Greetings from lovely Shrewsbury!
For those who haven’t heard from us since my last blog post prayer request, I am very pleased to let you know that we found a lovely, cosy, 2-bedroom terraced house to rent which is walking/cycling distance both from the town centre and 8 Stretton Close (8SC), the house we have now bought in which to house and support men leaving prison. Praise God for his provision. We have room for guests, so do come and visit!
It has been a busy two weeks, with the house move (that involved lowering sofas from our balcony in Northolt and sawing off a banister in order to get our furniture upstairs in our new place – see picture of Dad helping put it back together); the completion of our 8SC house purchase; and me starting my part-time employment at Yellow Ribbon (YR). Additionally during this time, we headed back to London to join the rest of our Young Franciscan community for an annual commitment service. This was a special time of fellowship and renewing our Rules of Life, which help us live out our Christian lives with Franciscan values, such as simplicity and service to the poor and marginalised.
We feel very privileged to be house owners, as well as a little daunted by the responsibility that entails! There is more work that needs doing to the house before we can rent it out than we had anticipated. The two main jobs we did plan for are extending one of the bedrooms by moving two internal walls and installing a separate shower room to supplement the family bathroom. Additionally, we are now getting quotes for plastering a few ceilings that are in bad repair and replacing double glazing window panels for some of the windows, as well as touching up the place where we can (a complete re-decoration of the house will probably have to wait).
As I mentioned in my last update, we would really appreciate you prayerfully considering whether you are able to start or increase monthly giving or give a one-off donation at this time. If you would like to do this, please follow this link. A huge thank you to those who responded, which has already really helped us out with our ministry and moving costs.
I am working in a Programme Lead role at YR, which will include some support working of clients in their Shrewsbury houses. Alex is going to be involved with some ‘through the gate’ prison work, aiming to improve the continuity of care for prisoners from when they are inside to when they are released and living in the community. With the rest of our working week, we’ll be building community and implementing a structured programme at 8SC – including morning prayers, groups, meals together, 1-2-1s, mission and service. We are really excited about all that this new adventure will entail!
We hope to be ready to start leasing 8SC to YR, and therefore, receiving tenants, in the second week of November. Our main prayer request right now is filling the house with 5 men who really want to commit to the community and are ripe and ready to live a new way of life – please get on your knees and join us!
Thank you so much as always – we really appreciate your prayers and support in this time of transition.
Rachel and Alex
6 Comments Add yours
Dear Rachel and Alex
So lovely to hear that you have made it to Shropshire and you have been so amazingly busy. Will pray around who will take up the places in your new residential house and also for the practicalities around the house. Would love to come and see you, in due course when you are ready. Lots of love Val xx
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Thank you Val, and yes, look forward to your visit!
Exciting times Rachel & Alex!
A huge project like this can be overwhelming at times but month by month progress will be made. You are in our prayers
Alan & Gill x
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Thank you so much, really appreciated!
So touched to learn of your ministry – as a volunteer with Prison Fellowship and working with vulnerable communities in the social housing sector, I have a real interest in what you are doing – would love to talk some time?
Thank you for your message. I’ll give you my email address in case you’d like to get in touch directly! It’s email@example.com. Thanks!