The Project that is Breaking New Ground
Back in September, we shared an exciting project happening in Cwmbran, Wales. The Grocery Store project at Victory Church was breaking new ground in restoring dignity and much-needed help to families and individuals. Find out how things have developed in an extraordinary way.
A Hand Up
CBN’s Operation Blessing partnered with Victory Church at the start of 2020 to help those struggling throughout the lockdown. Clyde, the Senior Pastor at Victory Church, had a vision to do much more. With the increased cost of living, many families are choosing between food and heating, with many children going to school without breakfast.
Clyde shares, “So we set out at the beginning of 2020, with CBN as partners with us as a local church, to open something that was a step up from a food bank. We value the work of food banks, but we wanted to create a model that was the next step. To really give people a hand up, rather than just a handout.”
A family can go to the store twice a week, pay £4 and receive five fresh fruit and vegetables, a loaf of fresh bread, two dairy items, eight cupboard items, one frozen item and more. It enables a family to know that they’re paying for what they have, but they’re also contributing to the store, positively impacting their community.
“To really give people a hand up, rather than just a handout.”
“We really believed from the beginning of this that the target was around 1,000 local families,” says Clyde. However, in the short duration the Grocery Store has been open, in only 11 weeks, he tells us, “We’re actually at 546 families!” It’s incredible to see how God is moving through the generosity of our partners, through CBN’s Operation Blessing, and the local Church to transform communities.
Beth Parkinson, our CBN Europe correspondent, asks, “How many individual £4 shops have you seen?”
“One thousand, five hundred forty-six so far! There were a number of people saying, I don’t need the £4 shop, but by buying my groceries here, it’s going to contribute so that more people can access the £4 shop.”
The pay-it-forward scheme allows people to give an extra £4 to someone in need. In this way, the community uses the Grocery Store to bless their community!
“In this way, the community uses the Grocery Store to bless their community!”
A Mission to Bless
Clyde tells us, “Our mission here, with CBN, is to bless! Whether people become Christians or not, we want them to be blessed by the local Church because we believe in their inherent value that they carry. They are image carriers, and God can use these things to actually restore some hope and dignity to them.”
The beauty of this project is that it opens doors to make a deeper impact in the lives of those entering the store. Many have difficult life circumstances, are stuck in addiction, are buried in debt, and need a greater help.
Through the connections made in the store, Victory Church can offer that help. “What we’re doing is working on approaches that enable families to connect with wider support—things like CAP money course. We have our own True Freedom addiction courses. Things like a local authority are going to be doing some groups around employment. Citizens advise come in.”
Alongside this incredible work, there’s an eagerness to see people encounter the presence of God. Victory Church has already seen individuals attending events put on by the Church who have made that connection through this project.
So much is being done here, and it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible generosity of our Operation Blessing partners and donors. Thank you so much for all you are making happen!
“Our mission here, with CBN, is to bless!”