A VICAR has become a bus driver in a bid to support a community in Dewsbury.
It’s part of Reverend Neil Walpole’s ‘Destination 211’ project which will see a group of volunteers provide drop-in help sessions on a double-decker bus parked up in Chickenley.
Rev Walpole, an assistant curate with Dewsbury Team Parish, came up with the idea of converting an old bus into a place where people can pop in for a chat and a coffee.
With the help of Calderdale Methodist Church and its similar ‘Busoasis’ scheme the double-decker bus has been transformed into a cafe and will be kept at Dewsbury’s Arriva bus depot until it is needed for the sessions on a Wednesday afternoon. He will take it to the car park of The Crown pub in Chickenley at 2pm, across from Orchard Primary.
He said: “I envision that parents will drop in as they’re waiting for children to finish and afterwards bring children across. It would be really good to see people who come from difficult backgrounds empowered to live life in a positive way.”
Rev Walpole (pictured) wants to introduce a young adults service to help with issues like drug addiction and mental health, plus religious education lessons for children, rolling it out into other areas of Dewsbury. Volunteers have been trained with funding from the parish and the Bishop’s Development Fund. He explained the ‘Destination 211’ name: “Revelations 211 talks about a new heaven and a new earth where there is no more crime or pain because those things have been wiped away.
“The vision is really to be a listening ear, to be a place where tears can be shed freely but wiped away, to give people hope where there is no hope.”
The bus will be on site in Chickenley next Wednesday from 2pm.