St Catherine’s, Wakefield - being Authentic Disciples
St Catherine’s, Wakefield has made it its mission to be a vibrant, open, inclusive church right at the heart of its community.
Situated as it is, in the centre of one of the most deprived areas of the city, the team of volunteers, vicar, Revd Helen Collings and Centre Manager, Lisa Grant, work hard to develop projects that respond directly to the needs of their neighbourhood in Belle View, Sandal and Agbrigg.
Said vicar, Helen Collings: “Our ministry is rooted in the care of the vulnerable and the disadvantaged. This is about being authentic disciples, in everything we do.”
There’s the café open every week day from 8-3pm, day care for the elderly, a community job club to help with CVs, benefit, housing and offer a support network to help people back into work, a gardening club with links to local allotments, the European Association which helps with translation and it has partnered with other local churches to help fund a debt service through Christians Against Poverty.
And then there’s the food bank. More people turned up for emergency food parcels in the first three months of this year, than in the whole of last year.
Vicar, Helen Collings explained: “People don’t turn up to the vicarage anymore for a warm meal, they come here. The need has more than tripled in the last few months and we’ve had people walk from Castleford, Normanton and even Ossett – that’s a long way to walk when you’re hungry.”
Said Lisa : “The emergency food store is most affecting at the moment; it’s where we come face to face on a daily basis with people at the point of crisis.”
Lisa won the Yorkshire and North East Woman in Business Award in the Not For Profit category 2013.