Recent activities

Supporting the Nightshelter

St Leonard’s Church, Birdingbury, supporting the Rugby Winter Night Shelter 2017/2018

Karen Armbrister, Church Warden writes:
This is our third year supporting St Matthews and St Oswald’s Church (known as M2O) in Rugby with their night shelter commitment on Thursday nights. Last year we cooked and helped on two occasions and this year we are very delighted to be able to support on four evenings. We can only do this with our band of fabulous volunteers who enjoy coming along. Normally 6 of us attend from 6.30pm to 10.00pm, when the overnight shift takes over. One of our regular helpers, Alex writes:

‘I am pleased to be among a group of villagers representing BirdingburNightshelter bedsy at the Night Shelter in Rugby, coordinated by local charity Hope4.

Each night of the week, between December and March, a different church in Rugby hosts a night shelter for 15 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough or lodging on friends’ sofas and the like, and St Leonards has put together a team to help once a month.

Our group prepares, cooks and takes along a two-course hot meal, puts up the beds supplied by Hope 4 and enjoys some conversation with the guests using the shelter. Once everyone is fed (guests and volunteers eat together) and we have cleared up, we return home, leaving guests to sleep supported by two volunteers from the church. After a breakfast the next morning guests then leave for the day, before returning to the hope 4 Centre to register and apply for the following evening’s venue. Guests must apply in person at the Centre and be issued with a ticket to attend that evening’s venue. Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not permitted entry. Guests can be ejected for inappropriate behaviour as well. Beds are transported between churches and the army of laundry volunteers deal with the used bedding, washing and ironing it before passing it on again. Over 300 people are involved in volunteering for the Night Shelter.

We have been privileged to meet some wonderful people, each with a unique story. It is clear that there is no ‘type’ of person that becomes homeless; it is not something that discriminates by race, nationality or gender. Meeting those affected by homelessness has taught me a great deal about how vulnerable we all are, but also about how resilient people can be, as wnightshelter dinnerell as the difference a little bit of my time can make both to me and the people we are trying to help.’

Everyone has a story – everyone – even us! Working as volunteers at the shelter has opened our eyes to how close we all are to changing circumstances which leave us much at the mercy of the kindness of others. It is a humbling experience as we leave to go home to our warm, comfortable homes and families.

Jesus taught us that we should; ‘love one another’ – helping at the Night Shelter certainly gives us the opportunity to love and to serve those who are not as blessed with comfort as we are – it’s a privilege to do it – why don’t you come along and help sometime?

Remembrance Sunday at Stretton on 12 November 2017

Stretton’s uniformed organisations paraded through the village to church to participate in our Remembrance Sunday service, led by Rev Ali Massey.  Young people read the names of the men on the memorial and led prayers for peace.  A lone piper played a lament at the end of the two minutes silence and wreaths of poppies were laid at the altar. A further ceremony was held at the Gallipoli memorial on the A45 roundabout.

Holiday Bible Club 2017

A parent said:

“This is the second year running that my 6 year old twin girls have joined the Holiday Bible Club. Knowing something of what to expect this time they were very keen to go and kept asking how many sleeps until it was time…

“The club provides an opportunity to not only learn about a few bible stories in more detail (always starring Jesus…) but also to try out new crafts, sing songs, perform and meet friends from school plus make new friends both young and old. There are also lots of biscuits and homemade cakes which provide a welcome refreshment.

“Each day the girls came home quite exhausted but full of stories of what they had done and what was planned for the next day. The week culminated in a family gathering to allow everyone to learn about the journey the children had been on during the week. It is certainly a week I would recommend to other parents and mine certainly talk about the stories and messages they have learnt for weeks after it.”

Another parent said:

“The Knightlow/Draycote Benefice Holiday Bible Club was absolutely incredible (again!) this year. All 3 of our children thoroughly enjoyed it, learnt a lot about God, and picked up some new skills (and jokes!) along the way too! The volunteers who ran it were exceptionally patient and kind and truly inspired the children. Everyone had a huge amount of fun, taking part in competitions and also lots of creative activities.

“There was also plenty of time for reflective thinking. I got the impression that the helpers enjoyed the week too, and I hope that next year there are enough volunteers to enable it to run again, as I know that there will be lots of disappointed children if not!”

Global Care Fundraising Afternoon

Raising funds for Global Care’s Shack Schools work amongst displaced Syrians, in The Bekaa Valley.

Wow! Well done everyone.

We are heading towards a total of about £3,500. A very special thank you to Sue & Tim and to everyone who rolled up their sleeves to make the stalls/events at Bourton and Frankton Village Hall a success.

Meantime please put a big circle, around the evening of Saturday March 17th 2018, when we will be aiming to raise at least £1500 from an Auctions and Promises event.

Charity bike-ride

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

– Nelson Mandela

Global Care is a Coventry-based charity supporting the most vulnerable children and young people in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and Central America. Knightlow School in Stretton has adopted Global Care for a 3 year joint initiative with the Parishes of Draycote Benefice, and we would like to help them raise funds to support the education of Syrian children living in camps in Lebanon under their “shack schools project”.

We will be cycling the 130 mile “Coast to Coast” route from 14th – 16th July and the London 100 mile ride on Sunday 30th July.

We would really appreciate your sponsorship and all money raised will go direct to Global Care.

Donate here