REV KAREN MITCHELL: We help all those in need in our community

The Rev Karen Mitchell (seated, centre) with Harvey Spoor (to her right) and congregation members at St Thomas Church, Elson
The Rev Karen Mitchell (seated, centre) with Harvey Spoor (to her right) and congregation members at St Thomas Church, Elson
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The vicar, Elson and Bridgemary on his kind and generous congregation.

One of the things about our two congregations in Elson and Bridgemary is that they are big-hearted.

They might not have that much money, but give them a worthy cause and they’ll definitely contribute.

That happened recently when one of our worshippers told us about her great-grandson, Harvey Spoor.

He is a 13-year-old swimmer who has been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Deaf Swimming Championships.

He was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of four and the Elizabeth Foundation, at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, has helped him to lead a relatively normal life.

He is now training hard for the European Championships, which take place in Poland from July 2-7.

He also hopes to represent GB at the World Championships in 2019 and the Deaflympics in 2021.

However, there is no funding available from sports associations or the government to subsidise his training, so he is relying on sponsors.

Our Parochial Church Council decided that we should donate money towards this worthy cause.

Usually we have two charities we donate to, giving each of them half the money we’ve saved by giving something up for Lent.

So we’re giving him half that money, and we’re also donating contributions from our CAMEO (Come and Meet Each Other) group to him. We hope that altogether we can give him around £500.

For me, this is part of what church is all about. We’re not just here to help other congregation members, but to help all of those in need in our local community, as much as we can.

If you feel that you’d like to sponsor him as well, then Harvey also has a Go Fund Me Page at gofundme.com/harvey-spoor-deaf-euro-swimming

And if you feel like you would like to join this happy band of generous people, why not come along to an afternoon tea we’re having next weekend (Saturday, June 30).

It happens from midday to 4pm at St Thomas Church, Elson, and includes cake, bric-a-brac and soft toy stalls, plus many more.

And on that Sunday evening, July 1, at 5pm, you can join us at our patronal festival – that’s when we celebrate the special day devoted to the saint our church is named after.

So do help us mark St Thomas’s Day at St Thomas’s Church.

St Thomas the Apostle Church is in Elson Road, Elson, and St Matthew’s Church is in Whych Lane, Bridgemary.

For more information go to thomatts.org