Fundraising support for churches during COVID-19 and beyond

Ecclesiastical Insurance

During these difficult times Ecclesiastical Insurance  in collaboration with fundraising specialists, the Philanthropy Company, have put together really helpful advice and support resources to help you to fundraise for your church community.

Top tips

First of all there is a checklist of top tips for how to begin fundraising. A link to this page can be found here. You will also find a link to various databases of funders and emergency grant funders on that page. There is a search function which could help you to identify a potential funder. Some databases are free and others are available if you pay a subscription.

Build your case

Secondly, once you have decided who you are going to apply to for funding you will need to build a strong case in your application form. This will include:

  • a strong vision of what you want to achieve
  • a breakdown of costs
  • a plan of how you are going to monitor and evaluate the impact of your project.

A more comprehensive checklist can be found be found on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/application-checklist/

There is also a handy guidance sheet that you can use to help you to write your case if you are new to fundraising.

Outputs and outcomes – what’s the difference?

Finally, you will need to have a clear understanding on some of the key terms used by funders when you apply and when you report back on how the funds have helped your target group. This includes understanding the difference between an output ( the resources used by your church to help others e.g. a new youth worker) and an outcome ( e.g. young people are less isolated). Ecclesiastical Insurance explain this brilliantly on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/outputs-outcomes/

A free webinar which lasts for around 30 minutes which goes over these points can be viewed on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/fundraising-webinar/

A final word…

Funders like to see collaboration and partnership. Before you get going on your fundraising make sure that no one else is already doing something similar in your area. Or, if you come across other organisations working with a similar group of people, can you offer something different to that fills a gap? For example, if you want to reduce the isolation of older people can you work in local partnership with other denominations or organisations to complement each other’s work?

 

 

Welcome to MITE – Mission in the Edges

Diocese of Guildford Logo

What is MITE?

MITE stands for Mission In The Edges – it is a deliberate play on the story of the Widows mite from Luke’s Gospel:

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’

Widow's mite

We are a group of Clergy in the diocese of Guildford who meet together 3-4 times a year to share the joys and sorrows of working in and with more deprived communities in the diocese around Surrey and Hampshire.

Sometimes it may feel like we have little to offer and yet we have a huge contribution to make to the life of the diocese – in presence and prophetically reminding that we must take the poor seriously.

We talk about all kinds of topics that affect us from encouraging vocations and making diocesan training more accessible to people with differing levels of education, to what works in services when you have no one to help or do any children’s work and what version of the bible is best understood. How to be resourceful with little.

We share resources that we find useful and helpful and try to learn from each other what things make a difference in our ministries. We connect with different diocesan departments and try to keep the hidden poor in Surrey and Hampshire visible and heard.

We celebrate together the joys of church where you never quite know what the day will bring and the frustration at the systems and injustices that keep people in poverty. We encourage each other to keep on going because our successes and triumphs can be fragile – hard won and easily lost.

One key thing we have been working on after our diocesan conference  with Bishop Phillip North, is trying to find ways to enable wealthier churches to join in with us in ways that will enrich both parties – and to this end we hope that we will be able to feed some of this work – a manifesto if you like into the diocese- born out of our experience.

We are also Part of the National Estate Churches Network. https://estatechurches.org/

If your parish covers an area that has 500 units of social housing and we can help you in any way please do get in touch.

Our Diocesan contact is Danny Wignall  in the PDE dept. Danny.Wignall@cofeguildford.org.uk

Or Kirsten Rosslyn-Smith Vicar St Peter’s Shared Church  kirsten.rs@btinternet.com

The Street Connectors

Firs & Bromford Estate

Our featured blog this Friday is from the Street Connectors on the Firs & Bromford estate on the outskirts of Birmingham, near Spaghetti Junction.

The Street Connectors blog tells the story of how local people and street connectors are connecting people, places, ideas, skills, talents, hopes and dreams. The Street Connector programme is a local partnership between the Open Doors Community Foundation and Firs & Bromford Neighbours together.

Paul Wright coordinates and supports the project as a Street Connector Mentor. People who live on the estate take the lead and do the connecting for themselves.

Firs & Bromford Estate

Bumping places and creating community

On the Our Stories of Connecting tab you will find stories about what people can give and what people are passionate about. These are in the ‘bumping places’ where people might encounter one another as well as the public spaces such as the Village Green in the above photo. The stories are beautifully set out and easy to navigate your way around, illustrated with lots of pictures which show the strength of the community bonds. The whole idea is about being with not doing for neighbours, recognising the treasure of gifts and talents that are already present in the community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an extra dimension to consider when connecting people on the estate. After all, the whole point of the Street Connectors is to reduce social distancing! Some of the questions that the Street Connectors are still grappling with include:

“How does physical distancing not mean goodbye, farewell, and separation, but promote news ways of presence, closeness, lovingness, and nearness?

How does social isolation not mean loneliness, segregation, and seclusion, but would require new ways of thinking through radical inclusion, solidarity, and mutual support?”

More than ever this means focusing on what is strong within the community, not on ‘what is wrong’ when people have been told to shield because they are vulnerable. The first blog reflecting on how to respond as a neighbour to COVID-19 can be read here. More recent blogs reflect on some extraordinarily creative responses, the joy and the momentum generated in finding new ways to be present to one another, and the lament when something goes wrong. There are also stories of continuing resilience and hope too which can be found on https://streetconnector.com/ourstories/

English My Way

Learning English

English My Way is a programme designed specifically for people living in the UK, whose English language abilities are below Entry Level 1.

The aim is to help adults who have very little or no English language skills to become a part of their local communities. The course can be taught through a mix of tutor-led sessions, on-line learning and a volunteer group activity. You can read more about English My Way here.

There are all sorts of teaching and learning materials including lesson plans, flashcards, assessments and short videos of everyday scenarios. These can be downloaded on https://www.englishmyway.co.uk/teaching-materials 

Topics include the neighbourhood, catching a bus, a child’s school, looking after your health, phoning an ambulance, going to the dentist and going to a job interview. The situations are very practical. For example, one video is about learning how to return a faulty product from the market.

Now that some churches are getting the hang of using Zoom, it would be possible for a tutor to teach remotely too if necessary. The courses can be run at a pace suitable for the local group.

English language class

Finally from the English My Way blog page look out for the lovely video of an enterprising Muslim lady and her friend who prepare their market stall for the first time and use their language skills to interact with the customers. There are lots of other video stories on the blog too.

e3 TV

Joe Hasler’s blog on working class culture and estates ministry

Bristol Estate

 

This Friday we introduce the blog of estates priest and practitioner, Joe Halser at http://www.joehasler.co.uk/

Joe grew up in a working class area in South London and  worked for 17 years as a community development worker and has been an Anglican priest for 25 years on estates in Birmingham, Essex, Liverpool and Bristol. His Masters research is on Mission and Working Class Culture.

Firstly, there is a lot of rich reflection from Joe on the experiences of people in his community in Lockleaze, Bristol, as people gradually discern their gifts and what God is calling them to do. The documents on Joe’s reflections can all be downloaded from his website. An example you might want to look at here is

1. Accidental beginnings lead to core issues  This document tells the story of how the community began to identify the first of its local leaders. The other documents reflect on whether this process was specific to that particular estate or whether it was a journey that other parishes and communities could consider adopting or learning from.

Ideas for Liturgy and Learning on Estates

Joe generously shares plans he has developed for services which can take place outside the church building and are physically interactive. These can be found by clicking here.

He has also developed a Christian Basics course specifically for people on estates. He sensitively points out barriers to learning such as negative experiences at school and has designed the resources so that they can be accessed by anyone who has difficulty with reading.  The focus is very much on the physical presence of Jesus. These can be downloaded here.

Theological Models of Community Development

If you are a community worker or church leader on an estate you might want to take a look at Joe’s Theological Resources for Community Development

The brilliant thing about these papers is that Joe links perspectives drawn from liberation, feminist and Black theology to reflections on real experiences of communities working together to address serious issues. He goes into thorough detail about the reasons why concerns from people on estates have not been listened to by the local council and how people respond. An example is when children are seriously hurt and hospitalised by fast moving traffic on a dual carriageway.

The hope is that despite the injustice of power structures which appear to brush the cry of the poor under the carpet, changes can be made because people have risen up and asked for basic human rights like road safety and adequate housing to be taken seriously.

For anyone who sees their role in the community as a calling and a ministry, not just as a job or a place where they happen to be living, there is much food for thought in Joe’s writing to chew on.

Church Related Community Work in the United Reformed Church

United Reformed Church logo

 

Church Related Community Work is a distinctive and recognised ministry within the United Reformed Church and Church Related Community Workers play a vital role in the denomination’s community involvement. URC CRCWs are called by God, professionally and theologically trained and then commissioned to help the church to live out its calling.

If you are a member of the URC and feel called to ministering to your community you can read more about the role and the meet some past and present CRCWs on https://urc.org.uk/become-a-crcw/19-ministries/church-related-community-work.html

The United Reformed Church website also shares some very handy links to organisations that provide project development grants and funding on https://urc.org.uk/community-funding.html

Why Resource Christian Community Action?

Christian Community Action

In this era of living with a global pandemic Christians will be considering how to meet increased social needs in our local communities.

A great resource to guide you and your church is Resourcing Christian Community Action. Although this is run by the Church of England, the questions to think about before starting a community project, guidelines for managing costs, volunteers, assessing community needs and so on are applicable to any community-based organisation.

Why should Christians bother with social action?

First of all, the key commandment in our religion is to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39)

Linked with this is the duty to seek the common good because every human being is of intrinsic value and loved by God. We are also created to be in relationship with God, one another and the rest of creation.

“The pursuit of the common good is an aspect of personal discipleship but also part of God’s calling to the social and political structures.”

Malcolm Brown, ‘Church of England and the Common Good Today’

We will be held to account for how we show concern for our neighbours by God.

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)

If you would like to read more Christian teaching on social action you can click here.

Questions to consider before starting a project

So you have an idea for meeting a need in your local neighbourhood. It might be starting a foodbank, a job club, a youth group, a well-being activity for older people to prevent social isolation, as examples. A wider range of examples of community projects can be seen by clicking on Range of Activities.

The How tab on the Resourcing Christian Community Action website has links to all sorts of issues you will need to consider. For example, questions to consider include:

  • Have you got the support of your PCC?
  • What evidence do you have that you can meet local need for funders and/or potential partners?
  • Have you checked that noone else is already doing what you have in mind?
  • What will you need?
  • How will you measure success?

Resourcing Christian Action also has some excellent templates which can be used for planning how you will recruit and manage volunteers, how to measure and evidence the outcome of a project or service for funders and trustees steps to take if setting up a new charity or non-profit organisation

Community Activity

Further help

Finally, Resourcing Christian Community Action also lists links to all sorts of local, regional and national organisations which can offer further support.

If  you would like more ideas to facilitate a discussion with your church or local community feel free to download this PowerPoint ResourcingChristianCommunityActionv2

Christians Against Poverty launch resources page in response to COVID-19

CAP logo

Christians Against Poverty is a charity which equips churches to help people come out of poverty.

They have gathered a number of resources to help churches resource our communities as the impact of COVID-19 begins to be felt with rising levels of poverty. This includes

  • Information on Government and industry support
  • Signposting to organisations providing additional specialist support, for individuals and churches
  • Practical advice on how to serve those in need in your community, starting with our new project: Pathways out of Poverty

On their Resources for churches page you will find advice from experts on areas like Universal Credit, debt management and mental health.

A bit about Christians Against Poverty

No one should feel isolated or frightened about how to pay bills and feed themselves and their family because they have no money. It is really horrible! Anyone who has had any financial concerns will tell you how worrying and isolating it is.

CAP’s mission is to restore hope through partnership with churches across the UK. They now have over 300  people working to advise front-line workers all over the country on how to support people trapped in poverty. You can read more about their work here.

CAP also have several videos of people who have been helped to get out of debt which show that with the right support this can be done. If you know anyone worried about their finances get them to have a look at these.

“Always through the Church. Always hope.”

For more information about Christians Against Poverty visit https://capuk.org/

Urban Ministry support from New Wine

New WIne

New Wine is a network of different Christian denominations which empowers and equips Christian leaders to spread the good news of God’s Kingdom.  Learning materials can be adapted to suit local situations.

During the pandemic Christians from the network have kept in touch with each other and have shared inspiring stories of how they have led people to Jesus by phone conversations or through another device. You can read the latest blog here.

Leadership Network and Urban Ministry

Church leaders can join the New Wine Leadership Network for free. Support offered by the network includes

  • Pastoral prayer
  • Regional connections and support
  • Training and coaching
  • Mentoring

Your focus would continue to be on your local community.

New Wine also offers specific support to you if you minister in an inner city or an outer estate through events, resources and local support.

Do get in touch with Andrew Jolley if your heart is with urban ministry on https://www.new-wine.org/network/urban-ministry

‘This estate we’re in’ by Al Barrett

This Estate We're In

From time to time it is good to stimulate  ideas and our own theological reflections on living and working as communities on estates and urban areas. This is especially important at the moment when face-to-face meetings are limited due to COVID-19.

In this section of our blog we hope to signpost you to other excellent blogs by estate churches leaders and practitioners.

Our first estate church leader we’d like to introduce you to is Al Barrett, an Anglican priest and dad who has been living in Hodge Hill on the edge of East Birmingham since 2010.

Al’s blog, ‘This estate we’re in’ is a theological reflection of day-to-day life on an urban outer estate in the West midlands.

It is beautifully crafted and contains  honest thoughts and feelings about our common experience, ideas for praying for the community, even if you are still unable to go out, prayers, poems, artwork from estates and extensive recommended reading where appropriate. Al also helpfully lists other really good blogs he follows which you might find useful for further ideas and future conversations.

Some of the liturgy to pray with have been composed with the aid of Ruth Harley, who is currently training for ordained ministry at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, with a call to living on estates.

As a taster, have a look at Al’s recent post, Living through liminal times

This post is about living through the wilderness experience of the pandemic, the pain involved and a call to explore new possibilities in these uncertain times. We’re giving away no more spoilers on here…you will just have to check out his blog for yourself!

Virus as Portal