REV MARK JAMES: I have learnt that nothing is impossible

WE'RE all guilty at times of looking at the state of the world and thinking, '˜What possible difference could I make?'

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 6:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:57 pm
Mandi Myers, Tesco community champion with Rev Mark James with one of the food hampers

But history shows us that big things change only when specific individuals decide to do the little that they can.

That’s why, when I heard about a specific problem in the city of Portsmouth, I decided to try to do what I could with some friends.

I was horrified to discover that some children in the city went back to school after the summer holidays with elements of malnutrition.

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Those who work with some disadvantaged families said the children depend on school dinners for proper nutrition.

I couldn’t quite believe this was true in 21 st century Britain, but I later discovered that Portsmouth is one of the 20 per cent most deprived local authorities in England and about 23 per cent (8,200) children live in low-income families.

I decided I wanted to help these families at Christmas.

As much as I wanted to help everyone, I set what I felt was a realistic goal.

I wondered, could I get 25 church people to donate £25 each to support 25 families for December 25?

That £25 would buy a hamper of food from Tesco, which we could hand deliver as a complete surprise.

I should have set a bigger target, as I hadn’t counted on the generosity of churchgoers, members of the local community and Tesco.

We have now raised more than £3,000 and will be able to support 120 families this Christmas.

Our goal now stands at 250 families – and that also includes some people who live alone.

I’m doing it because of my Christian faith, but you don’t need to be a Christian to recognise that we should help those in need.

Advent helps me to think about God’s generosity in sending us his own precious, fragile son as a baby.

That amazing act compels generosity in us.

Although helping 250 families seemed like an impossible target, I have learned that nothing is impossible.

Could you support a family or individual in need this Christmas?

£25 provides the gift of a food hamper. £100 allows us to provide a Christmas meal for a group of lonely people in a church.

Even £5 buys the gift of heating and light.

For more information please visit or contact me directly on [email protected]