Richard & Mandy Goldring awarded Cross of St Piran
Loving thy neighbour is a command Richard and Mandy have taken to heart, whether that neighbour is within their local community or across the world. When asked why, they both say it’s because God challenges them, “In a way we can’t ignore!” they laugh.
When Richard went to Tanzania for a few weeks to help with St Marys partner church, Mandy was left to look after their business and help come up with a community plan for the church’s Father’s Day. “That was one of those times I felt clearly that I was being told to do something. I was tired and thought I couldn’t possibly step up, but just knew I had to organise a Big Brunch for those on the margins of our local community, whether by poverty or loneliness” says Mandy. Leaflets were produced, help was enlisted and all the touch points where people in need could be reached were approached. Mandy thought maybe a few dozen would come, God said 200. Mandy said, “Really?” God said, “You get prepared and I’ll bring the people.”
God said, “You get prepared and I’ll bring the people.”
The first Big Brunch involved the whole church, and forty came. They did it again, and again, in fact every 3rd month and for the last two Brunches, 200 came. God not only provided the people, he provided the food. The couple tapped into various food organisations who gave them their surplus. But each asked if they could take the food every week. “When the first one asked, we thought we couldn’t possibly, but by the time we were asked three times – and refused three times – we knew we had to,” said Mandy.
So, the couple now distribute surplus bread, vegetables and other food to where it can help those who need it the most – Foodbanks, hostels and places of refuge. Thankfully, others within their congregation and community have caught the vision and now help with the process.
Richard and Mandy are also part of a handful of volunteers in Cornwall and Devon for the British Red Cross, responding to calls all over the two counties to help the emergency services if there is a fire, flood or similar crisis. Their role is to look after those affected by the incident, not medically but practically. They use the Red Cross’ converted campervan that offers sanctuary, warmth and a space to think and sort out the practicalities like insurance, emergency housing and home comforts like colouring books, DVDs and cuddly toys for children.
“We just can’t turn our back on people in need. Something’s changed – we can’t walk past anyone living on the street without stopping to talk and see if we can help.”
When asked why they do so much when they are both still running the family business and perhaps reaching an age when most people think about easing up a little, Richard explains that it’s God, telling us again. “We just can’t turn our back on people in need. Something’s changed – we can’t walk past anyone living on the street without stopping to talk and see if we can help.” So much so that Mandy has brought to St Mary’s three homeless people, sorting out a temporary bed and next steps. The couple also support the work of Christians Against Poverty. And so, the list of how this couple love their neighbours goes on, and on…