11 October 2012
Churches across the country are supporting vital foodbanks for
their local communities as part of their traditional harvest
Bees* on the roof of St Pancras Church on Euston Road have
produced their first combs of honey in time for Sunday's harvest
festival (14 Oct) when the church celebrates becoming a collection
point for the Camden Food Bank. This central London initiative is
part of the national network maintained by the Trussel Trust which
supports people referred for emergency food.
"We need foodbanks," said churchwarden Dorothea Hackman, "so
families feeling the bite of the recession and reduced benefits
this winter will not have to send their children hungry to
In the past year the North Liverpool Foodbank has fed 3000
people (just under half being children) raising 27 tonnes of food
mainly from local churches and schools.
Vicar of St Andrew's Clubmoor, Canon Steve McGanity said
"Harvest is a time to remember God's abundant generosity yet in
21st century Britain we are faced with the shocking
reality of starving families being unable to provide for
themselves. Our Foodbank in Liverpool struggles to meet the
increasing demand from local families in need. Our Harvest services
give our church communities the opportunity to be involved in
providing for the needs of the poorest families in the most
deprived communities in Liverpool."
In Leicester many churches are donating their harvest gifts to
the Welcome Project, a diocesan voluntary group offering emergency
food, supplies and advice to asylum seekers. The project focuses on
helping those who arrive in the area with little or nothing to live
on and are unable to work to support themselves.
In Rochdale (Manchester diocese) St Andrew's, Dearnley has
joined with other churches and faith groups to open a foodbank this
harvest time in conjunction with the Trussell Trust. It will
provide three days' emergency food and support for people
experiencing crisis and opens at the start of November.
Foodbanks in Birmingham - including Narthex,
Sparkhill based at St John's Church and at Balshall Heath - have
been supported by harvest donations from churches, schools and the
David Shreeve the Church of England's national environment
adviser said: "Harvest is a time when we remember the abundance of
God's creation but it is also a time when we remember those who
need support both at home and abroad. The bees at St Pancras Church
is a wonderful example of how, even in the heart of a busy city,
nature can be found working its wonders and we can all play our
part in caring for creation."
*The working hive of approximately 10,000 bees, including
the queen, arrived in April, and were blessed on 9th
May. They live in a 5 frame bee nuc (nuclear hive) on the
flat roof of the church, away from the hustle and bustle of the
Euston Road. Hive and bees have been donated free-of-charge
to St Pancras Church by Jon Harris, a beekeeper based in Brixton,
and are looked after by local firefighter Christopher Brooks.
The Trussell Trust http://www.trusselltrust.org/
Camden foodbank: 0207 387 4551 firstname.lastname@example.org
North Liverpool Foodbank http://northliverpool.foodbank.org.uk/
The Welcome Project, Leicester
Portsmouth diocese continue to support local
foodbanks after the success of its Lent appeal
More information on Birmingham projects