All about EBC Storehouse

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EBC Storehouse is a ministry of Easthampstead Baptist Church (EBC), based in South Hill Road, Bracknell.

To find out more about EBC, please take the time to visit our church website:

www.ebc-bracknell.org

EBC’s “Storehouse” ministry has recently been re-launched and so we thought it would be a good idea to let people know what it’s all about via this dedicated ebc-storehouse website – so thanks for visiting!

Originally, the idea for Storehouse was that local people who found themselves in need could come along to open days that we ran at the church twice yearly, and choose what they wanted from a whole load of stuff that had been donated and stored up for that purpose.

Finding the storage space for so much stuff, and actually setting out the hall and running the event twice a year was a huge challenge. Sometimes, too, there was a fair amount of jostling going on at the events and we grew concerned that not everyone turning up to take stuff was genuinely in need of it!

In 2013, we were challenged as a church to look again at a passage from the bible that is really important to us. It is in a part of the bible called “Acts” which describes what Jesus’s first followers did after his death and resurrection. It is actually a really exciting account of the birth of the church, and it describes the kind of things that they did. This passage serves as a model for the kind of church we want to be at EBC, and the part we have highlighted in bold below inspired the idea for a new kind of Storehouse:

Acts 2:42-47 (New International Version):

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship; to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Today, Storehouse still takes in good quality furnishings, toys and household items and uses these to help people in a number of ways. Where we know of someone who is in need (via our own contacts or other agencies) we either give them needed items directly (if we have such items in stock) or, when we’re given items don’t meet a real personal need (e.g. office items, P.A. equipment), we sell these online and put the money into the Storehouse fund. The money in the Storehouse fund is kept topped up in this way — as well as by special offerings at EBC — and used to buy things that people really do need (if we don’t have them in stock already). Usually this might be furniture, bedding, kitchen utensils, clothing, hygiene items and so on. We also send things like flowers and cards to people at difficult times, and provide meals for them.

If you are aware of people who are in real need of this kind of help, do please let the Church office know so that we can look into how best we might help. If you have any good quality items you no longer need, please consider donating them to Storehouse — again, please contact the church office first either by telephone (01344 487744) or by email (simon.lace@ebc-bracknell.org). Of course, if you have things better suited for sale rather than passing on, and you are familiar with online auction websites, we encourage you to “DIY” and donate some or all of the proceeds to Storehouse.

The great thing about this new approach to Storehouse is that we are able to minimize the need for storage (because we have stuff coming and going all the time as opposed to stockpiling it for two big events) and we know exactly where the items and/or funds donated are going to (everything is recorded). Some donors like to specify that their items are for direct donation — which is absolutely fine, of course.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON www.stphotos.co.uk 07778 334771

   Photo by kind permission Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Part of the new vision for Storehouse included having our own liveried Storehouse van to collect items from donors and deliver to people who need them. Previously we had been limited to using cars and (for larger items) hiring a van. In June 2014 we were thrilled to be able to buy our very own EBC Storehouse van – a big, beautiful Transit – thanks to a very generous grant from Bracknell Forest Borough Council. Pictured above is Cllr Dale Birch, doing a ceremonial handover of the keys to some of the church team.

Having this vehicle speeds up “turnaround” of items and helps reduce the need for storage. In the long term, we also want to have an online Storehouse “shop” where people in need (and agencies that help them) can see exactly what we have available, choose it online and have it delivered by the van — all for free. Watch this space!!