Church pews transformed into beds for homeless

church pews news bannerA retired consultant chemical engineer with a skill for cabinet making has thanked God for putting his talent to good use. After retiring, Ron Hilditch, a former West Kirby United Reformed Church (URC) member, ‘asked the Lord for something useful to do’ with the skills he had been given. 

Before long, Ron received an answer.

‘One Sunday, Kat Taylor, the Foodbank Project Co-ordinator for Kings Lynn, Norfolk, came to my church and spoke about how the Lord had blessed the work there,’ said Ron. ‘I felt the Lord say to me: “Go and offer to make furniture, specifically beds, for the work in King’s Lynn.”’

Ron followed this direction and was informed by Kat that there were many homeless people who the charity could help provide accommodation to, but not furniture.

Inspired by James Hudson Taylor, a 19th century British protestant Christian missionary to China, who said: ‘God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply,’ Ron set about sourcing material for his work.

BedsElders at Upton URC, which had closed, donated 12 pews and wood from an organ. This enabled Ron to make five single beds.

‘This was a wonderful provision of wood,’ continued Ron. ‘The Lord knew every detail and, as the pew seats were 36mm thick, they were ideal for the beds I was making. In addition, as the church was closed, it provided space for the storage of wood and also for me to assemble and store the beds once made.’

Kat said: ‘Ron's kindness is such a blessing and an answer to prayer for us here in King's Lynn.’

Ron went onto make 25 beds for The Wirral Ark Project, in Birkenhead, which provides accommodation for the homeless, using wood from Upton URC.

Wirral Ark bed 2He was then asked by the Charles Thompson Mission, in Birkenhead – a charity which helps people living in poverty with basic essentials – to make storage racks.

Ron achieved this by using old pews from the Claughton URC, in Birkenhead, which had also closed.

Bernie Frost, Manager of the Charles Thompson Mission, expressed his gratitude.

‘Ron has done a fantastic job. The storage racks have revolutionised the way we do things. We had the food stacked on top of each other, but Ron has planned everything and has made shelves, so we can do things properly. It is a real blessing for us. We are so grateful.’

ShelvesBut Ron gives the glory to God: ‘I have been greatly blessed by this project, and the Lord’s has given me guidance throughout, down to every last detail. From concept through to manufacture to polishing and final pick-up and delivery, the Lord’s guidance was there.’

Simon Peters, Project Manager for Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today – the URC’s focus on lifelong missional discipleship commented: ‘This is a great example of what living the life of Jesus is all about. Ron recognised that God had given him a gift and was calling him to use it. Everyone has something they can do to build the kingdom of God in the place and situation where God has placed them. You don’t need to be young, or fit, or well educated, just faithful and willing to serve God.’

 What is God calling you to do as you Walk the Way of Jesus? Please contact us here with your news.