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St Bart's: Ready to serve
and celebrate this Christmas

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St Bart's: Ready to serve and celebrate this Christmas

by The Revd Ross Jones | Chaplain

If there has ever been a year in our recent history to celebrate the blessings in our lives, it’s this one. While 2020 has certainly been tumultuous, the beauty of it has come in being forced to slow down and appreciate the small “wins” in our lives, in witnessing wonderful acts of kindness across the globe in times of unrest, and in spending more quality time with our loved ones.

Here at St Bart’s, we have truly appreciated the unwavering support of many in our community throughout the year, particularly those from our Anglican family. The steady flow of financial contributions and donated goods – from blankets, food and clothing to handmade items made out of pure goodness of heart – served to strengthen our resolve to provide the best level of care and support to the people in our services.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many of those we assist as it often brings to the surface past experiences of trauma and separation from family. For this reason, each year we work towards lifting the spirits of our residents in a number of gatherings across each of our sites.

The first celebration to kick it all off is particularly heart-warming as we share a meal and gifts with the women, men and children in our Family Service. A visit from Santa is always a treat for the little ones, while the parents and carers are able to relax and enjoy the experience of watching their children’s faces light up as they open their presents.

These celebrations are a wonderful opportunity for St Bart’s Chair and Board members to engage directly with the residents of our services, and all nine members have committed to visiting at least one site over the course of the month. Whether they’re cooking on the barbecue, serving lunch, playing games or simply chatting with the residents, it is always a valuable experience for all.

Thanks to the wonderful efforts behind our Christmas Hamper Appeal, all residents of St Bart’s will be receiving a hamper packed full of handy food items, delicious treats and small gifts that are always a welcome surprise for the 550 people we support.

Keep an ear and eye out throughout December for our Spirit of Christmas Campaign on the radio and in local papers. We are extremely grateful that a mother and her 12-year-old daughter who are residing at St Bart’s Family Service have bravely shared their experience of trauma and homelessness to help raise funds for our annual Christmas campaign.

From all of us at St Bart’s, we wish you a blessed Christmas and festive season and look forward to sharing more with you in 2021.

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