We have been given many reasons to give thanks, but the update on the fundraising for the food bank project provided us all with additional reasons for thankfulness. The church has been able to give a donation of £1000 to the Salvation Army foodbank in Goldthorpe and Mark McKeown’s sponsored half-beard-growing raised £783.10, including a very generous donation of £200 from the Great Houghton Methodist Church. We are sure this money will be immensely helpful to provide practical assistance to all those in need at this time of year.

Many, many thanks to all who have supported the food bank programme and who give regularly to this. It’s a good idea to keep buying items like scarves, gloves, fleece blankets and hot water bottles, particularly if these are discounted in the January sales.

Last week, Chris and Adrian from the Salvation Army were interviewed for the BBC programme ‘The One Show’ about the food bank and about the new community shop due to open today in Goldthorpe. Goldthorpe will feature on ‘The One Show’ tonight, so you may well see the interview if you watch the programme at 7 p.m. tonight! It is worth noting that Goldthorpe is the UK pilot for this scheme which aims not only to offer a range of products at significantly reduced prices, but also to provide an interactive programme of wider support available free of charge in the Community Hub from budgeting and debt advice to cookery classes. Further information can be read in the ‘Guardian’ article on the Goldthorpe community shop.

As a church, we have been praying for economic regeneration in the area and have also been doing what we can to offer practical help to those in need. Let’s give thanks to God for the generosity of so many people and continue to pray not only for economic regeneration but for spiritual regeneration in our area.