Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

Last week our central heating suddenly started playing up. It kept overheating, then turned itself off and needed re-setting. This quick fix only worked for a couple of days and by Thursday it was giving up on me. Just as the unseasonably warm November weather turned colder.

A frantic ring-around of gas engineers was bringing no joy (everyone busy or just not answering) but the whole experience has reminded me just how important being warm is. I work a lot from home - that brings an added level of challenge when you're cold and can hardly type because of cold fingers. I have 2 young children - bath-times aren't much fun when it's cold and a baby that kicks off blankets could easily wake up as the house gets steadily colder over a few days. You need to eat more (or feel you do) when you're cold as you burn off more calories just trying to keep warm.

We are the lucky ones. Our heating hasn't been fixed yet but seems to have temporarily fixed itself, and in any case, if things had got really bad, we would have decamped to my parent's house. Also, we are able to afford the £70 needed to replace the temperamental parts in our boiler.

Many people in the UK aren't so lucky.

Those who must turn the heating off because they can't afford it are also going to be struggling with their food budgets. They won't be eating more to keep warm. Their clothing may also be threadbare so not providing much help either. I find being cold makes everything an uphill struggle and just adds more stress to life. You also feel more lethargic, and hiding under the covers to get some warmth soon turns into sleep instead. Life is harder.

There are many Acts 435 beneficiaries who need help with electricity and gas, or heating oil or coal. Others need help to repair boilers. This Christmas, let's give them the gift of warmth. I had forgotten just what a wonderful gift that is.