Norwich Besom is a bridge to communities
By Gail Halley
The Christian Besom charity in Norwich has now been up and running for four years and its shiny white van with the thought-provoking logo of a broom (Besom) which 'sweeps away suffering' is becoming more familiar on the streets of the city.
Besom's main objective is to be a bridge which Christians can cross to enable them to give into their local communities – be it time, money, expertise or things. Besom strives for excellence and, for example, insists on items being of good quality.
Hilary Beach, leader of the Besom in Norwich, says she is thrilled by the way the Besom brings Christians together: "It's wonderful to see how serving together breaks down barriers of mistrust and makes us all aware of how we need to rely on God," she says.
Besom has three specific projects which churches or individuals can get involved in: the baby bath, the release rucksack and the kitchen pack.
A baby bath will be filled with all sorts of goodies (nappies, sleepsuit, toiletries, towel, talc etc) to help a new mum on the way when she comes home, perhaps to a flat which is fairly sparsely equipped. Hilary says: "Gifts are wonderful, but so are the time-givers. It's people's time which turns things into godly gifts."
Working with Move On East, Besom has supplied a number of backpacks for men coming out of prison; again, individuals contribute socks, toothpaste, shaving gear, supermarket voucher or whatever to the packs, and they have been much appreciated by men with very little, wanting to make a new start.
The new home pack is a washing-up bowl filled with anything and everything needed in the kitchen, and is a cheerful help to a young couple who are moving into a new home with very few possessions.
It was through his church, St Paul's Hellesdon, offering some kitchen packs, that Ray Hewitt first heard about Besom. It sparked his interest, and he's now part of the core team, giving generously of his time in various projects: "We had only just moved to St Paul's," says Ray, "and I thought this would be a great way to help people." He is now, amongst other things, Besom's resident curtain rail expert. He recently went to a national Besom meeting in London. "It was very inspiring and it was wonderful to see the enthusiastic involvement of so many young people," he says.
"The key to Besom," says Hilary, "is realising that we often don't understand what's going on, but God does. He puts people across our path to show us things we'd never been aware of. I'm sure we get far more out of it than ever we put in."
To read more about Norwich Besom, click here or ring Duncan MacInnes on 07731 411553.
Thanks for caring says Norwich Besom team
Christian charity Besom in Norwich, has had a busy year providing furniture, kitchen equipment and prisoner packs as well as gardening and decorating for those in need.
With 2007 drawing swiftly to a close, the team that run the Besom would like to thank everyone that has been involved this year, said one of the organizers, Duncan MacInnes.
“During 2007, Besom has given many items to people in need in our city including bedding, beds, carpets, fridges, wardrobes, kettles, chairs, tables, chest of drawers, cookers, washing machines, curtains and more. All of these items have been given or paid for by Christians from all over our city,” he said.
“Members of 13 different churches, across the denominations, have been involved in some way and our weekly prayer times have been vibrant.
“Groups of Christians have done gardening and decorating for those in need, kitchen starter packs have been made up and delivered and Release Rucksacks have been given out through the prisoner support agency Move on East,” said Duncan. “Through this giving, Besom has tried to support as many agencies in Norwich as possible in a practical way and through prayer.”
A great example of the generous attitude of Christians is Eric Southey (pictured right), who having found out that the sofa he had donated was too wide, happily unscrewed his front door so that the Besom team could load it into their van.
“All of us on the Besom core team wish all readers of Network Norwich a wonderful and blessed Christmas,” said Duncan.
Pictured top is the Norwich Besom team with their van, and right, supporter Eric Southey.