Fareham Community Church is now a member of FareShare and able to deliver good quality, in-date and nutritious food to local people in need.
This is Lourentia’s story of her first day distributing FareShare food. If you would also like to get involved or know someone in need, please either contact Lourentia directly or email: fareham community church
“Last Wednesday evening I headed to Tesco and collected enough produce for 10 local families. The next day, my car loaded with food, I started my journey with the Lord. My route would take me to people located in Fareham and as far as Shedfield. As I arrived at each house or flat, I opened my car boot and knocked on their door. They were then able to come and take whatever they needed from my car. Some people were on the brink of tears at being given the food totally free of charge.
“This week, I seemed to have a surplus of bread rolls; but I delivered to one lady who happened to work at a care home which was struggling to get supplies. So, I was really happy to be able to give them her all the remaining rolls.
“I felt so blessed (probably more so than the recipients) and all it took was my time and some petrol in the tank.”
Please either contact Lourentia directly or email Fareham Community Church if you would like to get involved or know someone in need. People can receive regular weekly help or have a one-off delivery.
On Sunday morning, Fareham Community Church’s Cafe Imbizo buzzes as people grab a coffee and catch up with each other’s news before heading upstairs to the worship service. Others stay and watch a live stream on the cafe TV.
But during the week there is another side to Cafe Imbizo; an open door welcoming a stream of West Street passers-by, as well as homeless or lonely people. A regular volunteer in Cafe Imbizo is FCC’s Shane Davies and I met up with him recently to find out more about what the Cafe and it’s community means to him.
The Crafty Makery
Shane is half way through his planned 2 years of volunteering and uses Cafe Imbizo as the base for the Crafty Makery. This Community Interest Company aims to build community and fight loneliness through crafts. Current sessions are on Mondays and Tuesdays at Imbizo between 10am and 3pm, while Monday morning has developed into a group which provides a meeting place for up to six people with Fibromyalgia.
In new plans, which start this week Cafe Imbizo will now be open from 5pm to 9pm on Thursdays to give people more opportunities to meet others and build friendships:
1st Thursday: Board games 2nd Thursday: Craft evening 3rd Thursday: Curry night 4th Thursday: Community Meal
Shane also has plans to open Imbizo one Sunday a month for dads and their children, providing a space for them to play games and have quality time together.
Helping the Homeless
Cafe Imbizo has, for many years, been a place where Fareham Community Church can support homeless people, providing food, warm drinks, basic equipment and the opportunity to use the Church’s shower and washing machine. Shane has recently been using his knowledge of the housing system and the financial support available from Fareham Borough Council, to help homeless people find accommodation.
Rent Guarantee Scheme
However there is often a small shortfall between housing benefit and private rent, so Shane has managed to help several homeless people into accommodation by acting as a rent guarantor for 6 months. This exciting embryonic scheme is something that he is hoping to scale up over the coming year, by partnering with local churches. By helping people out of the local homeless shelters, it will free up beds for others.
He also told me the story of a lady who has recently been made homeless and was living in her car in her employer’s car park. She risks loosing her job unless she can find somewhere to rent. The lady contacted Shane on Social Media a few weeks ago because she’d heard about his success in helping homeless people find housing. FCC has now provided a safer place for her and access to its facilities, while Shane has kept in contact, giving advice and encouragement. Latest news is that she had her first house viewing last week and should find a new home soon.
Cafe Redevelopment Plans
Fareham Community Church is currently drawing up exciting new plans to expand its café facilities and space as it seeks to better serve the local community. In the meantime, Café Imbizo continues to be that open door, welcoming the people of Fareham. For more information, please contact the church office at email@example.com
On Sunday 25th November children from all over Fareham crammed into the ‘Crafty Makery’, owned by Fareham Community Church’s Shane Davies, to make beautiful Victorian Christmas Lanterns. Meanwhile, across the road, our church cafe Imbizo was transformed into another lantern factory as volunteers from FCC and passers-by joined together in the mass lantern production. There was a wonderful atmosphere in Imbizo as we sang along to carols and drank coffee.
At dusk the children then processed with their glowing lanterns to the town centre where they met Father Christmas and watched the Christmas Lights Switch On.
Shane planned the Lantern Parade to symbolise Jesus, the Light of the World and also to help bring the community of West Street together.
From 2nd to 4th November we took a group of 10 young people to Westbourne Grove Church in Notting Hill, London. We helped run something called ‘Lobby Lunch’ which is a monthly lunch for those who are lonely, homeless, refugees or those on low income. It was a very special time for our young people who all gave it their best effort preparing and serving the food while chatting and spending time with those attending. Both Gabi and I couldn’t have been prouder of the way that they got stuck in and showed love to the attendees. We also spent some time in London experiencing a River boat, Climbing the Monument and taking in the sights. On Sunday 4th we led the service and shared a message of HOPE with the church and it was very well received. All in all a very fruitful weekend away with our young people. There is more exciting things happening over the next year for both the Youth & Children here at FCC, so please checkout the Youth and Children’s Year planners to find out what is coming up.