Pastor upcycles his mission to the homeless
After serving for fourteen years as Pastor at Cornerstone King's Lynn Baptist Church, Kevan Crane has taken on a new role serving the homeless. He explains his unusual journey of faith.
After fourteen years felt I had led the Church as far as I could. My time at the church has been one of many challenges, but it has been a joy to have led the church and to have been so involved with Churches Together in setting up Foodbank, a CAP Debt Centre and The Winter Night Shelter.
The past eighteen months have been a time of reflection for many of us. During lockdown, I had more time to pray and to evaluate where my life was going. I thought about the areas of fruitfulness that I had seen in my life. Much of the fruit had been in those area of ministry where I was helping and reaching out to those in need and experiencing homelessness.
I had no job in mind when I gave the church six months’ notice. Once I gave notice, I did feel a great sense of peace. My period of notice would take me to the end of July. During this period, I prayed and looked at a couple of jobs, but no doors opened. I just felt God was saying 'Wait'.
During my time in King's Lynn and through the project work, I have made many friends and connected with several key organisations. One of those organisations is The Purfleet Trust. It is a well-established charity in King's Lynn which supports those experiencing homelessness.
When I contacted Paula Hall, the CEO, to tell her I was finishing at the church she emailed me to arrange to meet for coffee and a catch up. During this meeting, Paula shared about an exciting new project, based in a new warehouse, which The Purfleet Trust were starting.
This project will have two main areas of focus:
1 A Pathway to Employment: it will provide practical workshops in furniture upcycling, woodwork and warehousing as well as training courses in retail, customer service and marketing.
2: House to Home: furniture restored and upcycled through workshops will be used to furnish homes for people moving into independent accommodation for the first time.
Moving from homelessness or shared accommodation to your own tenancy is an exciting time but can also cause anxiety around the new environment and how you will cope. Through this project we aim to make sure every individual has not just a house but a home.
I am overjoyed to be involved in setting up this project and managing it as we go forward.
My job may have changed but the calling hasn't. To serve God within the community has always been there and it continues as I seek to make a difference in the lives of those I meet and work with.
If you would like to donate good second-hand furniture or household items to The Pathways Project or if you would like to find out more about volunteering, please contact me: email@example.com mob: 07534816377.
Pictured above is Kevan Crane and, below, at the Purfleet Trust warehouse.