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London church praised for its 20-year Christmas hamper campaign for most vulnerable

by Kelly Valencia

A church in south-east in London has been praised by the London Mayor's office for its Christmas hamper campaign.

New Wine International has been delivering food parcels to residents in Woolwich since 2002, helping over 150,000 people in the process.

London’s Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard attended this year’s distribution day to deliver hampers herself.

“What New Wine Church are doing here today and what they've been doing for 20 years is really, really amazing. I know there are people in the community who are going to have an easier Christmas because of what they have done,” Dr Weekes-Bernard told Premier.

She continued: “We are incredibly grateful to all the work that churches do at City Hall, we know that there are a lot of Londoners who've been a lot better off because of their service.”

The hamper, which serves a family of four, includes all the food items needed for a traditional Christmas meal including a turkey, vegetables, Christmas puddings and even crackers.

Addressed specifically for low-income families, the Christmas hamper campaign is one of the church’s most far-reaching programmes. 

Speaking to Premier, associate pastor at the church, David Adabale explained the initiative started after the church realised low-income families in the community were unable to afford a Christmas dinner.

“We knew that for us, as a church, one of the practical ways we can communicate the love of Christ, which is what our faith is based on, in the month of December is to help those families to have a wonderful Christmas meal. So the initiative was started.”

Since then, the community’s reaction to the campaign has been “amazing” every year.

“Somebody wrote us a letter once and he said, God smiled on us when you came to Woolwich,” Pastor David explained.

“Those are the some of the feedback that really warms our heart and lets us know that we are making a positive impact in our local community.”

The church is expecting to deliver over 1,000 hampers this Christmas.

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