A Hay and Banchory Parish help the homeless during lockdown

Clan Hay member Angus Hay, who lives near the Kincardineshire town of Banchory, is a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a leading light in his local Catholic church.  Here, we report on just one example of how a Hay has been contributing to his community during the Coronavirus crisis.

Greg Sloan, Angus Hay and Charlene Morgan

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Colomba’s in the Parish of Banchory has continued supplying food and other items to the homeless and others in need, following the lockdown period of the Covid crisis – always maintaining safe and social distancing throughout.

Angus Hay, a local Parishioner and a member of the Order of Malta (seen in the centre of the accompanying picture) initiated and led the arrangements and organisation of the project, and says:  “Our Banchory Parish of St. Colomba’s had over the last two years, provided monthly hot meals for the homeless in St. Mary’s Cathedral.  We had to rethink this operation when the project ceased as a result of the COVID lockdown, as it would not have been possible to enforce safe social distancing at that time.  However, this obstacle did not hold back the parishioners, who wished to find an alternative way of continuing to help provide food and household items for the homeless.

"I contacted the Co-op Store, (the Hill of Banchory Branch), and identified that they were willing to generously provide us with surplus food items on a daily basis. They are collected and stored and then delivered twice weekly to the cathedral, where they are distributed to the Homeless by the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the St. Andrew’s Community.

“In addition, parishioners responded to requests from the St. Andrew’s Community (resident in the cathedral) with donations of additional household and hygiene items, along with food.”

Social distancing is observed at all times. The project is a good example of partnership work between the St. Columba’s Parish, the St. Andrew’s Community and the St. Vincent de Paul Society as well as the Co-op….all of whom cooperate in the distribution of items to the Homeless/Needy in one way or another.

As illustrated in the photograph, face masks are worn when and where necessary, and are kindly supplied to both the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the St.  Andrew’s Community by local seamstress Martine Blair, who lives near Aboyne.

We would be very interested to hear stories from other Hays worldwide, of how they have responded to these strange times we are living through.