In 2008 Pastor Darren was invited as a new Christian to help out with what we would now call a Foodbank style ministry outreach that the Elim Church in Northampton were running. At the time it was called HIS and it was ran by a man called Keith.

On Darren’s first day of helping at HIS Keith forgot to make some food parcels so that when a man came and knocked on the Church door for a bag of food, Keith had to run out the back to make up some bags. Feeling a bit awkward Darren asked the man if he fancied a cup of tea whilst he was waiting for his food. The next week three guys turned up for a cup of tea and HUG was born.

Choosing to name the ministry HUG (His Ultimate Goal) was something that was born out of the Gospel of Matthew, where in chapter 25 Jesus said that if we feed the hungry, clothe the poor and heal the sick, then we are doing it for him. The Christian faith is all about ministering to Jesus, which means that we should do these three things as well as visiting people that can’t get out too.

The original HUG grew to around thirty or forty people in the Elim Church in Northampton, and Darren started another HUG group on Thursday evenings on another estate.

We’ve ran HUG a few times on Moorland, but have always ran out of funding, but now with the new sponsorship system that we have in place, where members of the community can sponsor the outreach program, we are confident that it can keep on going.

Today, HUG kickstarted again with bacon and egg butties, table tennis and a bouncy castle for the kids. We’ll be running HUG every Thursday in Moorland Community Centre from 12pm til 1:30pm, and we hope that if we can get enough sponsors we might be able to start the outreach program on some other estates too.

We have a clothes rail, a cupboard of food, and we’re able to pray for the sick or signpost people in the direction of someone that can help them. However, the most important thing is making friends and relieving what we feel is the biggest issue that our society struggles with… loneliness!

If you would like to sponsor HUG we are asking that families sponsor no more than £10 per month, and that it is setup as a standing order so that we are able to plan what happens with HUG in the future. Please make your standing order payable to Ignite Elim Church, ACC: 00686406, Sort: 309187, with the reference: HUG.