THE fast-growing community at Cranbrook has been quick to come together to help others.
The residents of the new town on the edge of Exeter have held a series of events aimed at raising money for those hit hard by the typhoon which left a trail of death and devastation across the Phillipine Islands.
The events were in the pipeline to raise money for the new Cranbrook Church but once news of the natural disaster broke all agreed the money should be diverted to the disaster fund. And not just the general emergency aid.
It turned out that at least one resident of the new town had close relatives affected by the typhoon and so it was decided to send aid direct to her.
The Rev Mark Gilborson, Minister for Cranbrook’s Cornerstone church, said: The last couple of weeks have seen the church raise money for the Philippines. We had a coffee morning, toddler group, litter pick and community quiz – the first in Cranbrook – all organised and funded by Cornerstone Church. The litter pick, also the first in Cranbrook, was our service and we managed to collect 24 bags of litter, mainly building site detritus, such as plastic sheets and polystyrene.
“We then had bacon and sausage rolls which helped us raise nearly £200.
“The quiz night held in the school attracted 120 people and that raised a couple of hundred along with another hundred from a raffle.
“In all we have raised nearly £600. We are all really pleased and delighted. The events that the church are running are from a belief that we should be useful because we are ‘Blessed to be a blessing’.
“The Greek word that describes worship, which we often call ‘liturgy’, is ‘leitourgia’ and originally meant public service or duty.
“I am using this idea to suggest that the ‘liturgy’ of the church should have a sense of service to the community – though this will not always be litter picking.
“The ‘fun’ bit on this occasion was that our liturgy service was also littergy! When we saw the devastation of the typhoon it made us realise that we are lucky enough to live in well-built, solid homes with firm foundations unlike those poor people in the Philippines who were left with nothing after the storms hit. We also found out the partner of one of our running club members was from the Philippines and her mother was working with the church out there providing aid and help. The church is apparently in the forefront of such work.
“We decided it would be wonderful to send the money to her mother whose church is sending food parcels directly. The community has responded brilliantly.”
More firsts are on the way for Cranbrook in the coming weeks with Mr Gilborson having organised a Christingle, carol service and midnight communion.