Trinity Methodist Church is an outlet for Big Issue in the North
You may well have seen vendors, in York, selling the 'Big Issue in the North' magazines, you may well have purchased one yourself, but do you know how the system works?
Those vulnerably housed people who sell on the streets are working, not begging. They purchase magazines from an outlet for £1.25 and sell them for a profit at £2.50 This encourages money management and gives back some self- esteem and some degree of independence.
Until Trinity opened its doors to them, the nearest office or outlet for magazine collection was in Leeds. Now, three times a week, the doors are open at Trinity for the vendors to collect their magazines, offering them tea, coffee, cake and fresh fruit, along with a chat and any other occasional help like the use of a telephone or computer as needs arise. Vendors have also been helped to fill in forms and produce CV's for use in seeking more permanent work. Members of the congregation work on a rota to enable the shifts to be covered. There is a strict code of practice and conduct to be followed before someone can be sent out onto the streets; Following an interview to see if this is a suitable way forward for them, potential vendors are given a 'pitch' a badge number and guidelines about behaviour and good selling practise, they are also monitored and occasionally visited on their pitches to check that all is ok with them.
At present there are only a few vendors working in York, although one travels over from Scarborough to pick up, but we are seeking ways of expanding the opportunities to other people.
Trinity sees this as a means of reaching out to the community, and working out our commitment to Mission and Service.
Trinity have recently signed a 'Sharing Agreement' with Ark Church which works nationally as part of the Ground Level network and is a group member of the Evangelical Alliance. The Ark works with One Voice in York. It has a contemporary style of worship and a commitment to working in the community.
Although we worship separately, following different styles of worship, we share our building and our commitment to spreading God's word in our community.