe supports the foodbank at St Catherine’s and individuals are encouraged to bring food (packet and tinned items along with toiletries) to church so that we can take them to the foodbank.  And now my plea to you on behalf of St James the Great and St Catherine’s foodbank is, if at all possible we need you to be even more generous so that the foodbank can continue to support those who are experiencing hardship.  For individuals and families that may use the foodbank occasionally as they wait for their salary to appear in their bank accounts from their employer.  For those who are on zero contracted hours and because of this do not have a regular income and find it hard to budget.  Or for those who use the foodbank regularly who are struggling on benefits or who are waiting to be assessed for benefits. 

Here is a startling fact that was given at the Clergy Study Day.  In 2012 St Catherine’s opened its foodbank and in that year they gave out 190 food parcels, since then the number of food parcels given has increased year on year.  This year they expect to give out over 8000 parcels!  So, simply they need more to continue to support those in desperate circumstances.  Please either bring your donations to St James’ Chapelthorpe at one of our services or take it directly to St Catherine’s Sandal, anything you can give is greatly appreciated.

My mother often used an expression when she came across individuals who were less fortunate then herself.  The expression is ‘by the grace of God, go I.’  So, let us remember the blessings that we have been given by God and remember those in our prayers and action less fortunate than ourselves.  Because by giving to those in need we are living the teachings of Jesus and through our actions are a true disciple of his holy name.

Your friend and priest.



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