St Martin’s Church serves an area of high deprivation in Wolverhampton. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we started a ‘Coats for Kids’ initiative to project provided free coats for children and young people, to ensure that they were warm and dry over the winter. We were overwhelmed with the generosity of people, and over the winter were able to distribute 500 coats and clothing packages. From a small idea, the project has been blessed by God, now expanding into a larger clothing bank for both children and adults, including school uniforms and smart wear for people attending interviews, starting jobs or attending court. We are also able to give out emergency food parcels for those most in need and now call ourselves the ‘Lifeboat Project’ as we believe we are helping people at their most vulnerable point and giving them some hope for the future. By serving those who are vulnerable and struggling, we are serving Jesus himself. Our patron, St Martin of Tours, gave half of his cloak to a beggar, who in a later dream revealed himself as Christ. We are giving what little we can to clothe Jesus, present in the people of our city.
Our Parish Nurse, Gill, who manages the project, recalls meeting a mother of four children, desperate to find clothes as she had barely enough money to buy food. The woman was also a widow whose husband had been killed in a motorbike accident six months before on his way to work. The encounter was one of prayer, and the answer to prayer.
To make a donation to the Lifeboat Project, please send a cheque payable to
‘St Martin’s Church PCC’ via The Lifeboat Project c/o Fr D Feeney, Holy Trinity Vicarage,
Farrington Road, Wolverhampton, WV4 6QH.