Since COVID-19 hit the country, TLG has equipped over 200 churches to reach out to some of the most vulnerable families across the UK as part of their Box of Hope project. Over 510,000 emergency parcels have been delivered to families since the start of the pandemic.
As the 2nd lockdown meets winter TLG have relaunched the Box of Hope project. Funding, guidelines and resources which will really equip and release churches in this season can be applied for at
The Methodist Children, Youth and Family Team recently partnered with Joint Public Issues Team and Transforming Lives for Good for a Holiday Hunger Focus Week. JPIT’s Paul Morrison wrote the following blog to support it: www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/?s=holiday+hunger
The Trussell Trust has seen an 89% increase in the use of food banks since April 2019. This figure rises to 107% in the numbers of families with children who now require the support of a food bank. A copy of the report from the Trussell Trust can be downloaded on this link:
Trussell Trust Report on Food Banks 2020
Low income families have been hit with the double whammy of schools being closed for two and a half months and a reduction in earnings and/ or redundancies. A survey conducted by the JPIT shows how the lowest earning workers are more likely to lose their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19. See https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/the-effects-of-the-coronavirus-crisis-on-workers/
How can we respond to holiday hunger as Christians?
The Methodist Church has a number of suggestions in its blog https://www.methodist.org.uk/holidayhunger/
CURBS is a small charity set up to resource and train children’s workers on outer estates and inner city areas.
Like many other charities CURBS have taken a financial hit from COVID-19. They are facing a shortfall of around £8,000 for the year. Could you support their 100@5 campaign? They are asking for 100 members to commit to giving £5 a month to keep them going. Your prayers are also essential, even if you can’t give.
To find out more visit https://curbsproject.org.uk/
In the meantime members of CURBS have continued to produce some brilliant resources and reflections to help families and church workers to get through this challenging time.
Rachel, a pioneer minister on the Whiteway estate in Bath, has set up a ministry of using chalk and a battery operated bubble blower to connect with children and families on her estate. You can read more about her ministry here.
The Friday Club Plaistow, Newham, East London has created an audiovisual of the Upside Down Kingdom which can be downloaded for free from https://curbsproject.org.uk/upside-down-kingdom-chapter-10-downside-up/
Messy Churches are being as creative as ever during these strange times. Ideas range from on-line craft sessions on Zoom and Facebook Live to creating Messy Church in a Bag for families to collect and take home. More information and guidance can be found on https://www.messychurch.org.uk/covid-19
Messy Church through the Bible Reading Fellowship have Facebook Live sessions every Wednesday at 9.00 am or 8.00 pm UK time for sharing companionship, ideas, encouragement and prayer. This can be found on this link: https://www.facebook.com/messychurchBRF/
This is a great place to look for recommendations for child-friendly Bibles, particularly for children with special educational needs.
Another recommendation from Messy Church is to create a Social Story. Creating Social Stories are a way of helping autistic children to understand what to expect in certain social situations and why. This is especially important when teaching children how to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic. The terms ‘social story’ and ‘social stories’ are terms owned and originated by Karen Gray. Further information can be found at https://www.autism.org.uk/
Lots more brilliant resources for crafts, prayer, baking and blogs sharing experience from parents and carers from Messy Church can be found on https://www.pinterest.co.uk/MessyChurchBRF/messy-church-at-home/
Are you looking for inspiration for children’s sermons or an all-age service? Pastor John Stevens from Zion Lutheran Church, Oregon has some great ideas on hos blog Dollar Store Children Sermons .
Each week Pastor John shares a video clip of his ideas around the Sunday readings. Sometimes he has a fully developed story which can simply be reused. On other days he is offering lots of different suggestions as a springboard for you to go away with and come up with your own idea.
Each dollar sermon comes with suggestions for props you might use with children and a main ‘Take Away’ for the message.
Pastor John is warm, enthusiastic and fun! The ideas he shares can be used in your own home if you have a young family or for you to film yourself for a virtual service or reflection. They can be adapted to fit a range of situations and contexts, even a global pandemic.
Diddy Disciples has produced some more lovely resources to help babies, toddlers and young children worship God during Lockdown.
To check these out visit https://www.diddydisciples.org/ and have a look at the Church at Home page. Resources include prayers, podcasts and ideas for creating your own worship at home.
Do you need some new ideas for children’s sermons and reflections? Sermon 4 Kids make loads of great activities, lessons, colouring pages, games and crafts which are free to download.
Each week https://sermons4kids.com/ features a different Bible story with video recordings so do check it out!
Many children’s and youth leaders use Roots resources to help them to get to know the Bible. There are also some free resources in response to COVID-19.
To download these visit https://www.rootsontheweb.com/about-roots/children-young-people-resources
You may have already heard of the difference that TLG ‘Boxes of Hope’ are making across the UK – over 30,000 meals already provided to families struggling to eat at this time. Within the chaos of the corona virus, God continues to call local churches to support their community and spread His hope.
These care packages contain both food and activity ideas for children; they aim to meet families’ physical and emotional needs in such a challenging time. We have guidelines, resources to include, ways of tracking impact and start-up funding of £200 to help churches launch.
If you would like the opportunity to join Boxes of Hope, click below on the weblink with more info:
We hope it could really equip churches in their support to families over the summer.
We will soon be running an additional project to support the local church: Emotional First Aid. Emotional First Aid will be a FREE and easy to understand online training and resource that equips people to support those struggling with their emotional and mental health as a result of this pandemic. These webinars will help individuals and organisation to see and understand emotional signals, and know how to respond to them effectively.
Head of Church Partnership TLG
Brunswick Parish Church in Manchester have been sharing how they have been creative in keeping the church community going.
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 https://www.brunswickchurch.org.uk/news–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 https://www.brunswickchurch.org.uk/news–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 https://www.brunswickchurch.org.uk/news–events#
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.