The Lord Lieutenant visits church projects in Warwickshire

Veronica Quinn from Wellesbourne Mothers Union speaks with Tim Cox

Tim Cox, The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, spent two days visiting community projects being run by the Church of England and other local charities.  Accompanied by the Archdeacon Missioner, Barry Dugmore, the Lord Lieutenant visited churches, schools and charities in both North and South Warwickshire.

Archdeacon Barry said:

"Hosting Tim was a real privilege, and humbling too as we met with amazing people from local churches who serve our communities, especially those for whom life is challenging.  And this was just a small window on what happens unseen right across our diocese. Thanks so much for hosting Tim and sharing your stories with him and all of us."

South Warwickshire

Fosse Foodbank

On Thursday 23rd September, churches and community projects in Kineton and Wellesbourne were delighted to receive a visit from Tim Cox, the Lord Lieutenant (Queens representative) for Warwickshire. The day began with a visit to the Fosse Foodbank in Kineton, where Tim met with volunteers who receive and sort donations which are distributed to people who have found themselves struggling financially for lots of different reasons.

GIFT Project

He also met with volunteers from the GIFT Project, which looks to help people in need to make a fresh start by providing practical support in their homes, sourcing furniture and appliances, basic DIY, cleaning and decorating, help with budgeting, mentoring support, grief counselling, etc.   GIFT works with families escaping abusive relationships and people who are experiencing problems due to mental health, isolation, poverty and other challenges.  

After a light and delicious lunch we travelled on to visit a project working alongside Refugees, together we had our eyes opened to how it might feel to land on our shores, with few possessions and nowhere to go. We chatted with the volunteers about the support that churches can and often do offer to people who find themselves in a strange land with no certainties. All were touched by the way in which the project leaders, really cared about the people that they were there to serve, some of the stories were heartbreaking, but our time together was not without hope.

The dementia garden in Wellesbourne

The party then moved on into Wellesbourne, where Tim met volunteers from the Wellesbourne Allotments, hearing their stories with a particular focus upon the Dementia Plot, which is a special place, where families and friends can take loved ones who are struggling with dementia. The garden is safe and peaceful and really quite beautiful, Tim had the pleasure of meeting Heather Dowler, whose idea it was, along with members of the Allotments Association.

Greg Bartlem, Tim Cox, Tim Hewitt, Barry Dugmore

The next stopping place in our grand tour was Wellesbourne Church of England Primary School, where Head of School Tim Hewitt gave us a tour of the site and was able to answer questions about how the children coped with lockdown. Together we recognised just how resourceful our schools have been, with teaching staff working long days to ensure that our children, still get the best education, possible.

Lucy Jacques, Tim Cox, Barry Dugmore, Greg Bartlem

The whistle-stop tour then moved on to the Hastings House Medical Centre, a new facility, where we met Lucy Jacques the Practice Manager, who gave us a tour and told us all about the mammoth efforts that the surgery has made both in giving out the Covid19 vaccinations and more recently, in dealing with a huge workload of cases. Tim was undoubtably impressed.

And finally, Tim visited St Peter’s Wellesbourne where he was given some much needed refreshments and where he learnt about the valuable work of the Mothers Union which seeks to support young families both locally and abroad and the Wellesbourne and Walton Community Cares, a local initiative which through Covid19, collected food and prescriptions for people who were shielding, this project is currently focussing upon providing a befriending service for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Overall, the day highlighted both the resourcefulness and generosity of local volunteers who have gone the extra mile, to support vulnerable people through some very tough days, along with some brilliant examples of the way in which churches are central to community cohesion in our area. Tim thought this was very Good News indeed!

Written by Greg Bartlem - Vicar of Wellesbourne and Walton d'Eivile

North Warwickshire

Frank Seldon, Barry Dugmore, Jen Jones, Tim Cox

On Wednesday 29th September, Tim Cox also visited churches and organisations in Nuneaton and Rugby.

Jet Jones, Director of Transforming Communities said:

"It was a privilege to show the Lord Lieutenant Tim Cox around Saints Nuneaton. He was inspired to see the work TFC and the local churches have been involved in to transform the community of Nuneaton.  He was particularly supportive of the Phase 2 hall and basement renovation aspect of the work, and inspired by the commitment of the volunteers. Tim Cox offered his support for the project and was looking forward to attending the grand opening of Phase 2.

It was a delight to showcase to Tim what the diocese is doing across Warwickshire in a mixture of urban and rural contexts."

Hope4 - Helping people who are homeless, temporarily housed or in food poverty in Rugby

Canon Edmund Newey, Rector of Rugby said,

"The Lord Lieutenant's visit was deeply appreciated by everyone associated with the work of Hope 4 and the Rugby Food Bank. We are so proud of the efforts made by volunteers, donors, sponsors, service users and our management committee in adapting services over the past year and Tim's visit gave everyone a real boost."

First published on: 28th September 2021
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