Churchgoers in Rugby have contributed more than 6,000 ‘hours of kindness’ as part of a month-long project.
During May, churches in the town were asked to share details of the many ways they serve the area.
And with some of the figures and activities still coming in, around 6,000 voluntary hours have been recorded to date. These include support for those with learning disabilities, English language classes, helping at luncheon clubs, coffee mornings and toddler groups. Other volunteers serve as school governors and charity trustees, work in town centre charity shops or volunteer in care homes. Hundreds of volunteer hours each month are also poured into children’s and youth activities and clubs, including in Rugby’s many uniformed organisations.
The Rev Dr Michael I Bochenski, Convenor of the group which co-ordinated the project, said: “It has been thrilling to discover the many ways in which folk from Rugby’s many churches serve their communities in an unpaid capacity each month. Christians are not alone in doing so of course, but it has been encouraging to see the range and creativity of community projects our churches commit to each month.”
Bob Reeve from Rugby Street Pastors was similarly impressed. He said: “When you add to all of this the many unpaid hours given to other church-supported projects such as Rugby Street Pastors, Hope 4, Christians against Poverty and the Rugby Foodbank, the voluntary commitment from churches across the borough is truly encouraging.”
The May ‘hours of kindness’ project flowed from several inter-church Lent groups held across the town before Easter.
Dr Bochenski added: “We wanted these groups to be more than talking shops. They were deliberately designed to encourage us to ‘walk the talk’ and express our faith through service. One group created some attractive welcome packs for those moving in to new homes in the town, and another held four social evenings with lots of fun and free food for anyone who came along. Others got involved with footpath clearing, litter picking, a ‘Reminiscences’ project, Dementia Awareness week, a new edible gardens site, or with cleaning, gardening and painting at a care home.”
The ‘hours of kindness’ project ended with a Big Community Lunch in the Indian Centre on Edward Street on Sunday June 1, with food, dancing and music.