As we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone. Galatians 6:10
At the heart of St Mark’s has always been a desire to serve and support our church family and to make a difference within our local community. Support Net is a new initiative through which we will offer extra support to those who need it most.
We are a church that strives to make a direct difference in people lives. Many members of our congregation actively serve as volunteers and donate to support our community ministries; however these still rely on people coming to our building to receive the help they need. Through the Support Net we want to build bridges between our church and our community and take the help to their homes.
The Support Net will help us co-ordinate how church members support each other and the wider community. It will ensure that anyone who is ill, having a difficult time or in need, receives the care they need. This is us practising “courageous hospitality”.
Who do we support?
We will focus our support on:
Members of our congregation.
Members of the community who are referred by our Community Ministries and/or the charities we host here at St Mark’s.
We will focus our care on those who are less able to receive help from other organisations. We want to ensure our time and effort has the greatest reward so will give preference to:
People living by themselves and suffering from illness.
Families with teenage children.
Families with newborn babies.
Single parents facing illness.
Children and young people with specific needs that are not being provided for by any other organisation.
How will we support them?
The Support Net will actively encourage participation in the following activities:
Cooked Meals/ Food rotas: We will aim to provide a week's worth of cooked food to those facing temporary hardship that is preventing them from preparing adequate nutritious meals.
Providing basic necessities: We want to ensure all people in the community have basic necessities. When someone is in urgent need of goods, the Support Net will co-ordinate within our congregatio,n to see if anyone can donate and/or deliver good quality secondhand items. If someone is facing immediate financial difficulty then we can also access funds (up to £120) via the Acts 435 website.
Other specific needs: We will endeavour to support people, within our capacity, with specific requests not outlined above, such as emergency accommodation, helping the elderly and supporting people with house chores. Please note, however, that such requests are likely to require more work, and response times might be slower.
What is the process?
Our community ministry leaders and volunteers, as well as home group and connect leaders, frequently come into contact with people who are in need. They are our primary contacts into the community; they will refer to the Support Net co-ordinator when a person needs a helping hand. The primary contacts will need to complete a short form and the Support Net co-ordinator will then contact the individual and take it from there. Although every case is unique, we have established some very basic guidelines for primary contacts to make sure everyone gets treated consistently and receives the care they deserve.
How do we communicate the needs?
There is a Support Net Blog on our website. This will be updated every time there is a need which requires the support of our congregation. The updates will come to our church members' email accounts as an alert. If the person would like to know more about the need and take action they can click the link on the email, which will take them to the relevant page on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the document below for answers to FAQs about Support Net: