The chair of a Protestant and Catholic alliance in Londonderry, which fed two and a half thousand struggling men, women and children in ostensibly one of the richest countries in the world over the past two years, has said the endeavour made volunteers acutely aware of the “tremendous inequality” of our society.
Chairman of the Churches Trust, Father Michael Canny, made the comments at a religious service to thank local people for supporting the ‘Pantry Project,’ a cross-community initiative started two years ago by the Trust, which was founded by the leaders of the city’s main Christian churches to ‘Stand Together with Those in Need’.
Father Canny, said Christians were alert to the love, light and peace of Christ that surrounded them.
“It made them more acutely aware of the needs of others and of the tremendous inequality in the world today,” he said.
He said the object of the project wasn’t “to create a dependency among those who received help, but rather to offer them hope that their situations could be improved.”
The two local bishops and other clergy joined staff and committee members at the charity’s food depot for a Dedication Service.
Children from Drumahoe Primary School also took part, representing pupils from local schools which have supported the project since it was launched.
Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, described the Pantry Project as a significant project which was meeting real need in the North West. He thanked the committee members and volunteers who collected and distributed food to individuals and families in need, and especially all those in the community who generously donated groceries to the food bank.
The Dedication Service included readings from Matthew’s Gospel and Acts, as well as hymn-singing. Prayers were read by some of those involved in working with or supporting the Pantry Project.