The Leicester St Matthew’s SDA Church, also known as St Matthew’s Community Fellowship (SMCF) has a lengthy and varied connection with the community within which we worship.
Our church is a regular participant in the annual community "Park Day", an event which offers the community, in the summer, an opportunity to enjoy a fun day out in their local park. Many attendees look forward to visiting our tent, not just to have their weight, height and blood pressure checked but to also bring their children along to have a ride on the Smoothie Bikes. Countless members of the community have taken a ride on the bikes and in turn have been rewarded with the delicious smoothies, which they made whilst riding.
As well as the annual park date event our church has strong and established links with a community project based on the St Matthew’s estate, "The Big Local", the Taylor Road School located within the heart of the estate and the Tenants Association. It was as a result of these links that on the 14 December the Personal Ministries Department visited the annual children’s Christmas Party hosted by "The Big Local".
It was a privilege for the Personal Ministries Department to be able to invite Adriana Murray, the Director of Human Resources for the North England Conference, on this visit. Following recent dialogue with Sister Murray about the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda of the North England Conference, which is a ministry in and of itself, Sister Murray was the appropriate choice to meet families in our local community. Sister Murray presented several children from our community with gift vouchers from the church in recognition of the hard work that they had put into their academic studies or their community throughout the year.
Having met the children and been informed of some of the projects that they worked on this year, Sister Murray said “the magnitude of the talent of the young people within the community is most encouraging, knowing that they are the potential leaders for the future. What will be important for us as a church is to remain integral and relevant within the community so that we can help to foster and shape these young people and through our contribution bring them and their families to Christ.”
Sister Murray had such an impact upon the children that she met, that she was invited to the party again next year when they wish to show her even more of their achievements from 2020.
Our Personal Ministries leader for 2019, Daniel Flemmings-Danquah, commented that “it really does take a village to raise just one child, the ongoing contribution to our community from the NEC affirms that our village is supported in a wider and deeper way, than can often be seen at first glance”
This visit has assisted in solidifying SMCF as a community partner and we are grateful for the ongoing support that our church receives from the NEC.
As well as meeting the children at this party the Personal Ministries Department worked with the Tenants Association to provide 50 gifts for other families within the community.