Churches save Christmas

Centre Manager Beth Thompson.
Centre Manager Beth Thompson.

THREE warm-hearted congregations have joined together to bring festive joy to families living on the bread line.

Members of three Churches in Ballymoney have filled and packaged more than 29 hampers of food and other essentials to deliver to people in the local community.

CAP volunteers with all the hampers.

CAP volunteers with all the hampers.

The church runs a CAP Debt Centre in partnership with national charity Christians Against Poverty, so it sees the real hardship that some people have to endure.

“We know there is a serious, immediate need among some of the people in our care,” said Community Links Coordinator, Lisa Harrison.

“It’s really tough living on a low income, and many of the people we are working with have a list of other difficulties such as ill health, joblessness or grief. It is an absolute privilege to bring about a smile or two and lighten the load for them. Christmas is about God’s gift of Jesus to all of us. He set the tone of outrageous generosity right at the start so giving is a great way for us to celebrate this special time of year”.

The hampers have been filled with donations from St. Patrick’s Parish, First Ballymoney and the Methodist Church. These hampers are just one way the Church is planning to bring Christmas cheer to the community. “We would like to thank all those who contributed to the hampers for their outrageous generosity – a sign of true community! This really will make a difference to our clients this Christmas” said Lisa.

St. Patrick’s Parish hosted a Christmas Lunch at the start of December for all their clients, and was a great success. First Ballymoney hosted a Cantata, a Christmas choral event offered free of charge to the whole community – an annual event designed to bring joy and hope - things that some may find difficult when the expectation is for Christmas to be such a happy time.

Ballymoney Debt Centre, based at St. Patrick’s offers people a free debt counselling service which, uniquely, is done through home visits making it ideal for people in poor health or mobility issues.

Ballymoney CAP Debt Centre Manager Beth Thompson said: “It’s a privilege to be able to say to people that however impossible their financial situation seems, we will be able to unravel the mess and help them to become debt free. If you know you are already in crisis, please get in touch via our website or by calling our Freephone number 0800 328 0006. We’d love to visit you and see how we can help.”