On Christmas Eve many people in Belper like to gather in the Market Place to sing carols , a tradition that has been established over many years. This year it won’t be possible to do this and we know that many people will be missing this start to their Christmas festivities. Hope for Belper volunteers will certainly be missing the handing out of hot chocolate on the evening.
This year, to honour the tradition of carol singing in Belper and to brighten up what might be a dark and lonely Christmas Eve we invite you to Sing and Shine. So at 7pm on 24 December, let’s all gather on our doorsteps or driveways and sing Silent Night to each other. Then put a light in your window . It’s a way of showing that in the words of John’s gospel: “A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” – an appropriate verse for Christmas 2020 if ever there was one!
We can still celebrate the arrival of Jesus, the Light of the World. We can still sing into the darkness to cheer our neighbours and join together in celebration.
So Christmas Eve, 7pm. Sing Silent Night and Shine a Light.
Note:This is an edited version of an earlier post which had the time of the singing at 8pm. We have now decided to move the time so as to avoid a clash with the St Peter’s/Belper Town Council online carol concert going live at 8pm.
Once again this Christmas, Hope for Belper gathered people from across the town to provide Christmas hampers.
The Sure Start Children’s Centre and the Multi Agency Team were pleased to be able to support families in this way again this year. Once again there was overwhelming support from the local churches and individuals that raised close to £2000. This meant we could pack the twenty eight hampers that were required with a little extra in each one thanks to the amount of money donated.
This year Hope for Belper also teamed up with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) who raised £480 for the eleven hampers going to families that they support and work alongside.
A huge thank you to all those who supported this project by donating time, money and various others gifts and to ‘Inspirepac’ who donated the boxes and enabled Hope for Belper and Christians Against Poverty to deliver thirty nine hampers this Christmas.
Hope for Belper bought together folks from across the congregations to put together Christmas Hampers for those of our neighbours who through numerous circumstances would have been unable to celebrate Christmas with a festive family meal.
Christians from many local churches responded with amazing generosity to sponsor hampers to the tune of £1,600. This meant that on the day we were able to shop for and put together 33 hampers instead of the initial 20 planned.
The staff at the Sure Start Children’s Centre were delighted to be able to support so money more families in this way.
Many thanks to all those who supported the project again this year, from some anecdotal feedback and a note from one family the provision of these hampers means a lot to those who receive them.
Many thanks also goes to ‘Inspirepac’ for specially making and gifting the hamper boxes to order.
Christmas Eve also saw Hope for Belper out on the Market Place once again supporting the Town Council Carol Service. This event is always well attended and the cup of hot chocolate has become a fixture over the years.
Around 500 cups were served and our thanks go to the management of The Black Swan for once again allowing us to work out of their kitchen and also to No.28 for supplying tables.
The Hope team were together again for Christmas Hamper packing on the weekend of the 8th December. In previous years, folks from the town lead by the Community Church have been out on a pre-Christmas shopping spree to put together a number of family Christmas hampers for families across the town who would otherwise struggle to celebrate in the traditional manner.
This year with extra funding from the Baptist congregation and the Community Church, Hope have been able to partner with the Belper Family Centre to supply 15 hampers this Christmas.
Most of us take for granted the ability to be able to put some kind of a festive feast on the table, but this is not necessarily the case for all our neighbours across Belper.
The Children’s Centre identified 15 families with whom they have had significant contact over the past year and for whom hosting a family Christmas day would be, to say the least, financially problematic. It is for these families that Hope were able to be a significant blessing this Christmas, by delivering a hamper of goodies including traditional favourites such as Yule logs, Christmas puds and stuffing etc along with a £20 Howarth’s meat voucher.
A great time was also had by all those spending time together on the Saturday, shopping and packing the colourful festive hampers. We pray that we all will continue to have compassion over 2013 towards those who are struggling financially in our community.
Hope for Belper were once again asked if we would like to bless the people at the Christmas Eve Carol Service in the market place.
We were fortunate to be able to use the Salvation Army kitchen again and also to have the loan of many large catering pump flasks.
Around 800 cups of steaming hot chocolate were served on a very cold night to some very appreciative people. It was great to see some new faces helping out this year including the Belper Baptist Church Youth Group and their leaders.
There were some good opportunities for conversations whilst people were stood having there hot chocolate and we felt it was a great way to spend a couple of hours at the beginning of the festive season!