Church hosts services for people with complex needs

Safe Harbour Church in Ipswich has launched a new worshipping community for “people who have been battered and bruised by the storm of life.”

The Safe Harbour Gathering, at St Helen’s Church, looks to provide a safe worshipping community for people with multiple and complex needs – needs including mental health issues, addiction or homelessness. The church also holds a pop-up shop every Thursday, where people can purchase a bag of food for two pounds. Bob Hamilton, from the Inspiring Ipswich team who leads Safe Harbour Church, said understanding the bible can be challenging for many people so at the gathering they dramatize the stories.

“The gathering is an accessible service suitable for anyone,” he said. “We look at the bible through the lens of someone who has been battered and bruised by the storms of life. A lot of people are suffering from loneliness at the moment and we have found many people are longing to connect with a community like Safe Harbour. We have a cup of tea, a chat, pray and learn about Jesus. We would like Safe Harbour Church to grow and for it to be around for the long term. We hope to help people turn their lives around –  and serving others in the community gives people a real sense of pride and belonging.”

The gathering launched in June while the pop-up shop has been running since May – and both are proving very popular. The church is also re-launching its community meal initiative in September.

“The idea is that people who cannot afford to attend a restaurant can come in and sit down for a good quality 2 course meal,” said Mr Hamilton. “We had started the scheme, then called ‘Food for Thought’, in 2018 but when coronavirus hit, we were forced to stop.We are relaunching the meal in September and will put it on once a month.”

Archdeacon Rhiannon King, comments,; "it’s great to see another new worshipping community starting up in Ipswich, one of 25 the Church of England is currently working towards through its ‘Inspiring Ipswich’ initiative. It’s particularly exciting to see Safe Harbour Church take off as it is precisely the sort of gathering I imagine Jesus would want to be at."

The Safe Harbour Church Gathering takes place every Tuesday at 1.30pm at St Helen’s Church. For more information please visit the Inspiring Ipswich Facebook Page

Page last updated: Wednesday 28th July 2021 4:32 PM
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