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‘We can’t believe this’ anger as Crawley church directed to stop allowing homeless in for weekly meal

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There is anger and disappointment in Crawley today as a weekly event held for the homeless and special needs has had to take drastic action following a Church directive.

The weekly event is held at The Friary Church of St Francis and St Anthony in the town centre.

Every week the church hall next door is opened up to allow hot food to be served to up to sixty homeless and special need people.

The food is supplied and cooked by a different church in the area every week and this week it was the turn of St Paul’s Methodist church.

But a call to one of the volunteers, Sara, has threatened this weekly event from ever taking place again.

“I received a call from our church informing us that The Friary had been given a directive preventing us from using the church hall even though they are still running church services.”

The directive appears to be as a result of action being taken across the rest of the country to prevent mass gatherings of people and to also prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

One of the founders of the event, Alison, was in complete shock at the decision and at complete loss at how they would be able to help homeless people. She has worked tirelessly every week for the last few years to ensure this needed service was always available.

The volunteers have taken it upon themselves today to set up their service in the churches car park, but even that has brought about its own problems as The Friary church also refused to allow them to run an extension cable to the porch so they could use a microwave and kettle citing ‘health and safety reasons’.

Volunteer Sara explained how she managed to arrange friends to help with one even bringing along their camper van just so they could heat up water.

“We know that from 1pm today people will start to turn up expecting a hot meal in a warm environment and they just wont get it. Everyone is banding together to help but what about next week and the week after?said Sara.

“The least the church could have done was let us use some electricity.”

When asked what they would do if they didn’t allow them to use the car park instead Sara said, “if they turn us away we will move to the layby outside.”

Sara did add, “We know this isn’t The Friary’s fault and is a directive they’ve had to follow. We are obviously so grateful for all the years they have allowed us to do this and hope they will continue to do so after this comes to a conclusion.”

The Friary has been contacted for comment.

If you feel you can in any way then please get in touch with us here on the newsdesk and we will forward any messages and/or contact details on. Email: newsdesk@crawleynews24.co.uk

Charity

Gatwick Fire Service to run marathon on airports runway for charity

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It will consist of running 13 lengths of the 3.3km main runway, but WHite Watch Gatwick Fire Service hope to raise money for local hospital charity (SASH).

Taking place on Sunday 14th June, the crew will be running the 13 lengths as a relay, with the final distance being just over that of a marathon.

Taking advantage of the lack of flow during periods of the day, they will use those opportunities to ‘do something different and raise awareness for our local NHS staff putting themselves on the line every day during this pandemic’.

The money will help the staff at East Surrey Hospital and Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust during the Covid 19 situation.

If you would like to help with a donation you can do so at their JustGiving page here.

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