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‘Our faith starts with the most generous gift of all – God’s gift to us of life itself and new life and new hope in Jesus Christ. What we call 'generosity’ is just our response to these great gifts’, writes The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York.

Makelunch Ashford has now been running for five years and this summer was our biggest ever! This missional outreach is only possible because of the generosity of the parish – a wide team of volunteers, and others who dig deeply into their pockets to give us donations.

Every session we had five different teams: kitchen cooks, welcome, crafts, sports and washing up. You will see from the data here that, in total, we provided 773 large portions of delicious food. We had a number of new families join us and a significant number who have been with us for the entire five years. During the summer we also had a visit from the Fire Brigade, generously giving their time to children and adults.

Around the parish we have other projects, places where we respond to God’s generous gift by sharing his love with others. Community Cafés, Ignite, Cream Teas, Link Lunches, Light Bite, Family Food & Fun, Refugee support, Chaplaincy at the Outlet, Food Bank Centres, Bereavement Support Group and Singleton Friendship at Lily’s Café – these are other examples of reaching out in generosity with the message of the gospel.

As a parish, this Sunday will be Generosity Sunday, a time when we celebrate all that we are doing in response to God’s immeasurable love for us. We will also be reflecting on the part that we each play in supporting the Church’s ministry, alongside all the other Church of England churches.

As the Archbishop of Canterbury has said, ‘We have received overwhelmingly, so let us give generously’.

Revd. Cathie Aldis-Saunders

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