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What a privilege!

On a wet and blustery morning, we set off to buy food for The Charles Thompson Mission, with the money raised in the last charity gift shop. All of us have been committed to helping Mrs.Bridson with the fundraising gift shops as a part of our Duke of Edinburgh volunteering. We filled the trolley in Asda to the maximum, with 580 sausages, 90 strips of bacon and 66 black puddings!! As we arrived at the door of the Mission, there were many people waiting to go in for shelter and hot food and we were feeling a little apprehensive.

However, as soon as went inside, we were in a warm, bright cosy environment and warmly welcomed by Bernie Frost. It was buzzing with volunteers and the first volunteer we had the great privilege to meet was 96 year old Peggy, who has volunteered at the Mission for 80 years!!! She is soon to meet the Queen and receive an OBE for services to the people of Birkenhead. Peggy relied on the Mission herself as a child until she was eight years old. When she was sixteen, she started to volunteer at the Mission and 80 years later is still going! What a privilege to meet her!

We were amazed at how big the Mission actually is inside, as Bernie kindly took us on tour, explaining how the Mission operates day to day. There is a hall at the back which is used daily but also for a monthly service of worship. We had not realised that those most in need have the chance to be seen by a doctor, dentist, optician, chiropodist and hairdresser.

The Mission relies on volunteers and the generosity of others all year round. Callum had thought that Mrs.Bridson was a bit mad to be buying and making gift sets for Christmas but we now realise that it can’t just happen overnight and our mission work needs to be ongoing.

We felt privileged to meet such an inspirational person like Peggy and truly grateful for the opportunity to support the Mission. To live lives of love and service in the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, is truly to open your hearts to those most in need, all year round.

Ed Shallcross
Freddie Greaves
George Shannon
Callum Wade