How to create a phone number which plays podcasts and sermons

Coronavirus: Create A Phone Number Which Plays Podcasts or Sermon Recordings Over the Phone

If a lot of your parishioners can’t access the internet this handy link above gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own own phone-line. Its free for people to ring.

Getting Creative with Good News

Brunswick Parish Church in Manchester have been sharing how they have been creative in keeping the church community going.

Cake Fairies

One way they have been reaching is by the Cake Fairies delivering cakes to elderly or vulnerable people. You can read more about this story on this link–events/the-cake-fairies-have-been-at-it-again

‘Altogether Church’ services are running via Zoom on Sundays which you can find out how to join if you click here

Junior and Senior Sunday School and the Young People’s group have kept going thanks to some brilliant resources made for home use. If you would like to find out more about these and to watch a great homemade movie visit–events/sunday-school-continues-just-not-necessarily-on-sunday

Brunswick Parish Church are also doing lot of ‘Mission With stuff such as hosting free takeaway hot meals supplied by ‘Feed My City’ (‘Brunswick Beestro’) and have individuals involved with Ardwick Mutual Aid Group.

For more details visit–events#

Creative Church

How is your church responding to COVID-19 on your estate? What good news have you to share about how God is at work in your community? Please do get in touch with us as we would love to hear your story and to put it out there.

London Estates Churches and Estates Mission – Zoom Gathering Tuesday 12 May 10.30am to 12 noon

At this time of needing to change and adapt quickly it seems somewhat of a blessing to be leading a “rubber dingy” of an estates church, that’s super flexible, even if it does leave you feeling rather vulnerable. I’m very keen to hear from others in similar situations what’s working, what’s not and your concerns moving forward, in addition to hearing what God is saying to us collectively, that we may need to give voice to together as we look to the future.
If you’re interested in joining in with this encouraging and non-competitive 90min Zoom Gathering, please email Ash Chafe at for the log on details.
London Estates Churches


The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups during this period.

For more details visit:

Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

EXTERNAL FUNDING (20-4-2020) Covid-19 Crisis Response


  • Birmingham City Council

Grants up to £10,000 for community grants to help children and families

  • Greggs Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

Grants up to £500 for food parcel support

  • Halifax Foundation

Grants from £1,000 – £50,000 for Community Group Activities and Benefits (Covid-19 activities prioritised)      community-at-this-time-of-crisis-will-be-prioritised-and-turned-around-as-quickly-as-possible?mc_cid=33a4718109&mc_eid=e1e7976521

  • Antonio Carluccio Foundation

Grants up to £10,000 to agencies operating in the food industry

  • Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust – COVID Early Years Preventative Work

Grants up to £5,000 for charities working with children 0-3 -year olds – Closing date 28th April

  • Persimmon – Community Champions

   Grants up to £1000 to support the over 70’s

  • HEART OF ENGLAND – £1,500

Name of Fund: Coronavirus Resilience Fund

  • John Lewis Partnership (UK)

Name of Fund: Community Support Fund (details ongoing)

  • Arts Council England

Name of Fund: Covid-19 Support to organizations and individuals (details ongoing)

  • Heritage Emergency Fund (three to six-month duration)

Organizations can access over the next three-six months as short-term funding to stabilize operations and manage       unforeseen risks.

  • Sport England Emergency Fund

To help community sport and physical activity organizations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

  • Cloth Workers Foundation

Small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services

  • Cadent Foundation –

CLOSES 31st May – (open for general community projects including Covid 19 activities)

  • Crisis Homeless Fund

Grants of £5,000 for short term responses & £50,000 for long term needs on expansion or change in service delivery

  • Elton John Aids Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund (Closing date 23rd April)

Aims to support lifesaving interventions to help mitigate adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV response efforts   

  • Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust

           Grants to help parents & carers who have worked in the UK. fashion or textile industry & whose household income has reduced due to coronavirus outbreak


  • Help Musicians UK

Applications of £500. to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians are currently facing due to their mounting household expenses.

  • Princes Trust and Natwest

To help young entrepreneurs (18-30) across the UK to keep their businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Tesco’s Bags of Help – Covid 19 Communities Fund

£500 for organocations that support vulnerable residents

  • Thomas Pocklington Trust – Emergency Covid19 Support

Charities dealing with blind or partially sighted clients. Grants up to £10,000 to include new initiatives or core costs up to two months running costs

  • LeatherSellers Company

Grants up to £3,000 for projects on homelessness, food provision, domestic abuse, nursing care

  • The Yap Charitable Trust

Grants up to £3,000 for Charities with an income below £40,000 per annum

  • Local Giving

Grants up to £500 for organizations to provide physical activity (including remotely)

  • Neighbourly Fund

Only open to current Neighbourly Members. Grants up to £400 for neighborhoods affected by the Covid Virus

  • The Raft Foundation

Only Open to current recipients. Grants up to £5,000 to enable group resilience through the current crisis

  • Standard Life Foundation

Only Open to current recipients (or previous applicants) Grants from £5,000+ on financial inclusion

  • Youth Futures Foundation

Ongoing, long term support for youth employment. Grants for £30,000- £800,000

The biggest of the local funders such as Big Lottery / Sport England / Tudor Trust / Esmee Fairbairn/ Henry   Smith / Comic Relief, have all offered assurances that their funding will be flexible in the current crisis. Groups in receipt of funding should contact their respective Project Officers


  • NCVO



NAT WEST – Loans up to £5,000,000 interest free for first 12 months

BIG SOCIETY CAPITAL- – £100m to be released



  • CAF Coronavirus Fund – Applications up to £10,000

  • Youth Music Network

To offer additional support to music making organizations. Grants up to £10,00 (first round closing date 9th April)

  • UFI Charitable Trust (UK)

Name of Fund:  VocTech Now (To assist Vocational Training Providers to Digital   – Closing date – 6th April 2020      


  • WM Funders Network




  • NCVO


       Neighbourhood Development and Support Unit


Ministry and Mission through You Tube and Zoom

Below are some of the ways in which leaders on the estates have been reaching out to their congregations during the COVID-19 lockdown.

I’m putting a service online as a Youtube playlist, with my videos interspersed with songs and hymns that are already on there, avoiding copyright issues or anyone having to listen to my singing. I’m finding that the music and the sermon are the two things that people are appreciating. If anyone can’t video, then putting together a Youtube playlist of music may be very much appreciated by congregations.

Jeremy Fagan

Much of ministry has now gone online – with Zoom being flavour of the month for most of us.  Here in Harlow that means that we are working with other churches a bit more closely – with talk of sharing worship resources through recorded songs and the like.
Pastoral care involves telephone calls, emails or text messages – whatever works for most effectively keeping in touch.  And we are drowning in advice, support and resources about effectively going online.
As a plus – perhaps at the end of this some of us may choose not to give up on our online presence.  If we have built up a following, perhaps we will continue to live-stream, only this time involving a congregation as well as the solitary service leader in a room.
Virtual meetings, on a more practical note – may be a good way forward for NECN.  We could gather people from different parts of the country without the need for any of us to leave our communities.  For busy Estate Ministers there is a time for gathering, and being encouraged, but there is also a time for staying put – but maybe still having an hour to fellowship with other Estate Ministers.  What about a Zoom fellowship for folk from different parts of the country but similar contexts?

from Darren McIndoe in Harlow

If you have any more ideas of what is working with your church communities please do get in touch, We would love to hear from you.

Diddy Disciples

Diddy Disciples
Diddy Disciples has:
– 6.45pm Compline led by children @DiddyDisciples on Facebook
– Diddy Disciples Podcasts: Bible Storytelling and Prayer at
– Good Friday Storytelling Resources at
– As more resources gather, they will be signposted on Facebook and TwitterDiddyDisciples@DiddyDisciples

What  does it mean to be a Church on the Margins in a time of coronavirus? 

A weekly space for shared reflection in these challenging times
2pm Thursday, for the next 4 weeks (2, 9, 16 and 23 April)

These are extraordinary times for all of us, but what does it mean to be a ‘church on the margins’ and to seek to be attentive to and inclusive of those on margins of society in the current crisis?

We are not offering any answers, but simply a space to reflect together with others on these challenging times, on our own hopes and fears, on the practical and theological issues thrown up by the crisis, and what it means for church, discipleship, ministry and spirituality to be a ‘Church on the Margins’ at this current time.

Each session will start with a short reflection, but mostly be spent in small groups sharing together our own experiences, thoughts and reflections on these questions.

The event will take place via Zoom. You can participate via any internet enabled device with a microphone (laptop, tablet, phone etc) – or simply over the phone. Once you have signed up via Eventbrite, we will send you a link or a phone number that will allow you to take part.

Sign up for one session, or for the whole series. Dip in and give it a go!

Whilst it is possible to participate in Zoom calls from a normal phone, we are also exploring the possibility of holding separate phone-based conversations that could be accessed free of charge from a phone – further details of this in due course.  

An invitation

Are you a church leader, community worker
or mission practitioner wondering what social distancing means for your work?
Are you wondering how others are coping?
If so, here’s an opportunity to connect and reflect together.
On Thursday 26th March at 8pm, we invite you to join us for a ‘Virtual Cuppa’; an online conversation to reflect on our physical, emotional and theological responses to the current Coronavirus situation.  We’ll offer some questions to guide discussion and there’ll be opportunity to think about how we might continue to support one another, going forward. Follow the link below to register and don’t forget to bring a brew!

Register at:

All best,

Andrew, Carmel and Anna
Urban Life Core Team

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund Application

For information: deadline 25th March

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund has been set up by Martin Lewis to help those affected by the coronavirus. Small or local charities are able to apply to receive a grant of £5-20K for specific coronavirus poverty relief projects.

We’re especially interested in projects that directly help people affected by the effects of the virus, such as by giving access to food, toiletries, basic necessities, as well as community projects to help people in isolation.

We are looking for projects that can help people now, so will welcome applications for existing projects that could be scaled up with extra money or projects that are in the process of being set up.

Speed is of the essence so we encourage you to highlight your project’s objectives and outcomes concisely – consider using bullet points rather than lengthy answers. Data will only be used for the purpose of giving grants.

Apply here: