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Kelly Ratcliffe Photography
Kelly Ratcliffe Photography
Kelly Ratcliffe Photography
UK News

Pastor trades pulpit for pizza to help foodbank during coronavirus crisis

by Heather Preston

A Staffordshire pastor has become a pizza delivery driver to raise funds for his local foodbank.

As the country goes into its third week of lockdown, many families have been left struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The Renew Church foodbank in Uttoxeter has seen a surge in people using the service in recent weeks, according to the church's senior pastor Matthew Murray.

Murray decided to apply for a job as a pizza delivery driver at his local kebab shop Sergeant Peppers, in an effort to help the charity.

He told Premier the idea to take the role and donate his earnings to the foodbank "struck him like a bolt from heaven."

He said he saw it as an ideal way to reach out and serve his community: "Our rates [at the foodbank] have shot through the roof. I think we've given out over 1,000 meals in just over a couple of weeks, which - in a middle class town like Uttoxeter - is extremely unusual," Murray explained.

"It's a privilege and a pleasure that in moments of darkness Christians can shine the light. So, I just thought I'm gonna donate all my wages to the church, I don't need the money. Then it can go to helping other people."

Murray says that as well as being able to give to the charity, his new employment has allowed him to stay connected to his congregation.

"People in our church will call up the pizza shop and make an order and request for me to deliver it.

"I just get to see them for a few minutes and say 'I'm praying for you guys, how are you doing?' It is such a nice way of keeping in touch with our church family. 

"I'm a pastor so it's my job to take care of people, so it's my way of doing that for them," he said.

Murray's deliveries have also been a great opportunity for him to share the love of God with his community. He explained that he's had the chance to be a listening ear to those who are struggling, to pray for people who are anxious and to share the love of Jesus with his customers.

"I think this is an opportunity for me to bring the gospel to people or at least bring some sort of hope to people in these times," he added.

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