Consolidated Growth in Easton
Some amazing things are happening around Easton often through people working in small groups using church resources. 2011 was a busy year for them all. As funding cuts dig deeper there seems to be more call for these services. Two themes keep popping up - relationships and volunteers.
Easton Jubilee Trust looked back on a year in which three projects had been consolidated providing for Somali school children, Roma people and sewing classes for women. On St Mark's Road the Foodbank now provides weekly emergency relief food parcels. This year they hope to open a second day in the week to spread the load of handing out food. They have fed over 600 people since starting in July, of which 250 were children. The Baptist Church Café is open two days a week and building up relationships both sides of the counter. Also at St Mark's, one of the three GGCC (Gospel Generation Community Choirs) runs giving anyone who wants the chance to join a choir. By Christmas the three choirs had grown to over 100 members. They are hoping to spread the concept of local choirs further afield.
At ECFC, Easton Families Project stretches across a café, nursery, Childsplay, family support, Easton Bread, Sadaka, crèches and a Parenting course, aiming to encourage building of individuals and community through relationships. b.friend is equipping volunteers to become individual befrienders of a refugee/asylum seeker locally. They hope to attract folk from wider parts of Bristol as well as those already familiar with the inner-city. (Their next volunteer training course starts Thurs 23nd Feb for 4 Thursday evenings).
Last year Mahabba provided regular prayer opportunities twice a month for folk to pray for their Muslim friends, not just in Easton but across Bristol. Again this year they will be running their Friendship First course (next one starting Wed 22nd Feb for 6 Weds evenings).
Two years ago we started the year in St Judes at the City Mission in a neglected building which let in the rain. Now two years on the roof is fixed and rooms redecorated. The building is open most days of the week and working with the Methodist Centre (Midland Rd) towards running a small café later this year.
There are of course larger projects locally such as Carpenter House which launched several new initiatives during 2011 in response to the need that they saw through the Wild Goose Cafe.
All these groups are making a difference in people's lives. One wrote:"Our experience this year has taught us that even when these relationships are challenging, one to one support and encouragement make a huge difference to an individual's wellbeing and chances of progression."
All the organisations rely on the commitment of their volunteers and would welcome additional volunteers (and financial support). They have appreciated the support given through Prayer For Easton so let's continue to pray for them in 2012.
Best wishes for 2012 Prayer for Easton Team
Source: Prayer for Easton
, Carpenter House
, City Mission
, Easton Families Project
, Easton Jubilee Trust
, Prayer for Easton
, Wild Goose Cafe