Temple of hope

A Ponders End church group has won praise for its efforts to feed the local community during the pandemic

Members of Gospel Temple Apostolic Church attending the National Diversity Awards in Liverpool on 17th September
Members of Gospel Temple Apostolic Church attending the National Diversity Awards in Liverpool on 17th September (credit Sara Porter)

A charitable church based in Ponders End has been recognised for its contribution to the local community in both Enfield and Tottenham.

The National Diversity Awards, which “celebrates unity in society”, saw Gospel Temple Apostolic Church as one of eight nominated in the community organisation (race, religion and faith) category, recognising individuals and groups that have made “an outstanding contribution to their local community”.

Gospel Temple has been acclaimed for establishing food hubs in Ponders End and Northumberland Park for unemployed, homeless and elderly people. Since the start of the pandemic, demand for the food hubs has risen 50%, with food packages also being delivered to people’s homes when they have been isolating.

Members of the church travelled to Liverpool for the National Diversity Awards ceremony last month, which had been delayed for a year by the pandemic. Gospel Temple’s secretary Ann Waugh said: “Although we didn’t win the award, in the eyes of many we won by getting that far! I was honoured to be part of a movement of people, up and down the UK, dedicated to help, care for and uplift others in need through selfless acts of kindness, compassion and love.

“I witnessed selfless acts by community groups and role models who do not ask for thanks or praise. Just take a moment to think about the knock-on effect this has on the entire UK.

“Millions of lives are being changed for the better because of our collective compassion, courage and ambition to bring hope and a helping hand.”

This year has also seen Gospel Temple pick up the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service − the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK – for its work in Tottenham. It was one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award in 2021.

Reverend Jason Young said: “I am delighted that our volunteers have been recognised for the work that they do each week.

“Originally our work was targeted at a Jamaican audience, but once we opened up our facilities and started sharing with the local community we became embedded. I am truly happy for our volunteers who put in a lot of hard work to make this happen.”