Despite having no services since March 2020, and a number of members being in isolation from Covid-19, it is good to report that our year has ended on a high note.
Firstly, many thanks to everyone who supported our annual Shoe Box Appeal. Thanks to your support and our friends in Methodist Churches across North Shropshire and Marches as far away as Chirk, we were able to send a total of 350 boxes and £455 in donations, as well as lots of lovely hand-knitted hats, gloves, jumpers and scarves, together with other bags of gifts to the charity Teams4U in Wrexham. Our Zoom Shoe Box service was a great success and reached many more chapels than would normally be able to join in. The Shoe Boxes were collected from Ellerdine on November 27th and left Wrexham on December 2nd. After travelling through France, Germany and Poland, they arrived at the town of Mogilev in Belarus on December 6th. In the area around Mogilev, they were received with open arms and big smiles by children in the orphanages for whom Christmas is not normally exciting.
Secondly, we were delighted with the response to our appeal for Christmas Dinners in a Bag for the Telford Food Bank. Thanks to your generosity we were able to send 35 Christmas Dinners in A Bag, a range of craft items and books for children, gift bags and gift sets labelled "With Love from Ellerdine Chapel". We also sent boxes of usual Food Bank donations and £90 in cheques and cash.
Thirdly, imagine every member's surprise when Cathy and three of her friends, also known as Brass Buttons Quartet, visited all the Chapel members on Christmas Eve and played 3 carols and "We wish you a merry Christmas" at each stop. Realising it would normally be our Christingle service in the evening, Cathy, Harry and Joe had made Christingles to give to every member. As one member commented, this was "a spiritually uplifting experience at the end of such a challenging year" and several said it helped them look forward with a real sense of hope to 2021. What a note to end the year on!
Finally, a heartfelt thank you from the Chapel members who have been in lockdown for so long. How much kindness and care we have received. Telford and Wrekin have stayed in touch by phone, e-mail and helped some members in other ways. How kind of our local shop and butchers to ensure a delivery service provided for all our needs. Local organisations provided Christmas treats and so many of you have done shopping, collected medicines, or simply called to make sure we were safe and well. So many people – what a wonderful community to belong to! Thank you one and all. Happy New Year to you all.