The visit began with a Eucharist with the clergy chapter at St Edmund’s, Hunstanton led by Bishop Graham.
Following a fish-and-chip lunch and discussion of the challenges of lockdown and the joy of being able to worship in church buildings, Bishop Graham went to St Edmund’s church hall which is currently being used as a base of operations for the local food bank.
Donations for the families and individuals being supported by the food bank, part of the Trussell Trust, came from the surrounding villages and compassionate individuals. Even as Bishop Graham was visiting, surprise donations were coming in.
Behind the scenes at the food bank in Hunstanton is a team of dedicated volunteers who weigh, date-label, and package the items ready for delivery to needy families. Sometimes donations come to them in the form of food like pasta, tinned goods, and cereal. Other times, money is donated at agreed shops in the town, which can then be used to buy other necessities like pet food and sanitary items.
From there, the Bishop went to Heacham to meet the volunteers who have been supporting their community by delivering prescriptions in a combined effort between church family and local community. He was also met by the manager of the Boots there and heard how recommendations to the service were coming from all kinds of places – including from the doctors themselves.
The next stop on the visit was to Snettisham Park Farm – a 329 acre working farm with many different animals under their care. The farm offers guests the opportunity to see some of the highlights of working on a farm and enjoying rural life, including feeding lambs and collecting fresh eggs. While there, Bishop Graham was able to meet the herd of deer who call the farm home and give them some feed.
Having taken in the fresh air of the farm, Bishop Graham then went to St Nicholas Church, Dersingham to meet some of the people behind Baby Basics, a charity helping vulnerable mothers in need of supplies for their new-borns.
For many mothers it is difficult to access some of the most basic supplies and Baby Basics has stepped in to help serve that need. Earlier this year, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge launched a new initiative with this charity and others to provide support for new families in need.
To better understand the practicalities of what Baby Basics does, Bishop Graham helped to pack a Moses basket of supplies for a mum and her soon-to-be-arriving baby; all while hearing about what is involved, how recommendations come to them and how the Moses baskets stuffed with goodies and necessities really bless new families.
The visit concluded with a service of evening prayer at St Nicholas, Dersingham, including a recognition from Bishop Graham and the church there of 40 years of service from Reader Neil Adams, who led the evening prayer.