News from the Mag February 2021

Matthew Price BEM 2Reverend Matthew Price
It seems to me that one of the most heartwarming things that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the way in which it has brought communities together
As we enter lockdown 3.0, at St Mary Magdalene, with COVID-secure measures in place, our food and fuel banks continue to operate between 9.30am and 11.30am each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. There are also free, take­away hot meals to collect between 12.30pm and 1pm each Tuesday and Friday. If you plan to attend one of these sessions, please wear a face covering and observe strict social distancing
If for any reason you are unable to attend, but in need of support, then you can get in contact via our community helpline 0800 246 5571 (which is free to call)
Looking back at the last few weeks, there has been so much to celebrate and much of what has happened would not have been possible without the amazing support and generosity of our community. On Christmas Day a wonderful group of people gave up their Christmas Day in order to provide a safe, COVID-secure space, and delicious three course Christmas lunch, for many from our community who had no-one to form a Christmas bubble with. We were also grateful to Peterhouse Church of England Primary Academy for allowing us to host this lunch in their building
In the run-up to Christmas we put out a call to our community (and an Amazon wish list) to help us make up Christmas hampers and gifts for families and individuals that were finding things a little tough this year. The response was amazing - Gorleston really is a great place to live and work - and hampers and gifts were sent out to over 160 households, as well as to the residents and staff of Lydia Eva Care Home. One recipient said, “we have just received our delivery and my goodness I never expected that. Thank you so so much”
As for the future, we are delighted to be part of a partnership of local churches working together on a new project called Two’s Company. This project will offer a weekly befriending call to any residents who are feeling isolated, whether because of the pandemic or for other reasons. If you would like to explore receiving support or know someone who might appreciate such support, please do get in contact with the local coordinator, Anna Heydon, for an initial chat on 0800 999 1848 (lines open, Mon-Thurs, 9-11am)
I was recently reminded by the Bishop of Norwich about Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, who died in 1167, but who said, “The best medicine in life is a friend”. Hopefully, as we seek to support one another in our community we can shine a light into the darkness of our current experience of this pandemic
also published in the Gorleston Community Magazine



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