The Foundation Community Grocery in Sheffield has been open just three months, but already has 464 members who come and shop and get involved in the courses. But as we always say the store are about much more than food, we want to see people come to know Jesus, and this is happening.
We caught up with Josh, our Operations Manager for the Yorkshire and Humberside hub, who told us about Tracey* – one of the grocery members in Sheffield.
‘On Sunday morning I received two of the most precious messages I had received all year! The first came at 10:30am from Rebecca one our Community Grocery Managers in Sheffield. She wrote ‘Praise report time! I’m sitting next Tracey – one of our fabulous grocery members – during her first time in church.’ And an hour and a half later Rebecca followed that message up with ‘And she responded at the end!’
‘This was a special moment, but not one that arose in the spur of the moment. For the past three months we’ve got to know and build a friendship with Tracey as she’s shopped with us every week. On her first visit she’d told Sorcha- our other grocery manager – how life had been tough since losing her job during the pandemic, and how she often felt lonely and in need of some hope. As they chatted Sorcha was able to share with Tracey how her faith was the place in which she found hope. Sorcha invited Tracey to church, but she didn’t feel ready for that yet.
‘As Tracey came back to shop week after week, she continued chatting to Sorcha and the rest of the team, and they were able to continue chatting to her about Jesus and praying with her.
‘A few weeks ago, Tracey came into the grocery full of enthusiasm and told them that she’d found a new job and the team were able to celebrate with her. As she continued shopping in store, Tracey asked if she could come along to church one week which led to her sitting next to Rebecca and making her decision to follow Jesus.
‘The exciting thing is that this is not where the journey stops for Tracey. Through the store’s partnership with C3 Hope, she’s getting plugged into an Alpha course and of course she will continue to find a source of love and community on her weekly visits to The Foundation Community Grocery.
*Name changed for this article