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