Double joy for vicar as Tamworth Co-op funeral staff rally round

Staff at Tamworth Co-op’s funeral home in Upper Gungate rounded off a charity drive which started before Christmas by handing out cheques totalling £500 to a local clergyman.

Reverend Vic Van Den Bergh, resident minister at St Francis’ in Leyfields, received two amounts of £250 on behalf of St Editha’s Church and the town’s Christian Starfish Project. The latter provides four drop-in centres for vulnerable people across the Tamworth area.

After accepting the money from the staff, Rev Van den Bergh said the donations were particularly welcome as the pandemic has impacted on the coffers of both causes.

Vicar receiving cheque from Tamworth Co-op funeral staff
Rev Vic Van Den Bergh receives the cheques from Tamworth Co-op funeral staff (l-r) Cath Scott, Rebecca Shields and Jo-Anne Walsh.

“This will help to keep the lights on at St Editha’s and in the case of Starfish will directly benefit people who need it the most.”

The board of directors of Tamworth Co-operative Society decided to make a special award as its Christmas Memorial Concert was unable to go ahead in December.

“A collection would have been made on the night for both St Editha’s and Starfish and the Society decided to make up the money,” explained Glen Speak, deputy general manager of Tamworth Co-op’s funeral division.

Rev Van Den Bergh said the funeral staff were following a tradition of giving back to the community which could be traced back to the days of the Society’s founder, Rev William MacGregor.

“It’s still very much a local, independent organisation and its ethos follows along similar Christian values as laid down by Rev MacGregor well over a hundred years ago.”

The spate of fundraising at the Upper Gungate funeral premises was dubbed The Five Days of Christmas. Staff engaged in a number of voluntary activities including the donation of dog food to a local RSPCA animal shelter.  They also supported an initiative started by Rev Van Den Bergh of providing Christmas Day meals for the lonely and needy.

The vicar, his wife Wendy and their team of volunteer helpers prepared and delivered 70 festive meals, which were also enjoyed by people isolating due to Covid restrictions. The branch supported their efforts by handing over 40 boxes of cakes.

The funeral team also rallied round to provide food for Tamworth Foodbank and survival bags for the town’s homeless containing numerous items such as hats and scarves.














Glen Speak-

Glen Speak M.B.I.E. General Manager of Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors which was established in 1905. All members abide by the NAFD Funeral Promise.

“By choosing us, you can be assured that the funeral is a fitting farewell to your loved one at a price you are comfortable with, that we will treat you and your loved one with respect at all times, and act with integrity. We will seek to fulfil any special wishes and requests.”

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