Over two hundred people of about fifteen different nationalities have attended our church language classes, held two or three times each week at Church.
The classes are principally, but not exclusively, for victims of human trafficking. Many are men, all are seeking hope and a way forward into the future. Many of those who attend are supported by the Medaille Trust, an independent charity helping the victims of trafficking.
The classes, organised by Alan, draw in a variety of volunteers who help create a friendly and welcoming space for all who come. The classes not only help with language, they help people who have often had terrible experiences in life to step into an affirming and encouraging place. Volunteers say how much they appreciate the classes and receive from them.
All this fits in so well with our message and ethos at St Chrysostom’s. It has also been a pleasure to see some of those who come to the classes coming along to worship, helping out with some day to day tasks locally, and some returning to act as volunteer helpers at the classes themselves.
This special work was ‘highly commended’ by the Bishop of Manchester recently. Alan, together with Kenson and Bridie, who are volunteers at the classes, and Richard who comes to the classes, went to Bishopscourt, the bishop’s home, to join other church projects which were receiving the awards. The awards were made for inspirational and innovative work. Sixteen projects across the Diocese of Manchester were highly commended, and a further eleven were commended.
The list of the winners, including St Chrysostom’s can be seen here.
The award is a good encouragement to this important and helpful work, which has proved to be a blessing to us at St Chrysostom’s.