Simple actions lead to unlikely friendships

From Jesus and Zacchaeus right through to the tiny kitten and the huge dog, we all love the story of an unlikely friendship. To mark Friendship Day (30 July), here’s one of ours.

Our story begins with one man, Gerry Edwardson.

Enthusiastic and energetic, Gerry is a changemaker. He has a desire to see a more just and sustainable world, but understands the power of community to bring about change.

Gerry joined the Tearfund ACT Community last year. He took part in a training weekend with other like-minded people and then headed back to his home community in Northwood.

As he began to have intentional conversations and spend time listening, the unlikely friendships developed. From hedgehog homes to bug hotels, Holy Trinity Northwood began making plans to become an Eco Church.

‘The response was humbling, particularly from people who are on the fringe of the church,’ shares Gerry. ‘One delightful lady, whom I have never spoken with, was very definite that we should make homes for hedgehogs. A second lady offered a bird feeder and bird seed.’

A young mum offered a bug home that had been made by her son. A family researched a plan for constructing bird boxes and then offered to resource and guide construction. An older couple offered to research toilet twinning.’

Throughout the year the group have gained a Bronze Eco Church award, held a green communion, twinned their church toilet, built many friendships within their own church and another local church, and even organised a meeting at their church with their MP.

‘The ACT Community is one of the most exciting things that I have been involved with in recent years,’ says Gerry. ‘The model for the community has encouraged me to think wider and deeper and then to develop my thoughts into actions. Lots of people have become involved – people on the very edge of the church have found their voice. As a church, we have looked upwards and outwards.’

It has been a wonderful opportunity to see what God is doing and to follow in His footsteps.

Gerry’s story is an exciting glimpse into what is possible when we use our prophetic imagination for God’s world and when we work together.

Why not join the Action Community this year, you never know who you might start an unlikely friendship with, find out more here.