In honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday, St Michael’s East Ardsley is encouraging villagers to perform 90 acts of kindness between Her Majesty’s actual birthday on 21 April and the official celebration on 11 June.
Vicar, the Revd Glenn Coggins, says, “As our building is at the top of a hill, we’re a bit removed from the village, so we wanted to find a way of interacting more with the community.
“We’re asking people to record the acts anonymously on cards and leave them in boxes at church or in various places in the village, and we’ll then write them up on the church website.”
Ideas include shopping for a neighbour, giving someone a lift or a meal, tidying a garden or walking a dog. Glenn adds “An act of kindness can be very small but can have a lasting impact on the recipient. Googling ‘random acts of kindness’ brings up lots of ideas, but school children are thinking hard too: some have suggested helping another child with homework or including someone left out of a game.”
St Michael’s got the idea from the parish of Congresbury, in Somerset, which celebrated their church’s 800th anniversary with more than 800 acts of kindness. The vicar, the Revd Matthew Thomson, said, “It seems that kindness is catching, as the acts (from emptying a dishwasher to driving goods to refugees in Calais) just kept coming, and we’ve now set a target of 1600 acts for 2016.
“But despite the newspapers calling us the kindest village in Britain, we’re not unique. We can be just as grumpy as everyone else, but that didn’t stop the outpouring of Grace.”
A new book, published to coincide with her birthday, gives rare insights into the Queen’s personal faith. In it she thanks the nation for its prayers for her. She says “I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.” The Servant Queen and the King she Serves is published by Bible Society, HOPE and LICC)
Contact: Revd Glenn Coggins, 01924 822184, glenn [at] cogginsg.freeserve.co.uk (email)