LOCKED DOWN BUT NOT LOCKED OUT
During the last year, the community of SWE has reached out via Zoom to 281 visitors.
On Facebook and Instagram we are reaching over fifty people for each post.
So all in all, we are reaching more people each week who want to engage with the community than people who can physically fit in our rooms!
Following on from the excellent work begun during 2019-2020 by our trustee, Laura Burton, using an open Facebook and Instagram page, the SWE community has continued to use social media to connect with people as far away as Indonesia for our monthly Zoom bakes! Here is Josie, our Vincentian Volunteer 2020-2021, based in Eccles at the Vincentian house proudly showing her finished rolls. Risma, a former Vincentian Volunteer joined us for a chat in September 2021 from Indonesia.
The website has been updated to include a Psalm of the week reflection, which is also posted on Facebook, as well as updates about our new initiatives such as A2B zoom sessions and the Grain. Gather. Grow. event (funded by LCVS) which was led by Chris Williams, our One Programme Participant (OPP) – funded by the Methodist Connexion.
As part of our Lent Reflection series on Zoom, members of the community offered their thoughts on each different ingredient of our bread recipe. These were also recorded and can now be found on our open and closed Facebook pages. These reached out to many people and snippets were also posted on our Instagram page. Here is Heather’s image as she discusses ‘oil’.
We became a Toilet Twinning organization after Lorraine’s reflection about water.
We also enjoyed experimenting making scones – including vegan.
Lorraine, Josie - our Vincentian Volunteer (V.V.) and Chris (our OPP) met to bake soda bread, make cheese sandwiches and then distribute these to the homeless of the city.
Toiletry Bags for the Homeless Christmas 2020 Appeal
Due to the generosity of the people of Liverpool and beyond, we were able to pack 30 toiletry bags to distribute in the city. However, when the January 2021 lockdown occured, a number of these were taken to the Whitechapel Centre, which works with the homeless of the city. They were gratefully received.
We continued to pack bags and distribute them once we were able to go out into the city again.
Chris, our OPP, launched his Winter Wheat growing project in November 2020. By December he had sent out a 100 packets of wheat grain seeds for participants right across the country and in Belgium too. Each month, we posted images of our seeds growing on Facebook and the SWE website and participants eagerly looked forward to receiving their latest newsletter from Chris, which contained information about growing seeds, a biblical reflection, prayer and photos of our efforts. Margaret, our eldest grower, aged 88, was delighted at her success. Each time her daughter visited her, she had to be shown the progress of the wheat almost as soon as she walked through the door. Though the days were dark, with winter and lockdown, the participants had faith and optimism that the wheat would grow. And grow it did.
August saw three days of harvesting, threshing, winnowing, milling and baking take place on the Second Floor of Bold Street. Chris ably led us through the process and reflected on each stage with passages or thoughts from the Bible. We were blessed with not only bread, but the word of God.
A ROCHA BRONZE AWARD ECO-FRIENDLY CHURCH
With the support of Andrew and Lorraine, Chris also applied for Somewhere Else to be recognised as an Eco-Friendly church. We have been awarded the Bronze Award. Our next steps to Silver, is to encourage members of the community to complete a personal carbon footprint audit, purchase Fair Trade products for tea and coffee as well as our cleaning products, invite a local environmental speaker to talk to the community and work with our community to discuss how we can improve our work. We are hoping to organise events to enjoy God’s earth as our next project in 2022.
It is hard to believe that CASAI (Church Action on Sexual abuse Issues) is nearly 20 years old. It started in somewhere Else and I'm pleased to say that I am still hugely involoved in both: the former as lay pastor and the latter as Trustee/member. since Covid, CASAI has occupied most of my time and energy supporting survivors through yet another traumatic event in their lives. But some of my support has come from belonging to SWE. We live in crazy times and busy, as Jesus calls us be less chaotic and more trusting.
SWE is valuable to many for its services ...bread making sessions... Zoom prayer times... which include and invite both the above mentioned ministries.
But SWE for me is bigger than what it does. We try to appreciate that we are all important for who we are, not what we do or don't do. GGG was initiated by Chris and included those in and out of Church buildings across Liverpool and beyond. This invitation as well as invreasing our experience of nature and watching life of the seeds transform, offered a way of being together and a feeling of belonging to many in CASAI who have felt out of touch with everything.
Just as seeds were nurtured and observed and tended which reflected the parallel process of God's love for us all.
GGG in the words of members of CASAI...
gave me something to do'n care for
...felt good that others were doing it at the same time...
reminded me of a book I read in my 30s called 'My father is the gardener' and how God loves us and waters us and gets rid of our weeks...
I felt I was important doing something for church...
I wish I had a phone to take pics but i drew it instead....
My little girl told her class she grew some bread...
I grew cress in school with the nuns and haven't done anything like this since...
I'd like to say a huge thank you to Lorraine, Andrew, Heather and all who look after SWE all year around; giving generously of their time and energy and trying always to make SWE a safer space to be.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
For many organisations, the 2020/21 financial year has been challenging - no more so than in the SWE community. Andrew, our Treasurer, budgeted for a deficit which duly came about. With no breadmaking physically taking place and not meetings at Bold Street, our income fell dramatically. Our thanks must go to our landlords, News From Nowhere who continued to charge a reduced rent and, thanks to the generosituy of many, our finances remain stable. However, we cannot continue to run a deficit and, once matters settle down to "a new normal" we look again at our costs and income position. We continue to thank God for the ministry that SWE brings to so many who are disadvantaged and challenged in many different ways and pray that this may be sustained through teh financial and spiritual health of our amazing community of God's people.
Andrew Lovelady - Treasurer
May the peace and joy of Christ be with you this Christmas anbd into 2022.