A COLLABORATION of churches in Southampton are pulling together to support charities, businesses and the council.

Love Southampton is a joint venture with churches that have been working with Southampton City Council since last year to focus on the specific needs and challenges of people living in the city.

Their ethos is that they love their neighbours, communicate efficiently with those serving the city and bring together motivated people to focus on areas in need.

Love Southampton has been focusing on organisations involving fostering and adoption, children and families, youth provision, housing, hardship and poverty for the past year.

The organisation recently held an event to pray for the city’s progress during 2014.

Hundreds of people from church denominations and Christian projects attended and 26 Christian organisations were represented on the evening, including Southampton Street Pastors and Southampton City Mission.

The event welcomed contributions from various church bodies, including a performance by Covenant Life Ministries Gospel Choir.

Their pastor, Dr John Paul Oddoye, explained: “Currently Love Southampton has working groups focused on youth provision, hardship, housing, children and families, creative solutions and fostering and adoption.”

Love Southampton supports projects in the City like the Southampton Street Pastors.

Mandy Harding, from the Street Pastors, said: “We already have 100 people from more than 40 different churches serving as street pastors who have given so far more than 24,000 hours on the streets.”

The Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost, said: “Love Southampton is for me a joy to be part of. It’s the Christian community turned outwards to the city in partnership, humility and compassion, seeking the good of everyone.”