Celebrating Interfaith week as partners pull together to support local residents

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Local church groups and partners, including Rochford District Council are working together to support residents with the help of food and conversation!  And in Interfaith week, their work is being shared and celebrated as members of the Essex Faith Agreement. 

Brunch is served at Hawkwell Baptist Church, Rectory Road, Rochford every Saturday morning, between 10am -11am. Everyone is welcome and volunteers are on hand to talk and give support to families and individuals who need it.

One person who has benefited from this service is local resident Tony. Tony was homeless, living in the back of a trailer in Rayleigh, battling several addictions when he heard about the Saturday Brunch project from a council receptionist in Rayleigh, who also gave him shoes and a coat.

That weekend he walked over to Hawkwell Church in Rochford in the pouring rain, where he was given a full English breakfast, as well as food and clothes from the Church charity shop to take home. The Church’s minister, Richard Iles, later took Tony to meet the council housing team and he was provided with temporary accommodation.

“This is the most help that I have ever had, Tony said "Hawkwell church has helped and the council has helped as well. I need ongoing help and support to change and I get that in the church and will keep going there always.”   

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Cllr Mike Webb said:“As a community we can build trust between faith groups and public services to serve our residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

"In Rochford we know that, through no fault of their own, some individuals and families are struggling to make ends meet. This is a welcome response from the church and the community to seek to help those in need in a very practical way, by providing free meals

"The story of Tony shows the positive impact that the church and faith groups can have in the lives of individuals and it is a group that I have been privileged to be involved with”.