Magnificent response to Syrian crisis

I was very proud of the congregations at our churches for their magnificent response to an appeal to help Syrian refugees.

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, 6:45 am
From left: Bill Woods, David Rance and Sally Adams pack the van outside St James Church, Emsworth

Churchgoers from St James and St Thomas a Becket, and families from 
St James C of E School collected almost 100 boxes of clothes to send to desperate families fleeing the civil war in Syria.

And volunteers from the congregations packed up children’s clothes, sleeping bags, blankets and other warm clothes for winter, separated them into categories, and sent them off from church in a lorry.

It was our response to an urgent request from the Samara’s Aid Appeal.

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It was launched in 2014 by mum Samara Levy from Worthing to provide humanitarian relief to displaced people in the Middle East.

She was watching coverage on the TV and decided she needed to do something to help.

We’re really pleased to help her organisation to make a difference to people’s lives.

We had already responded last year.

But early this year, we talked about it in church for two weeks, and the primary school also asked pupils and their families for help.

We hadn’t expected such an amazing response from everyone.

Lots of bags full of clothes were brought in, and people stayed behind to help sort them.

Our congregation were very generous and some clearly spread the word further afield.

We were in church until 3.30pm on the Sunday, sorting, packing and labelling up the boxes.

We didn’t have enough boxes, so several people went off to the scour the supermarkets for more.

It was great to see God working through so many people.

It is amazing how a bit of support, time and help can make such a difference.

We believe that it’s part of our Christian faith to help those who are in need, whatever their faith, politics or background.

This is a way of demonstrating the unconditional love of God.

The next appeal will be an Easter one.

For more details, see:

n St James Church, Emsworth And St Thomas A Becket Church, Warblington