13th November 2017
At church yesterday, Deb and I picked up our Big Red Box, ready to fill with a list of food items and Christmas treats. It is great to know it will be going to a family who might otherwise be going without. We have also just ordered our King’s Christmas Tree – we love a real a tree at Christmas, and all the profits from tree sales go towards providing hot meals at The Feast, our weekly drop-in for the homeless and vulnerable in the local area.
An integral part of our vision at King’s is to extend God’s love and mercy in practical ways to those who are hurting or in need. If you have been around King’s in the last few weeks, you will undoubtedly have heard about both Big Red Box and King’s Christmas Trees, and if you have not already done so, why not get involved by buying a real tree or contributing towards a hamper?
I have asked Alice, our Jericho Road Project Manager, to give an update on how things are going so far this year:
Big Red Box
We have had a great start to Big Red Box 2017 with over 200 boxes packed already! We have had more engagement with the local community than ever before with the Lewisham Young Offenders Service (YOS) helping us sort through donations, 32 GoodGym runners involved with our first packing evening and our local MP Heidi Alexander joining us for our second.
We have also had some incredibly generous donations from our times at the Sainsbury’s stores in Sydenham and Charlton. Each year, our Christmas hampers go out to some of the neediest families and individuals across South East London and are distributed by Social Services teams in Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Southwark and Croydon, as well as other local charities and organisations. With their help we were able to distribute 1,760 Big Red Box food hampers in 2016 and we hope to reach even more people this year.
If you would like to get involved then please go to bigredbox.org for more details or call 020 8690 5121.
King’s Christmas Trees
We’re reaching new heights with our King’s Christmas Tree sales, selling 100 trees online in the first week! Our mission is to share hope in our community not only at Christmas but all year round – that is why all of the sales and donations from the King’s Christmas Tree project go to running The Feast, our weekly Wednesday outreach meal, which not only offers a hot three-course meal but also advice, friendship and clothes to homeless and vulnerable people in our community.
Trees are available to buy now at kingschristmastrees.org. You can also volunteer to help at The Feast on a Wednesday night. Call 020 8690 5121 to find out more details.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
9th November 2017
We are well and truly into November and I can no longer ignore the fact that Christmas is coming soon. It seems the retailers have been aware of this for several months already – it has been hard to avoid the displays of gifts and decorations for some time now – but I prefer to wait until the summer holidays are a more distant memory before turning my thoughts towards the approaching festive season.
In fact, as many of you know, I love Christmas. I love the time spent with family and friends, the wonderful meals, games with the kids and the giving and receiving of presents. I love singing carols, eating mince pies and watching films in front of a log fire. But most of all I love the fact that it is the season when we celebrate the coming of our saviour Jesus Christ.
We like to do Christmas in a big way at King’s, and the highlight each year has to be our annual carol services. Preparations for this year began months ago and rehearsals are already underway. The theme is What a Beautiful Name and we will be exploring the various names of Jesus in a short preaching series running up to Christmas. In 2016 we welcomed some 3000 people to our carol services – we hope to exceed that this year. Once again, there will be many opportunities to come along, with services over two weekends, across all three sites and at different times of day. All details can be found on our Christmas webpage.
As well as spreading the good news of Jesus by inviting people to the carol services, we also want to show mercy to those who are in need in our community, through our Big Red Box project and King’s Christmas Trees. So once again there are three ways to get involved this Christmas at King’s:
1. COME TO THE CAROL SERVICES – Come to at least one, invite your friends, family and work colleagues and bring someone along. It has to be the easiest invite of the year!
2. GIVE HOMELESS PEOPLE A GIFT THIS CHRISTMAS – Buy a King’s Christmas Tree and support homeless people throughout the year through our Jericho Road Project. Each year the profits from the trees sold help provide hot meals at our weekly drop-in centre.
3. HELP PUT FOOD IN PEOPLE’S HOMES – Take part in our Big Red Box project providing boxes of food for the neediest families in our local community. Last year we distributed 1760 boxes to families and individuals in need.
So, with December just a few weeks away now, I hope you are starting to get as excited about Christmas as I am. Meanwhile, if you are new to the church or have not had the chance to come to one of our carol services before, have a look at the video below to see what you can look forward to.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
1st December 2016
When I first felt a call to full-time ministry during my 20s, I had little idea of the many varied places to which God would take me over the years. Just two weeks ago, Deb and I were visiting a high security women’s prison in Harare. We were there to see a fantastic pre-school run by River of Life Church for the prisoners’ children – a beautiful example of mercy being shown in a very deprived and challenging setting. Then last week we found ourselves having dinner in the rather grand setting of The Peers dining room in The House of Lords – this is certainly a life of contrast at times!
We were at The House of Lords with The Richmond Group, a relational network of church leaders from across the UK, at the invitation of the Bishop of London. This was the second time Deb and I had attended the annual gathering of this group, although dinner at The House of Lords was a first for most of us! Our two days together were once again hosted by Nicky Gumbel from HTB, Gary Clarke from Hillsong, and Pastor Agu from Jesus House. After an interesting afternoon sharing news, praying for each other and discussing some of the current issues facing the church in the UK, we all smartened ourselves up a bit before making our way across Westminster Bridge to spend the evening at The House of Lords. It was a fascinating night and I enjoyed hearing from Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. It was great to be in a room of leaders from a wide spectrum of churches, joined in our desire to see gospel expansion across this nation.
The following morning the group were once again invited to Lambeth Palace by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. As I have said before, he is a gracious man and an impressive leader, with many challenges before him. Please do remember to pray for him and his family.
It has been a hectic few weeks, what with the trip to southern Africa followed immediately by The Richmond Group, and I have returned to find that Christmas is well and truly upon us here at King’s! Once again, King's Christmas Trees is raising money through tree sales for the ongoing work of the Jericho Road Project, and I understand that Big Red Box has already filled 484 hampers, which will be distributed to families in need. These are two excellent projects which serve some of the most disadvantaged in our community – do get involved if you have not already done so.
The theme for our carol services this year is Light of the World, and it promises to be yet another outstanding King’s event. Our carol services present one of the easiest invites of the year for friends and family, so can I encourage you all to be thinking about who to invite? Free tickets for all services will be available for collection at all sites on Sunday and there's more information at kingschurchlondon.org/christmas.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
10th December 2015
I love Christmas! Preparations at home are well underway: the turkey has been ordered, we collect our King’s Christmas Tree on Saturday and most of our presents have been bought – or so Deb assures me! As well as the excitement of Christmas, we also have a family birthday in December. Josh will be returning from university at the weekend and we are looking forward to all being together to celebrate Sam’s sixteenth birthday next week.
I am particularly excited about our King’s carol services. Our theme this year is CLOSER and we are offering no fewer than seven services to choose from. Preparations are in full swing and our buildings are busy with band, orchestra and choir rehearsals. This week, I had the privilege of being given a preview of some of what we can look forward to – I was so impressed with both the creativity and professionalism of what I saw. This is an event not to be missed, and definitely one to which you should invite all your friends and family! The first two of our seven carol services take place this Sunday, 13th December, 5.30 pm at both Catford and Lee. If you didn’t manage to pick up a free ticket, remember that you can still come along on the day without a ticket. Morning services will continue at all sites this week, at the normal times. Full details of all our services over this month can be found on at kingschurchlondon.org/closer.
This is also a busy time for all the fantastic volunteers involved in our Christmas social action initiatives. I heard that we have almost sold out of King’s Christmas Trees – just a few left if you still want to buy one! Deb was at our Lee building on Tuesday evening to help the Big Red Box team pack hampers – it is quite an operation! Some 500 boxes have been packed so far and they will start to be distributed through social services and other local charities this week. If you would still like to get involved, have a look at the webpage – donations need to be brought to one of our sites by this Sunday.
However busy Christmas can seem it remains one of my favourite times of the year. Despite my more mature (!) years, I have never lost that sense of excitement the season brings! I love the opportunity it gives to spend time with family and friends; and I love the sense of joy and anticipation we feel as Christians as we reflect on and celebrate the birth of our Saviour. And of course Christmas also provides a fantastic opportunity to invite our friends and families to come to church and find out more about why we celebrate and why Christmas is called Christmas. So I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.