“..For I was hungry and you gave me food..” (Matthew 25:35). With these words Jesus commends the righteous who will be rewarded, and gives us an example of a practical ways in which we can express our faith. Ebbsfleet parishes in the diocese of Coventry seek to respond to the call to love our neighbour in this way.
St Oswald’s Church in Tile Hill runs St Oswald’s Platter which is available whenever the church is open, normally 9:30 – 4.00 Monday to Saturday. The name comes from the story of King Oswald recorded by Bede. This account tells how St Oswald was having dinner one Easter with St Aidan. A servant, whose job it was to give relief to the poor, told them that many had turned up in the streets outside seeking provision from their king. At this Oswald had his dinner distributed to them and broke the silver platter into pieces to be distributed also.
Fr Edward Backhouse, Vicar of Tile Hill, says: “Here at St Oswald’s we believe that nobody in our community should ever go hungry. If you are in need please come and take from St Oswald’s Platter.”
Donations are welcomed the community and from a number of retailers who are donating food that is close to its sell-by date.
The people of St John’s in Leamington Spa have been beavering away delivering care packages to families who have requested them in recent months.
This new initiative is in addition to the Food Larder which provides food in the church porch on Sundays and Wednesdays to which people can help themselves.
St John’s in the centre of Coventry has collected donations for the local Foodbank for several years, and has increased its support for that charity since the start of the pandemic as the need is so great. At the parish’s Harvest Thanksgiving last October, the parish welcomed a guest preacher from the Foodbank. Rector, Fr Dexter Bracey, says “Feeding the hungry is one of the corporal works of mercy that we are commanded to undertake in the gospel, and here at St John’s we seek to fulfil that obligation in partnership with the Foodbank”.
Fr Dexter Bracey,
Rector and Parish Priest, St John the Baptist, Coventry
and Bishops Representative in Coventry