Thought for the Day by Richard Barton (All Hallows’)
Finding God in Headingly and Hyde Park: Love (as evidenced by the Rainbow Junktion Café)!
So Sunday is St Valentine’s Day, patron saint of lovers and the shops are full of pink and red cards with their sentiments from the sappy sentimental to the sordid innuendo! St Valentine was a priest in the third century in Rome and ministered to persecuted Christians. We are also led to believe that he illegally married men to their sweethearts to enable them to evade conscription into the Roman army, earning his reputation as the lover’s friend.
The Bible, especially the New Testament is obsessed with love, and Jesus also has a lot to say about it, and it gets complicated with different kinds of love and how love behaves or rather how we need to behave if we are filled with love. But luckily for us, Jesus condenses into a very simple instruction. We need to love one another, as he loved us. In other words to love totally, utterly and with sacrifice. Easier said than done of course.
But here is a suggestion. In Hyde Park as pretty much everyone will know, at All Hallows’ Church we have the Rainbow Junktion Café which takes food some of which would be thrown away by supermarkets and other shops and provides hot meals (to take away at the moment) and other food and essential supplies, pay as you feel (or as you are able), three days a week for people who are struggling to buy food, due to poverty or loss of income from the pandemic or other reasons; in the midst of our otherwise wealthy city. Here I would suggest is real love. So maybe ditch the pink and red cards this year and head over to the RJC with a donation of food or supplies (see the wish list!) and/or make a donation of money [for details see www.rainbowjunktion.org.uk] and share the love!
Emily and the Rainbow Junktion team are responding incredibly well to a difficult situation. Here’s an update on their work. See at the end for what you can do to help them!
What are they doing
They are serving takeaway food every Monday and Thursday lunchtimes. They have a shop on Monday, Thursday and Friday lunchtimes. They are doing a small number of food deliveries to self-isolating individuals and families. They are acting as a food hub for Hyde Park/Headingley and Woodhouse/Little London wards.
How many people are they supporting
They are giving out 100 or more food parcels per week and on average in April 154 plates of food per day.
Some funding has been lost as there are no bistros, much lower daily donations as people are struggling more financially and they can’t run the half marathon which was a big fundraiser last year.
Some funding has been gained from Leeds Community Foundation, the Council and more individual donations (thank you if that is you!)
Food supplies have changed considerably in this time with some shops and projects have much less and some new supplies have come in. It is quite feast and famine!
Safety provisions for staff and volunteers
The team are taking lots of precautions:
Serving from the door so only volunteers are in the building
Volunteers advised to stay home if they have any symptoms
Doors propped open so no one touches them
Strict rules on gloves, masks and social distancing
Conclusion, Emily writes:
· The last few weeks have been a steep learning curve but I think we have reacted quickly and well to the crisis. We have definitely got into a rhythm and we are really proud of the work we are doing.
· It is hard to predict how long this will last or how things will change in the coming weeks but I think we are well prepared and flexible enough to continue as we are doing for the foreseeable future.
How you can help
Donating financially: a/c sort code 40-52-40, a/c number 00031454 Find out about adding Gift Aid, and Paypal donations here
Pray for safety for them all
Donating items: If you are walking past on your daily exercise and want to drop some items in the café, useful things are tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, oil, Tupperware pots, shopping bags and baby wipes. Please don’t put yourselves at risk or make unnecessary journeys for this.
The next amazing Rainbow Junktion Bistro will be on Friday 22nd November at 7pm. They will be joined by BIG AL’S BIG CHOIR to bring some funk to your foodie delights! They’re even bring a live band with them!
You can read more on their website where there is a link to book tickets.