Times are changing and at St Matthew’s we believe we are called to put our faith into action. Working with other churches and agencies in the town we are pioneering a number of new ways of being of service.
Perhaps one of our simplest forms of outreach is aiming to keep our church open every weekday between 12noon and 2pm with two stewards on duty at all times.
If you come into the church during the week at lunchtime you will find the volunteers and visitors of our Foodbank. We started from very small beginnings, just testing the water to see if there was a need, and we are finding that around every corner of our community we are meeting people who are suffering because of unemployment, inadequate housing and the change to the benefit system.
Look in through the door of our Coffee Shop on a Friday evening and you will find the Redhill Street Pastors getting ready for their patrol. Drawn from many local churches as well as our own, we are the base for this important outreach into our town. We aim simply to get alongside people of all ages who find themselves on our streets, to listen and to be of help. This work is expanding and we now provide patrols into Horley and Reigate too.
Walk through the doors of our Church Hall on a Sunday evening during the winter months and you will find us playing our part in the Winter Night Shelter project. As churches working together with caring agencies we provide a hot evening meal, space for recreation, a bed for the night and breakfast the following morning. Volunteers are drawn from many local churches and the shelter moves from church to church during the week
The Renewed Hope Trust leads our work with those who are homeless providing a daily drop in centre. Between December and February we run a winter night shelter at different locations throughout our area – normally in St Matthew’ Hall on a Sunday night. We are always interested to hear from those who would be interested in volunteering to help at the drop in or the Night Shelter. The Drop In Centre is held mainly on the premises of Christ Central Church at the Quadrant, but plans are in hand for a new and permanent location.
Welcare has long existed as an established outreach to families in our community. Parenting Courses and groups are run from the premises in Warwick Road (again just around the corner from our church), there are strong links with local churches including our own.
At St Matthew’s we also have links with St Peters House Project who provide help for those who are HIV/AIDS positive. We assist with the Chaplaincy at the nearby East Surrey Hospital and have links also with the work of the YMCA in our town.
There are many ways in which we can get involved in the life of our church school of St Matthew’s. We love our Primary School and have very close links with everyone there. The school comes to church for special services and educational visits and we go to school to lead Collective Worship, to serve as Governors and to help children read. Some of our church members actually work there too!