If you are reading this blog, you will clearly have some knowledge of The Besom in York, which is part of a UK-wide network, but have you got the full picture? As well as sharing stories of how God is at work in York, we thought it would be good to give an overview of the Besom – and include the video above.
Much of this entry stems from Saturday’s national Besom conference in London, which proved a really encouraging time. But before we go any further, you may be wondering about the name Besom. I did before I got involved. A besom is basically an old-fashioned broom made from twigs – hence the strapline ‘sweep away suffering’.
How does the sweeping work? The Besom provides a bridge between those who want to give money, time, skills or things, and those who are in need. It ensures what is given is used effectively. The service it provides is free.
Therefore, the Besom is focused on givers and helping them follow God’s command to care for those in need.
James Odgers, the Besom’s founder, said: “We seek to assist the church, the body of Christ, to become or become again the first place to which a person thinks of turning.
“Besom helps the church to get out to people in need around them.”
James founded the Besom in 1987 and there are now more than 30 local Besoms around the UK. The nearest to us in York are those in Ryedale and Sheffield.
The Besom has grown and evolved much in the last 28 years, but prayer and reliance on God still underpin all that we do.
James said: “We don’t worry that God won’t provide for the work he calls us to.
“We pray in our finances and never ask for money. Of course, he is bound to provide.”
The Besom is openly a Christian charity and we seek to share the gospel of Jesus in all that we do. We are not simply about social action, but acting in response to the love God has shown us.
James said: “It is offensive to proclaim the good news without demonstrating it. It is a waste of time to demonstrate the good news without proclaiming it.
The Besom, therefore, has a clear vision and one bible verse that sums it up really well is Matthew 25 v 40. Jesus tells his followers how they can serve him by serving others.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”