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Love thy Neighbour

by Michael Ford last modified 22 Jan, 2021 09:25 PM

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbour. What could that look like in these pandemic times?

Love thy Neighbour

Photo (c) Michael Dibb, courtesy Wikimedia Commons and

In the Wiltshire village of Potterne, 'Love thy Neighbour' is a biblical imperative being lived out in a very real way.

During the first lockdown in 2020, over 50 volunteers ran essential errands, picked up prescriptions and offered a listening ear on phone calls to support their elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

Previously, the Potterne Good Neighbours group also set up as a referral agency to the Devizes Food Bank, and handed out vouchers available for those in need.

Now, the Potterne Good Neighbours have once again sprung into action to offer care and support. Besides general help such as picking up prescriptions or dog walking, there are calls to help support people who might be facing social isolation.

A WhatsApp group helps co-ordinate where help is needed, and gets a relevant volunteer or ‘buddy’ to respond.

The volunteers want to continue to help the growing numbers self isolating or shielding - and hope this kind of care can continue well after this lockdown lifts.

Sarah Leckie, church administrator at the parish church of St Mary's explains:

“We supported over 100 people in the first lockdown, and now we’re getting plenty of calls every day of people still looking for help. We allocate volunteers to people in a sort of buddy system.”

The Revd Ali Bridewell, of the Wellsprings Team Ministry, is also keen that this community support doesn't end with the pandemic. She said:

“We want to keep this level of support in the community well after lockdown.”

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