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Besom is a new word to most people’s vocabulary. In fact it means ‘broom’. In the dictionary it is a broom made from a bundle of twigs attached to a handle, or the broom used to sweep ice from the path of a curling stone.

The Besom is a movement of people, giving their skills, time, things or money to those genuinely in need. So in this broom, everyone can be a twig!

It also makes sure that help is directed where needed, so the similarity with curling holds too!

Started in London in 1987, the movement has spread out over the country and also to different parts of the world.

The Besom is a bridge between the church and the needy. Where established Social workers refer their clients to the Besom, where their needs are matched to has already been offered by people from the church.

People can offer their time/things without knowledge of a need, the idea is to do it in response to God’s calling, rather than any feeling of guilt.
Besom is based fully on prayer, from volunteers to projects, from money to supplies.

St Michael’s have appointed Rob Ainsworth to look into establishing Besom in York – for the whole church and the whole city.

“Because Besom works only on prayer it allows people to see God at work. When people pray for something such as an item of furniture and that item is offered within a few hours – that really builds peoples faith. When we give a specific item to a recipient and it exactly matches something that they already have that also builds peoples faith. Because of the way Besom works people are only asked to give what they feel in their hearts God is asking them to give – no more and no less – it is not our job to move peoples hearts – only God can do that. Often people want to be involved in a practical way and Besom gives them that opportunity. There is also an impact on the wider community because Besom gets people out of the church and gives them a presence in the community which they otherwise would not have and gives them an opportunity to promote our faith and to live out the imperatives found in the bible relating to the poor. Really everyone benefits – giver, recipient, the church and the wider community. ” Steve Winks – The Besom in Sheffield.

James Odgers, a very challenging and inspiring speaker, who started the Besom in 1987  is coming to speak at St Michael’s on February 25th at the 7pm service. One Voice leaders will be hearing him at the Belfrey Hall on Monday morning (26th). The idea is that this will be a springboard to start the Besom here in the city of York.

Have a look at the Besom website.

New! The York Besom Site!



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