MEMBERS of a York church have launched plans for a citywide scheme to recapture what it means to be a good neighbour.

Parishioners at St Michael le Belfrey Church are hoping to buck the trend of “contemporary living” by reaching out a helping hand to people in need.

Belfrey Neighbours is a project that will look to link up church members with those needing practical help during the coming months.

Edith Kirkwood, 21, from Tang Hall Lane, who is part of the scheme, said: “As a university student I have more time on my hands than some people. I want to use that time well. I’m away from my family in South Wales and I’d like to think people would help them if they were ever in need.

“Being a part of a church is about being a part of a family in many ways.”

Staff at the church are hoping the project leads to lasting friendships between neighbours as well as meeting the needs of York residents.

Head of operations Mark Rance said: “It’s no secret that at as Christians we are called to love our neighbours. However, the days when homeowners could leave their doors open at night and everyone in the street was on first-name terms, have gone.

"We live in a culture where many people don’t even know if their neighbours are struggling with a practical situation in the home. Here at the Belfrey we want to be part of changing that.”

Residents will be encouraged to contact the church with their practical needs so the congregation can send the nearest Belfrey Neighbour.

The project is set to get off the ground in the coming months, with talks of a partnership with Age UK in the pipeline.

For more information on the Belfrey Neighbours scheme, phone the church office on 01904 624190 or email