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Meeting Reports:

May Meeting: The Bedford Street Angels

We were very pleased to welcome Steven Elphick who is one of a number of volunteers - Bedford Street Angels - the organisation, that has recently celebrated it's 1011, anniversary , was first started by Francis and Fred Gill after their son, Robert, was mugged and murdered on the streets of Bedford. It is manned by a number of men and women from all the churches in Bedford, who seek to live out the parable of the good Samaritan, and who patrol the town centre in groups of three every Saturday night between the hours of 11.00 pm and 4.00 am to offer support and help to people out enjoying the clubs and bars, many of whom have expressed their appreciation of the support offered. Steven kept us amused with a number of stories of his experiences, including having to wake a gentleman at three o'clock in the morning to ask him if he would like to come and collect his daughter from outside Debenhams as she was very drunk! Not hard to imagine what Dad had to say to his daughter the following morning! Some people just like to talk, and sometimes appreciate a prayer, and the `angels' will listen for as long as it takes. Because of the help they give, they are accepted, and have built up a good relationship with the other bodies who patrol the streets of Bedford on Saturday nights, including the police and ambulance teams. Also, the jackets they wear are very distinctive and give them a certain amount of authority with the people they help. The volunteers also carry a back pack containing amongst other things, a bottle of water, foil blankets and pink flip-flops for anyone with bare feet- in case of broken glass. We were impressed by the courage that it quite obviously takes to walk the streets of Bedford on a Saturday night, especially in these days of so much knife crime. Steven was convinced their faith and the power of prayer helped to protect them and as they have been doing this worthwhile job for ten years it must surely have played some part.

April 2019  Meeting:  Bedford Food Bank

Sarah Broughton from the Bedford Food Bank gave us an interesting and informative talk about the organisation that provides boxes of food to people in need. Even in this supposedly affluent society, there are a number of reasons why people find themselves unable to put food on the table, either for themselves, if they live alone, or for their families - benefit delay, domestic violence, sickness, debt or benefit changes, or just low income. At the Bedford Food Bank in Murdock Road, Manton Heights Industrial Estate, the food that is collected from supermarkets and other sources, is weighed and sorted to make sure it is not out of date, and it is then packed into boxes ready to be delivered to the distribution centres by van. The scheme works on a system of vouchers which are given through various professional organisations such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, police and sometimes schools. Anyone in real need, and who has been given a voucher, can then collect a box from one of the seven distribution centres in and around Bedford. The Food Bank receives no Government funding but is funded by small grants and public donations. The Bedford branch works with over 170 referral agents and gives out over six tons of food a month. It is part of the Trussell Trust which in the financial year 2017/18 gave 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in the UK. More information, including a list of items needed, can be found on the website, www.bedford.foodbank.org.uk, and donations, either of food or money, are always welcome. Contacting the Mothers' Union The Ouse Valley Deanery Group of the Mothers' Union extends a warm welcome to members and non-members alike. If you would like information about joining the group or future meetings, please contact Hazel Scott on 01234 781 559 or Jackie Biggs on 01234 782 517.
Ouse Valley Motherís Union Sharnbrook Deanery Group The United Benefice of Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop This page last updated: 30/04/2019					comments / feedback please contact webmaster.
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