Our financial focus for giving in Lent 2018 was a very local charity – Welcare – and we were fortunate to have the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a fellow Reader, to preach as we began our Lent appeal that year. Welcare was founded by the Bishop of Rochester in 1894 in response to the desperate need of single homeless young mothers and has since developed services to meet the needs of local communities. It now works with children and families struggling to face challenges of poverty, domestic abuse and ill health by offering group work programmes and individual support. On 15 June there is to be a Service of Thanksgiving in Southwark Cathedral when the wonderful work of Welcare over the past 125 years will be prayerfully celebrated and the future looked to with vibrant enthusiasm. Reaching out to those less fortunate than ourselves is at the centre of our Christian faith and being. We all have living examples around us – sadly there will be some of whom we may not even be aware. In Christian theology, Charity is considered one of the seven virtues and Thomas Aquinas said, “the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbour”.
Trot Lavelle, Reader