Preston Resourcing Parish (Preston Minster and St George's Church in the city) has been instrumental in securing funding of more than £22,000 to benefit urban deprived parishes in Lancashire.
The money will benefit their parish and will also be shared with 10 urban deprived churches and parishes across Lancashire on the run-up to Christmas.
The money sent is being used to provide ‘parcels of hope’ as part of a national initiative entitled ‘Love Christmas’.
Love Christmas is set to deliver one million parcels/packages across the nation; to spread the power of practical love, hope and kindness to people struggling this winter.
The Minster has also delivered more than 90,000 meals to people in need during lockdown and, as Preston Resourcing Parish, wanted to help other churches serving in some of the most deprived localities in the county to bring a little more joy at Christmas; by boosting local capacity through the additional funding from Love Christmas.
The parcels contain a wide selection of treats including toys and food shopping vouchers and will be sent to urban deprived churches who responded to a call to participate in the initiative sent out via the Diocese.
Vicar of Preston, Rev Sam Haigh said: “The stories we hear of isolation and suffering are heart-breaking and almost endless. We know that treats do not solve life’s problems. We see them as small tokens of love.
“Our intention is that they will help reveal the peace Jesus brings at Christmas time and to shed a little joy and light in thousands of homes and to the homeless across Lancashire.”
The various Lancashire churches - including some ecumenical partners - benefitting from the Love Christmas windfall will receive a share of the £22k based on several factors including match funding in relation to other local projects.
The full list of churches ...
Speaking today Rt Rev Philip North, who is Bishop of Burnley and also Chair of The Archbishops’ Estates Evangelism Task Force for The Church of England, said: “This is excellent outcome for the Minster and for these other Lancashire churches.
"After a dark and difficult year, being able to bring some light into the lives of people in communities served by these estates churches across the County is very encouraging.
“It is also encouraging to see the real difference our Preston Resourcing Parish can make when leading on initiatives such as this.”
Captions for the above photos, all depicting preparation of the Love Christmas parcels in, and featuring from the Minster …
Pic 1 James and Evie Dallow
Pic 2 Ethan Noble
Pic 3 Rachel Gardner, one of the Minster’s ‘Love Your Neighbour’ team leaders