Stowmarket Parish Church joins nationwide WHO CARES? initiative to offer support to local people in need
- Credit: Archant
The ‘WHO CARES?’ initative, adopted by churches across the country, aims to listen to the needs of the community and offer compassion and hope at times of distress.
A church in Stowmarket has teamed up with congregations nationwide to lend an ear to local people in need.
As part of the campaign, Stowmarket Parish Church asked its congregation, local groups and visitors to the Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival: ‘What hurts you the most?’.
Co-ordinators have spoken with over 1500 people and received over 500 anonymous response cards which have been analysed to understand what is affecting people in the town.
The top issues were identified as Family and Relationship problems, Injustice, Physical Suffering and Negative Emotions. Death and Loneliness also featured as key problems.
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Martin Lambert, one of the WHO CARES? co-ordinators in the church, said: “Having suffered an injury two years ago that’s left me disabled and no longer able to play sport or enjoy life the way I used to, I know that life can hurt. Prior to this injury I had no belief in God but I now know the hope and joy Jesus can bring to what seems like a dark and distressing situation. That’s why I was incredibly excited and eager to join the WHO CARES? initiative.”
Another member of the team, Sarah Ingham, said: “Suffering is something that unites us all as human beings. No one can go through life without hurt. But we can encourage one another. As I handed out the WHO CARES? cards it was an opportunity to talk to many people about what hurts the most.”
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Vicar of Stowmarket Rev Michael Eden added: “Who cares? God cares. And because God cares, we care. And if we can do something to help, we will.”
For those interested in getting involved, there will be a special service on Sunday April 29 at 10.45am at St Peter and St Mary’s Church in Stowmarket. More information can be found at www.stowmarketparishchurch.co.uk and on Twitter using the hashtage #whocaresstowmarket.