Bromley Borough Foodbank
The Bromley Borough Foodbank is now open at the United Reformed Church (URC) in Widmore Road (next to Boots). Those in need will be able access food any weekday at one or other centre. It is open on Tuesdays (10.00am–2.00pm) and Thursdays (12.00–4.00pm).
The Orpington branch is currently in temporary premises at The Temple URC, High Street, St Mary Cray. The Orpington branch is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.00am–2.00pm.
Foodbank vouchers, obtainable from local authority departments, GPs, CABs, etc. can be used at either venue.
The Bromley branch has received over one tonne of donations from local churches and a special collection at Sainsbury’s in Lee Green. More donations are usually received from local churches and schools featuring Foodbank in their Harvest Thanksgiving services. Donations of non-perishable goods (food and toiletries) are welcome during opening hours or by special arrangement.
All enquiries regarding donations or volunteering opportunities should be made by calling 07774 526562. Foodbanks across the country are co-ordinated by the Trussell Trust (www.trusselltrust.org) – there are currently over 250 in the UK, feeding those who go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income.
Bromley Homeless Shelter
The Bromley Homeless Shelter was established by a number of Christian churches in Bromley including St Joseph’s church. It started by providing a cooked evening meal, safe warm overnight accommodation, and breakfast, each winter from November to March for up to 12 homeless people (guests) in the borough of Bromley.
More recently, an advice and re-housing centre for homeless people has been established, based in the URC offices in Widmore Road and operating two days a week throughout the year. The scope of the advice centre now extends to neighbouring boroughs and to other areas of social deprivation in addition to homelessness in Bromley.
In 2018 a second shelter was established in the north-west part of Bromley borough, offering the same winter evening and overnight services as the original shelter in the town of Bromley.
All this would not be possible without the time given by 150 volunteers, and money donated by many Bromley residents and organisations. SS Joseph and Swithun parishioners provide a laundry service weekly so that the guests have clean bedlinen, cooks for the evening meals, and volunteers to keep guests safe overnight; a recent sponsored sleep-out by a parishioner raised over £1,000 for the shelter.
Each winter, new volunteers are always required to replace those who move away or are unable to continue. If you would like to help in any way please contact John Warren on 020 8467 7926, or contact the shelter directly via the website www.bromleyshelter.org.uk
Centre for Catholic Formation
For over 40 years, the Centre for Catholic Formation has held talks, courses and events to serve the ongoing formation of the lay people in the Archdiocese of Southwark. The CCF is responsible for assisting parishes in the work of adult formation, the training of catechists and helping to spread the good news of Jesus Christ (evangelisation) across South London and the county of Kent.
The Office for the Ongoing Formation of Priests works closely with the CCF to both nourish the faith life of priests and help them in their task to guide the people in their pastoral care. A vitally important part of this work is raising awareness of disability.
Christians Against Poverty
The Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Bromley Partnership was established in 2017 and was initially funded by five Bromley churches, one of these being St Joseph’s. These churches have chosen to work together to set up and operate the Bromley CAP Debt Centre, which is one of 300 CAP debt centres in the UK. The aim of the centre is to enable individuals who find themselves in serious financial difficulties to manage their way out of debt, and have the opportunity to explore a life transforming faith in Jesus Christ.
The centre started operating in April 2017 and has built up a long list of clients who have become debt-free or are following a CAP plan designed to enable them to pay off their debts in a managed way without becoming homeless or unnecessarily penalised. The centre can only take on one new client a week, so many more are waiting to be helped, showing that the centre is meeting a real need in the work that it does. The centre continues to look for more volunteers who can keep a friendly eye on individuals and their families to ensure they keep to an agreed debt recovery plan. These volunteers need to be
members of Christian churches, have good interpersonal skills, be able to maintain confidentiality, care about people, be able to share their faith, and where necessary undergo an enhanced DBS check.
If you would like to volunteer for the Debt Centre, please contact the manager, Martin Pointing, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Or please consider making a one-off or regular donation to offset the running costs of the centre; again please contact Martin to arrange this.
The LATCH (Living Amicably Together in Caring Homes) Project houses homeless 16- to 25-year-olds in the spare rooms of ordinary householders within the London Borough of Bromley. Bromley Churches’ Housing Action (BCHA) is a registered charity set up in 1988 to work for the relief of poverty among homeless people in the London Borough of Bromley and to provide, in particular, grants and short-term accommodation. Currently, the resources of BCHA are devoted to the LATCH Project.
For more information, visit www.latch-project.co.uk
Pax Christi International is a global Catholic peace movement and network that works to help establish peace, respect for human rights, justice and reconciliation in areas of the world that are torn by conflict. It is grounded in the belief that peace is possible and that vicious cycles of violence and injustice can be broken.
Pax Christi works for:
- Peace – based on justice. A world where human rights are respected, basic needs are met and people feel safe and valued in their communities.
- Reconciliation – a process that begins when people try to mend relationships between individuals or whole countries after times of violence or dispute.
- Nonviolence – a way of living and making choices that respects others and offers alternatives to violence and war.
Please support the work by volunteering and/or making a donation to Pax Christi. Without income their work cannot continue.
Mary Crosby is the Parish contact for Pax Christi. If you wish to help, either contact Mary by emailing email@example.com, the Parish Office on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the International and UK websites at www.paxchristi.net or www.paxchristi.org.uk.