Norfolk Christian leaders back Covid-19 initiative
The “faithhopelovenorfolk” project has been backed by senior church and Christian organisation leaders from across the county.
Lady Dannatt, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk
“Any initiative that spreads faith, hope and love across this glorious county of Norfolk of ours, is to be welcomed with open arms.
"It is my ongoing hope that we will emerge from this pandemic an even kinder, less judgemental and more inclusive society; communities respectful of others and even more appreciative of this fragile, but oh, so beautiful world we jointly inhabit.
“Above all a thankful nation for all the gifts we receive and take so much for granted on a daily basis, when other nations lack even the basics to stay alive."
Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham Usher:
“We are each learning to be the Church in new ways, but continuing to be a people of hope, a people of prayer, and a people of loving kindness and service. Yet there are many who are still in need, and our calling as Christians is to be particularly there for the vulnerable.
“I would love to see our different churches working together in this new landscape, finding ways to meet the needs which are appearing every day. We can be so much more effective when we are one church united and the faithhopelovenorfolk resource can help enable this to happen more effectively. So please send in your stories, ways in which you can help and how others can help you in your new mission……”
Chair of the Methodist Church East Anglia District, Rev Julian Pursehouse:
“I am delighted to support this initiative as I think it is profoundly important that we remain connected to the most vulnerable members of our community particularly during this crisis and that we seek to respond to their needs in whatever relevant ways that we can.
“Clearly the present conditions of lock down places enormous pressures on our common ways of working but the churches of all denominations are finding creative and innovative ways in which to serve the community, to preserve our Christian identity and to sustain worship in alternative ways.”
Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes:
“The different Christian communities have always found a sense of common purpose in working together for the good of all, and especially in moments of real need.
"The coronavirus is indeed just such a moment - a time which is frightening many and causing much grief and distress in our local community.
“I am sure that this new project to help us to tell our stories of how we are supporting and encouraging the most vulnerable and each other will both inspire and help us to work for and achieve these ends more effectively.”
Vicar of St Stephen’s, Norwich, Rev Canon Madeline Light:
“There is so much goodwill between people at this moment in time and Norwich City Council has managed to do an extraordinary thing in getting rough sleepers into accommodation, feeding vulnerable people in isolation and so much more. However, the Council need community networks to operate as effectively as possible because the need is huge. People have lost jobs, are without money for basics and are, in some cases, very frightened.
“The churches have, over recent years, done much to support the city. At St Stephen's we play a small part in this. It is important at this time for all the church projects that are making a material difference to people to be identified and made known. It can be then seen how they fit with other provisions. I welcome Network Norwich & Norfolk's role in being able to tell the various stories so that the churches, Christian organisations and the county as a whole can work together more effectively.”
CEO, The Matthew Project, Andy Sexton
“The Church in Norfolk has been a backbone of support for local communities since establishment. This Norfolk initiative is an important way to continue the care and love that is intrinsic to the life, message and example of Jesus Christ. Jesus has been the inspiration to so many leaders we look up to: Mother Teresa, Rev Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela. All people, who stood up for justice and offered hope to the vulnerable and oppressed in difficult times.
“By working together in faith, hope and love we are in good company as we face Covid-19 together. We at the Matthew Project are 100% behind the initiative, as we reach out to support people struggling with the effects of substance misuse.”
CEO of YMCA Norfolk, Tim Sweeting:
“The proposal looks really exciting and I think will make a big difference in practical terms for people looking for support and resources, as well as perception around church unity and God’s people being in the forefront of meeting community needs. What a witness!”