Fareham Community Church

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Crafty Makery – light in the darkness

I’ve just had the privilege of attending the cutting of the ribbon by the Mayor for Shane and Lesley’s newly located Crafty Makery.  They now have a fantastic two storey unit in a prime spot in the shopping centre and have already been busy making contacts with many passers-by.  It’s a wonderful next chapter in their story!

When I first met Shane, it was in the Crafty Makery, opposite our building in West Street.  I popped in on the off chance and ended up having a long chat with him, which left me so inspired that I encouraged him to come and meet Mark Nash in Imbizo.  There was a real synergy between his vision for building a restorative community through craft sessions and our thoughts on what Café Imbizo could be.  Not only that, but he had also once been part of FCC and was a Christian with an incredible heart for people in need.

Sadly, Shane was not able to sustain the business in West Street, and so we gave him a “refuge” in Café Imbizo for a while.  Very soon, he became an integral part of our Imbizo community, and he gained the trust and friendship of both volunteers and customers.  Over the past year, as well as helping us in the café, he and Lesley have been building relationships with the council and other agencies and developing Crafty Makery as a CIC, which has culminated in the ribbon-cutting today.

I’ve popped in several times since they relocated and I’ve found Steve, Andy, Zara, Stuart and Gill, and some of our customers from the café all coming in and out.  It’s a joy to see so many there.  Shane was telling me today about a man who came in with his daughter.  The man opened up about his recent divorce, while his daughter sat and chatted with Bill, one of Imbizo’s regular older customers.  The next day his daughter came back, and the first thing she asked was “Is Bill coming in today?” Another story was of a lad with type 1 diabetes who has been in the shop regularly to do some 3D printing – his blood sugars had been all over the place during lockdown but, with his new focus, they are stabilising. 

In her speech, the mayor commented on how Shane was impacting the community, and how much the Crafty Makery can contribute to the town.  I think its impact is already clear to see – light in the darkness!

I’m reminded of what Richard said last week about the hydrangea in our garden.  The plant was pruned heavily and then bore greater fruit.  Isn’t that what has happened here?  Shane’s first attempt was cut back but now, with a whole community of people alongside him, his vision has begun to bear much fruit.  Long may it continue!  Let’s pray and continue to support him in any way we can.

2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12 says:

We constantly pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith…so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’ve been challenged about these verses which speak of our desires and our deeds prompted by faith.  What dreams do you have?  What is in your heart when you think of being light in a dark world?  That’s where God starts – He put those desires there in the first place – and He delights to fulfil them by his power and grace.  I pray we will have many stories like Shane’s in the days to come.

Bless you, Caroline

16/08/2020

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