Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Good News for the Poor ?

Traditionally, like many churches, St Paul's had a "Toy Service" in December, where the toys were given to an orphanage. At Christmas, we remember how Christ came as a baby of a poor family and later proclaimed "Good News to the Poor" and as those who follow Christ, it was appropriate to provide toys for less fortunate children.

With the changing provision for children away from orphanages, in recent years, we have sent our gifts to Mother and Baby Homes and Refuges in the borough. It came as a shock, this year, to discover that council cutbacks have resulted in four of the five homes closing. The other exists entirely on charitable funding.

As a result, this year, our gifts will be limited to the one home. But we will also be collecting money for "Action Homeless’s Winter Appeal." In addition, we will be providing gifts to the diocese’s "Welcome Project" which seeks to help asylum seekers, many of whom are utterly destitute.

We are told that the general public supports the financial cutbacks, but we need to be aware of the effect that they are having on the most vulnerable people in society.