Bishop blesses accessible car in Brundall
The Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Revd Alan Winton, found himself in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) on his recent visit to a group of churches in Brundall.
The Bishop was visiting for a confirmation service at St Laurence Church, Brundall, and to bless the new WAV. Bishop Alan commented that this was a ‘first’ for him since he arrived in the Diocese almost a decade ago.
After blessing the car, he took a ride in it to collect its very first passenger. Tom Upton, a wheelchair dependent worshipper at Brundall Church, got the VIP treatment when he was the first to ascend the ramp in this specially adapted car. Tom hopes to be a regular passenger in this adapted transport and said: “I was thrilled to be collected by Bishop Alan and this project will help me and others get about more and socialise.”
This is the climax of a year-long project entitled ‘Connecting Our Community.’ The dream became a reality thanks to generous funding awards from various charitable trusts and donations from individuals.
Over recent years, in Broadland, there have been improvements to the provision that many communities offer for the elderly, particularly those who are living alone. In the Brundall area, there is now a good range of activities and opportunities which have evolved and are designed to combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
What hasn’t improved at the same pace as these developments, however, is the ability to transport those who attend, or who would like to attend but cannot drive themselves there. The church hopes that the arrival of the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle will rectify this shortcoming and enable more people to access local community events. In particular, the adapted vehicle will be used to transport disabled, infirm and elderly residents to various activities around the village including medical appointments and the fortnightly luncheon club for senior citizens living alone.
The Revd Peter Leech, Rector of St Laurence Church in Brundall, said: “Social isolation and loneliness have been established as major causes of a reduction in a person’s wellbeing. Despite its proximity to Norwich, it is now a major factor affecting our community. We have three churches in this area and we pride ourselves on being a ‘Place for Everyone’. We hope that this new car provided by the church, with help from generous donations, will be able to help the whole community access the facilities and events they want and need.“
The picture above of Bishop Alan blessing the WAV in Brundall is courtesy of Paul Smith.
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