Christian group reaches out to help

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A Christian group in Sutton Bridge is taking its work into the community by sharing worship with the elderly in residential homes.

Founded a year and five months ago, Sutton Connect is going into the village’s Nene Lodge and has been invited to a home near Holbeach to take Christian worship to people too frail to attend traditional church services.

Sandro Dallas outside his 'church' , called Sutton Connect,  which meets at The Curlew Centre.

Sandro Dallas outside his 'church' , called Sutton Connect, which meets at The Curlew Centre.

Sutton Connect isn’t a name that readily says “church” and its leader, Sandro Dallas, doesn’t give himself a title.

He says: “I am just one of us. I don’t call myself anything. I suppose people would see me as a pastor. I am someone who wants to help other people.”

Sutton Connect meets at The Curlew Centre, in Bridge Road, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm on Sundays and there’s a branch of Urban Saints for younger people at the same time.

Sandro (42) said: “I suppose when people think of a church they think of a more traditional type of church, they think of a building, maybe a cold building.

“This is really the reason we gave it the name Sutton Connect. We wanted people to understand it’s a lot more about relationships, about connection, about helping each other. That’s the reason so far we haven’t called it a church because it gives the wrong connotations.”

He describes Sutton Connect as “a living organism”.

Meetings involve tea, coffee, snacks and chat – and a thought for the week, “something that’s relevant to people”.

Sandro said: “We help people who are going through emotional difficulties, family difficulties and sometimes people who just want to have a connection with others and want to find a real meaning to life.”

Brazilian born Sandro came to the UK aged 18 and says he now feels more English than Brazilian because he is so well accepted here.

Sandro and his wife, Claire, gave up successful careers to work for a few years in Brazil, where they lent money for business start-ups and owned a school, but returned to the UK with their children Anna (12) and John (10) in 2009, settling in West Lynn.

They became involved in King’s Lynn Christian Fellowship and Sutton Connect grew from that.