A Church in Swansea is bringing bags of kindness to people’s doorsteps this Christmas.
In partnership with the Church Revitalisation Trust and the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon, St Thomas’ Church in the Eastside of the city has packed more than 4,000 tote-bags filled with treats and delivered them by hand to over 3000 homes, a care home and primary schools.
Rev Steve Bunting from St Thomas’ told Premier the ‘Love Christmas’ campaign started off a couple of years ago distributing 250 bags, but that number has now increased:
“This year, because the cost of living crisis is causing such a difficult time for people, we've maxed it out and gone for 4000 to really spread as much joy as possible.
“In the goody bags there are sweets, a family-sized box of biscuits, a family multipack of Harebo sweets, a multipack of chocolates, some nice crisps and various different bits and pieces. It’s just to bring a little bit of something nice, a treat for families. So everything is family size, because we do one bag per household.”
Rev Steve says the team knocked on 3200 doors to hand over the bags and wish them a Merry Christmas:
“We just kind of checked in on them and that’s been a really great pastoral and missional opportunity, as well as just getting some smiles.
"We’ve also delivered to care homes and five primary schools as well.”
The Boys’ Brigade and young people from the church went in St Thomas’ minibus to buy the items from a store in Swansea and they all helped load and unload the items. Then a small team got to work delivering the goodies.
Rev Steve says the response has been overwhelming:
“It’s been amazing. We’ve seen people incredibly moved by just the small act of generosity. People are in disbelief that in a world that seems quite dark, people are doing kind things.
“99 per cent of our interactions have been really, really positive and encouraging. There's been some pastoral encounters. Some people have asked for prayer, people have asked to pop in and visit relatives. I've also had many messages from people who have thought about it after the initial interaction. And they've just wanted to express their love. We've had message or family members of older folks who have seen the bag in the house and all those kinds of things. It’s just drip feeding light into a dark place.
“It’s just drip-feeding light into a dark place.”