Churches are giving away chocolate bars, coffee vouchers and thank you cards to people in their congregations who work for the NHS, with the idea spreading across churches and to the wider comunity.
The Gateway Church in Kings Lynn in Norfolk was already planning to provide parcels for the health care workers in their congregation when they saw another church they knew was doing a similar thing in the wider community and felt inspired to do the same.
The Gateway Church has around 15 frontline NHS staff who attend, including doctors and nurses who have had Covid-19 themselves and are now treating people with the illness, and the leaders wanted to bless, support and encourage them.
Andy Moyle from the eldership team told Premier: "To start off with we just wanted to bless our own NHS staff and then I spotted on my friend's church website in Bedford, King's Arms, that they were doing a 'bless our NHS' and making it a bit wider so I chatted to our leadership team and they thought, 'Yeah, come on, let's bless our local hospitals! Bless our local NHS!' So, that's what we're doing. What we're going to do is create lovely little thank-you packs - it'll be a bag with a Costa gift card, a Boost chocolate bar (because who doesn't need a boost) and a personalised note from somebody in the church."
He added that he's delighted the idea is taking off in more churches: "I've just had a call from a mate of mine who's another pastor in town and he's jumping his church on board, so they're gonna get involved with it as well, which is great."
Janet Moyle, Andy's wife, said they were hoping to deliver packages to "as many as possible!" They have raised £479 so far and each parcel costs £11.
The church wrote on their giving page: "We have prayed for them and supported them. We have seen their exhaustion. Help has been offered in practical ways as nearly all of them have suffered with Covid-19. So we are all too aware of the immense physical and emotional pressure that NHS staff are under at this time...We would love you to partner with us to bless as many NHS staff as possible at a time when they need our encouragement and support the most."
Members of the church will be delivering them at the end of February.
Speaking of how people can pray for the church, Andy Moyle said: "I think the most important thing as churches at the minute that we're trying to do is give hope to people and give encouragement to people, so you can pray that we are real hope-givers in our town, that would be wonderful."