Comfort and Joy: Suppers funded by scheme let people on the breadline know ‘they are loved’

St Simon's Church in Waverley Road, Southsea
St Simon's Church in Waverley Road, Southsea
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A CHURCH dedicated to feeding people living on the breadline is set to receive a share of thousands of pounds of charity cash.

The boost for St Simon’s in Waverley Road comes as The News’ Comfort and Joy campaign gears up to conclude tomorrow.

For the past month the initiative has highlighted the fantastic work of 11 good causes across the city helping to rebuild the lives of those who have fallen on hard times. 

St Simon’s is one of those – recognised for the Sunday supper it provides for up to 60 vulnerable people every week, all year round. 

Sue Piper, a volunteer at the church, said: ‘We use vouchers from the scheme to run the suppers and have done for a long time, because they are part of the mission of the church. 

‘It’s a very happy, peaceful evening and it lets everyone who comes along know they are thought of and loved. 

‘They get a chance for them to meet new people and make friends too, and we’ve seen them become part of a community. It’s like their church.’ 

Running from approximately 5.30pm until 7.30pm, the meals conclude with a short, two-to-three-minute Christian sermon – before each visitor is sent away with a ‘party bag’. 

‘There is enough food for one more meal in the bags and we buy toiletries too,’ Sue said. 

‘The vouchers go toward that and help to ensure everyone is able to get some food when they come in.’ 

Last year Comfort and Joy, which is run in partnership with the church, raised more than £12,000 for good causes and their clients. 

A grand total for 2018’s campaign will be unveiled tomorrow, when it is revealed at a special carol service at St Mary’s Church in Fratton. Father Bob White will lead the event. 

‘We’re very much looking forward to the carol service, because it's a chance for us to hear from each of the different charities about the meaning of Christmas for their clients,’ he said. 

‘These vouchers give clients the recognition and respect they deserve as people and they give them a gift we all take for granted – the ability to choose what we buy at Christmas.’ 

As previously reported, St Simon’s Church will take part in Open Church in January – which gives a hot meal and a bed to rough sleepers every night of the week.