Serving in the community

The Pastor is the shepherd caring for the needs of their flock and, in the Gospels, Jesus is described as the ‘Good Shepherd’. So we think of ‘pastoral care’ as seeing that the spiritual, physical and mental needs of those around us are met. In day-to-day life this means parents caring for children, children caring for parents, teachers caring for pupils, health professionals caring for patients, the police protecting us and so on….

For more than a century, but especially in the years following the Second Vatican Council, the Church has given us what has become known as its ‘social teaching’ expressing on our responsibilty towards the poor, the weak, the marginalised, the lonely and dispossessed. We are blessed in our parish with people who give their time freely to help others in the community.

Mothers and Toddlers group

The play group meets one afternoon a week in St Peter-in-Chains’ school hall. There is a range of activities and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Both children and carers develop supportive relationships which often extend through to Infant school. There is a small voluntary contribution per session which covers the cost of equipment and refreshments. Parents/carers are responsible for their children at all times and are expected to help at the sessions. The group only meets during term time and it is best to check the Newsletter or contact the Parish Office to find out when the group is meeting.

Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary is a world-wide association of Catholics who have formed themselves into a body to be of service to the Church in the modern world.

The Legion of Mary has a weekly meeting with prayer to the Holy Spirit and the Rosary. A main feature of meetings are reports of the work performed by members – always in pairs. The work may be home visitation, census work, visits to sick, elderly, housebound or lapsed members of the parish community taking up no more than 2 hours of one’s free time.

Meetings take place on Wednesday in the Parish Rooms at 7:30pm.

Seeds

Seeds is a Saturday club for learning disabled adults, their families and friends that meets on the first Saturday of the month at St Peter-in-Chains School Hall from 2-4pm. Dates are published on the website and in the Newsletter.

Families and carers have told us that the weekends can feel very hard and unsupported. With music, dance, art, crafts, refreshments but most importantly friendship and fun, this is an opportunity to come together as a community and make new friends.

Please come and join in. SEEDS is open to everyone and we hope that people will feel moved to help us.

Sue Hessel, Kayte Brimacombe, Mary Halliday (0777 939 4424)

Soup Run

When a group of Confirmation candidates saw homeless people sleeping rough in doorways on the Strand late one evening over 30 years ago, they decided to do something to help and the Soup Run was borne. So every Saturday since, volunteers have gathered to make tea, coffee and sandwiches which is then distributed to vulnerable beneficiaries in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Central London. Oddly enough, they don’t make soup! The project has been supported throughout by local bakers Dunns, and also more latterly by Gail’s in Crouch End, with bread donated every Friday evening. Parishioners and members of the local community have also been very generous, helping both financially and through donations in kind.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant a complete reorganisation was required to comply with guidelines and keep both guests and volunteers as safe as possible. Sandwich teams comprise a maximum of 4 ‘masked’ volunteers meeting each Saturday at 3pm who distance as far as is possible in the limited basement space at the Presbytery. Hygiene is paramount, with gloves and sanitizer readily available. All food is pre-wrapped in ‘goody bags’ to avoid physical contact between volunteers and guests. The soup run is a member of the borough-wide Haringey Food Hub where extra ambient items can be collected to supplement these bags and give our beneficiaries a wider choice.

The distribution teams are made up of 5 volunteers (3 drivers/2 ‘baggers’ who bag up any loose cakes/buns/savouries donated by Dunns at 6pm on Saturday evenings). Distribution takes about 2 hours or so depending on traffic conditions and numbers of guests, usually about 60.

Volunteers work flexibly and currently are helping about once every 3 weeks, the majority belonging to a WhatsApp group although this is not a prerequisite. We are always in need of volunteers, especially drivers, so if you’d like to find out more, please contact Kit Greveson on 07507138582 or email kit.greveson@gmail.com.

Food Banks

Recent years have seen more and more people needing to access food banks. We would ask anyone who is able to consider donating, when they can, to one of our local food banks.

Contributions can be made to Holy Trinity Foodbank on Sundays between 1pm and 3:30pm. Please come to Holy Trinity Church Hall on Stapleton Hall Road, next to St Aidan’s School, N4 4RR, near the junction with Albany Road. Please leave your donations by the gates – to ensure safe distancing do not go into the courtyard or put them in the volunteer’s car boot to ensure potential human interaction is minimised/avoided.

Gospel Centre Foodbank which is at the bottom of Wightman Road, just opposite the Mosque, opens Sunday Mornings 11:30 to 1:30 and Tuesday evenings 18:30 – 20:30 – and donations always gratefully received, particularly at the moment! https://www.gospelcentre.co.uk/get-involved.html or email gospelcfoodbank@gmail.com

The Hive foodbank – St Mary’s Church, Ashley Road, N19 3AD. https://thehivefoodbank.com/ Please come by on a Wednesday evening from 5.30pm or contact hivefoodbank@gmail.com if you’d like to donate at a different time.

Muswell Hill foodbank – 68 Pembroke Road, N10 2HT (in the front hall). Donations can be made on Wednesdays between 9-11am and 6-7pm. See urgently needed items here: https://muswellhill.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/