Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of
Walter's Call to Work with the Homeless

A Celebration event took place at Mount   Pleasant I M Church, Spennymoor  at 3 pm on Saturday 19th February 2011 to mark the 20th Anniversary of Walter Wilkinson’s vision for the work amongst the homeless which later became North East Help Link Trust.

Trustees and employees, both past and present, volunteers and supporters gathered in the Wilkinson’s home church to share with the Wilkinson family, which included Walter’s mother Myra and his grandson Leon, and Mount Pleasant congregation in memories of the origins of the work and in appreciation of how this had developed in the intervening years.    Bill Sewell, who has been involved throughout this time, led a beautiful and very personal service in which we thanked God for Walter, Anne, Leanne and Helen and their selfless devotion to the calling which they honoured.  Leanne gave a very personal account of the first evening when Walter and friends went to Newcastle for the first time to find those he’d been inspired to seek out and help.

Personal memories of Walter were given by Trustees Jean Cansfield, Carl Heron and Sheila Heron.  Jim McMaster, of Bensham Gospel Hall, Gateshead, who is also a Prison Chaplain, spoke of a shared mission to the homeless.  He described his first meeting with Walter in Blandford Square and spoke movingly of the continuing need which is still evident there at the Sunday evening kitchen. 

The members of the congregation were invited to leave a written memory for inclusion in a scrap book of the occasion.  Greetings from supporters unable to attend will also be included.  The retiring offering will be used by Lifeline Christian Ministry, Leanne’s work in Middlesbrough on Sunday evenings.

This was a moving occasion when a wide range of people met with a single intention: to thank God for a remarkable family and their faithful fulfilling of God’s calling.

Walter and Anne’s favourite   hymns were sung and passages of scripture  from 1 Corinthians 13 and Matthew 25 vv 31 - 40 were read. 

Click on any of the thumbnails, or click here for video.