'Even the sun shone on us' - Church celebrates hardworking volunteers

Three volunteers at St Mary Magdalene Church

There were young servers on the day so the volunteers who had worked hard over the pandemic could enjoy the event and relax. - Credit: St Mary Magdalene Church

The vicar of a church in Gorleston has thanked members of its community for their continual hard work throughout the pandemic.

Volunteers who had contributed to the support of the community during lockdowns were invited to enjoy afternoon tea in the garden of St Mary Magdalene Vicarage on Saturday, September 4.

Rev Matthew Price, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, said: “One of the extraordinary things about the pandemic was the way the community came together to support one another.

"At the height of the first lockdown, we were sending out food parcels out to about 90 households a week and that was only possible because of an army of volunteers that came together from our church, other churches in the town, and the wider community in a time of crisis.”

A church garden with people sitting at tables eating and drinking.

"Even the sun was shining." The event was enjoyed by 60 volunteers who had helped the community over the pandemic. - Credit: St Mary Magdalene Church

The event was attended by around 60 of the church's volunteers and Rev Price felt the event couldn't have gone better.

"Even the sun shone on us," he said.

"Over the pandemic, we have achieved something together.

"It really felt like something worth celebrating.

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“We wanted to mark and celebrate that community spirit and say thank you to the many volunteers who have given them time, in so many different ways - seen and unseen - over the last eighteen months.”

St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston

St Mary Magdalene Church in Gorleston. - Credit: James Weeds

Everyone who attended received a special thank you gift, but particular contributions were also marked by the presentation of certificates by Anna Price, community lead for St Mary Magdalene.

Mike Smith-Clare, a borough councilor, and one of the volunteers who attended with his family, said of the event: “It was absolutely lovely. Thank you so much for everything you do.”

St Mary Magdalene foodbank continues to operate and is open for clients to visit on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9.30am and 12pm.

In addition, the church hosts a community lunch on Tuesdays from 12pm and is open to all.

There are also informal drop-ins with coffee and cake on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

People interested in volunteering at St Mary Magdalene Church can do so via the church's website.