ONE of the best-known names in Kendal’s flood recovery effort – the Rev Jonny Gios, of Sandylands Methodist Church – is taking on a fresh challenge in the new year.The community worker and father-of-two lead his last service on Christmas Eve before embarking on the role of spearheading the newly-launched charity Hope Community.As Jonny explained, the charity sets out to help churches engage more closely with the community in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire. It’s exciting to be ‘stepping into the unknown’.

I’m sharing nearly two decades of experience on Carlisle’s Raffles Estate and on Kendal’s Sandylands with many other churches and communities, in my new role as community networker. The Hope Community charity is to be officially launched on February 18, 2017.

Most of last year I was heavily involved in flood recovery work after last December’s Storm Desmond, in and around Sandylands Methodist Church, which was itself badly hit by flooding. Nine hundred residents and businesses were affected in the immediate area and I was among people recognised for their efforts by then Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in March.

I’ve been ‘encouraged and supported’ by Roy Crowne, executive director of the nationwide charity Hope. Roy said: “I’m thrilled to see Hope Community launched with Jonny Gios as the spearhead. His experience of 16 years of community engagement, pastorally and around youth ministry, stands him in good stead for this position and some of the innovative initiatives that Jonny has done have really established the church at the heart of its community.”

Cumbria’s police commissioner Peter McCall said: “I am delighted to be support the launch of Hope Community. The work of the churches and of Jonny Gios in Kendal during and after the devastating floods in December 2015 was the most real and tangible example of the church getting stuck in to help local communities when they needed it most”.

Hope Community seeks to help churches to engage with and support the local communities they serve. This aspiration lies at the heart of the Christian mission to serve and make our communities better for all. Together we are stronger, whatever our endeavour, whether that be building local communities, showing young people strong values and standards to avoid being drawn into crime, or supporting the vulnerable. The vision of Hope Community to be a witness in and to our communities is a real demonstration of the church in action, in a relevant and meaningful way. I encourage and urge you to support Hope Community where and how you may be able.

For more, visit www.hope-community.uk, follow @HopeCommunityUK on Twitter, Hope Community on Facebook, or search for Hope Community on YouTube.

By | 2017-07-24T14:25:34+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|