‘Meeting need with dignity’ – The Storehouse at Crinken officially opens
The leafy surrounds of St James’s Church, Crinken, provided the backdrop for the official opening of The Storehouse by Archbishop Michael Jackson recently.
An initiative by Crinken’s Rector, the Revd Trevor Stephenson and parishioner Glynis Good, The Storehouse Foodbank Team currently works with eight agencies including St Vincent de Paul Bray and Fassaroe, Barnardos, Purple House, Ark Housing, Tusla and Springboard as well as supporting Shankill Day Care Centre, Bray Women’s Refuge and a homeless outreach programme run by parishioners, Orla and Neville Wood. In all the foodbank assists up to 100 individuals weekly.
The Storehouse was officially opened during a short service which included an address by the Archbishop who spoke of the practical witness of the initiative stating that it promoted ‘the Heartbeat of Friendship’ with an ‘open–hearted and open–handed’ disposition, using Matthew as his text [25: 34–40 and 6: 1–13]
He said that we instinctively think of friends as people who we already know. However, frequently friends were people who we do not know and do not know us, he said. “The Storehouse here at St James’s Church, Crinken models such friendship. Essential to how this friendship works is a combination of knowing and not knowing, of encounter and of anonymity, in the meeting of raw need.
“How do I feed my children?… How do I then feed myself?… I really can be a lot smarter with dry and tinned foodstuffs because they are non–perishables…This place helps me… These people ask no embarrassing questions of me. These may be some of the issues that race through the minds of those who come here. People who have needs for food that can be met from the resources of The Storehouse come; they are welcomed and are given a decent sized bag and they fill it for themselves; and they go. They have need. They have dignity. The one is met. The other is upheld. No questions are asked. They may, or they may not, have a relationship with the church. They may, or they may not, engage in conversation. Friendship, by and large, in our world works by personal introduction and by word of mouth. As you go in and out of St James’s Church, you will see a stone that says on one side: Come and See and on the other side: Go and Tell. This also is how The Storehouse works: open–hearted and open–handed: an invitation and a mission,” the Archbishop stated.
The service took place within Covid guidelines and the congregation included local councillors as well as representatives of the agencies supported by The Storehouse. It was a wonderful evening with many and was certainly, as described by the Archbishop, a ‘Good News Story’ that met need with dignity.
Photos by Geoff Scargill.