Cathedral school pupils offer phone help during lockdown

Wednesday 29 April

26 pupils at The King's (The Cathedral) School in Peterborough have offered to telephone members of the Peterborough Cathedral congregation currently isolated by the coronavirus lockdown.

Each of the students from Years 12 and 13 will be calling one person each week for a conversation in a new scheme launched this week.

The scheme has been initiated by Rev Jennifer Paddison, Chaplain at The King's (The Cathedral) School, and Helen Birch, Deputy Head at King’s and regular worshipper at the Cathedral.

Revd Canon Sarah Brown, Canon Missioner of Peterborough Cathedral, said:

“We are used to being proud of our association with The King's (The Cathedral) School through our wonderful choristers, but today there is even more cause to be proud. Not only is this a really helpful initiative but we hope it will enable rich intergenerational friendships and put a human face on the Cathedral for the youngsters.

“We look forward to hearing how the scheme goes, but in the meantime we thank all the students for volunteering.”

Soup and socks

Several Precincts residents have been busy producing soup for 40-50 people per week for the Garden House, which is still hosting around 15 people a day, even though 85 rough sleepers are being isolated in hotels in the city. The numbers increase as those who have been sofa-surfing run out of a place to stay, and as some lose work and the accommodation that goes with it. 

The way it works is that there is a doorstep delivery of onions and potatoes to whoever is on the rota that Monday or Thursday, then they add other ingredients to make their soup. We understand that there have been some scrumptious varieties, from carrot to butternut squash to leek and potato, as well as red lentil and mushroom. At noon, when the soup is made, it is put out on the doorstep for collection and onward delivery to Garden House.

Canon Missioner, Sarah Brown, said: "As a volunteer at Garden House I have seen first-hand just how appreciated these soups are! We are just branching into cake - Tansy Castledine’s chocolate cornflake cakes last week barely touched the plate so we know this will be popular. Yesterday, Precincts residents also responded to an urgent appeal for dry socks."

Socialising via Facebook

For members of the congregation, staff and volunteers at the Cathedral, a Facebook group has been set up to make it easier for everyone to keep in touch, and even to enjoy a 'virtual coffee morning' after the live streamed service on a Sunday. This is a private, closed group but anyone who is eligible to join is asked to contact so that a invitation can be sent. Anyone applying to join has to answer a question to validate their connection to the Cathedral and also to confirm that they agree to the ground rules for the group. Both things need to happen successfully before being admitted.

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