On a recent winter’s Sunday, 80 people from the Whanganui community gathered at the Grand Hotel for a sumptuous Sunday roast – and the proceeds raised will help three charities to deliver life-changing treatment and services where it’s needed most.
Sue and Lyn, who are sisters and who are both part of our St Oswald’s whānau in Whanganui, gathered together with Christians from a local Presbyterian church to organise the mid-winter dinner, and the Grand Hotel’s Neville Gorrie came to the party as well, opening up his establishment to host the occasion. Sue’s daughter Jane tells us: “all enjoyed an opportunity to show generosity by purchasing a ticket to support three worthwhile organisations and learn about them, as well as to enjoy community by enjoying a midwinter meal together.” Because of that generosity, $2,100 was raised and will be distributed to the Fred Hollows Foundation, The Leprosy Mission, and the Whanganui City Mission’s food bank.
About half of the 80-strong gathering were from the Anglican and Presbyterian church families, whilst the other half were members of the wider community. “Although this was an outreach project on behalf of St Oswald’s, they didn’t advertise it as a Whanganui Anglican Parish function to ensure it would reach out to the other community members they knew personally who would otherwise not attend,” Jane shared.
“Mum and Lyn don’t blow their own trumpets,” Jane continued, “but they look after and out for so many, so I encouraged them to allow this story to be shared.” Indeed, we’re all grateful to hear of such wonderful initiatives. Projects like this, as simple as they may seem, bring inspiration to us all to think of how we can be the hands and feet of Christ in our neighbourhoods.
The large crowd was a diverse one – with attendees ranging from three years old to 93 years old – and this gathering brought a lot of joy to Sue, Lyn and the other organisers. Jane finished: “Mum said the best part was seeing everyone packed in eating together and then to leave with a smile on their faces.” Ka pai kōrua, Sue and Lyn!