Thank you, once again, to readers of the Wakefield Express who have been so generous in their support of the Emergency Food Store at St Catherine’s. As you know we are entirely self-financing, and could not provide our service without the support of very generous individuals as well as churches, schools and other groups.
In your letters page last week (September 27) David Kaye raised some important points about the complexity of the issues surrounding poverty.
I entirely agree that we cannot be simplistic in our approach. There are lots of unhelpful stereotypes out there, but the reality is far more complicated.
Financial hardship is usually triggered by factors outside people’s control - redundancy, unexpected big payments, family crises. It can happen to anyone - often spiralling out of control very quickly.
It is common for people to feel isolated, and unable to deal with their financial problems. Probably the most important thing we offer is someone who will listen.
In addition, we host various groups and services that can help people get back on their feet.
For example, we host a weekly Jobs Club and, along with other churches in Wakefield, we help fund a debt worker. We can also signpost people to other services who can help them address underlying issues.
Why do we do this? As a church we believe that each individual is made in the image of God; that we are all intrinsically worthwhile. We cannot solve every problem, but we can treat each person with respect, and as a fellow human being.
We do not judge, but rather offer generosity to others as we ourselves have been offered generosity by a loving God.
Revd Helen Collings
Priest in Charge
St Catherine’s Church & Centre