28th January 2021
In my Vision Sunday talk last October, I shared the exciting news that we had secured some match funding from the government as a part of Holy Trinity Brompton’s Love Your Neighbour (LYN) initiative, set up to support people who are struggling because of the Covid crisis. This week, I thought I’d take the opportunity to update you on how it’s going.
Well, I am happy to tell you that our Love Your Neighbour partnership is up and running and going well! The extra funding we have received, together with the ongoing generosity of the King’s family, means we have been able to greatly expand our food provision through The Feast and Big Red Box. As well as this, we are now also offering employment support and debt advice as part of LYN.
The Feast has been running at King’s for over twenty years and is part of our Jericho Road Project. Until the Covid crisis hit last year, it offered a hot sit-down meal, friendship and support to around 100 of the most vulnerable in our community, every Wednesday evening. When lockdown was imposed, this was no longer possible and so The Feast transformed to a delivery service. At its height, the amazing team were preparing and delivering over 400 hot meals every week, mainly to those who were unable to cook for themselves or did not have the facilities to do so. It was great to hear from Simon Allen, who leads the Jericho Road Project, that we have been able to reduce that number in the last few months, as people find they are no longer in need of the help or are better served with a weekly delivery of groceries through our Big Red Box project. Currently, they are sending out hot meals each Wednesday and Sunday, totalling about 260 meals per week.
On Sunday afternoon, Deb and I took the opportunity to visit The Feast, which operates out of our Catford building. After meeting the team serving that day and seeing some of what they do, we went out as part of the delivery service and dropped off a hot meal and other essential items to three of our contacts. We were so impressed with the whole operation and all the volunteers involved – the cooks, washer uppers, packers, delivery drivers, and behind the scenes, some excellent administrators; it’s quite a project to get all the different elements coordinated and running so smoothly.
Through LYN we have also expanded our Big Red Box food hamper project, which we have been running each Christmas for many years, so that it now runs every week. We are currently sending out over 100 boxes a week to families and individuals referred to us directly, or through schools, Social Services and local charities.
I’m also very glad to tell you that we are working alongside local Christians Against Poverty (CAP) services to offer money and debt advice. This is such an important subject, and one many of us shy away from, but this is an excellent course which has proved extremely helpful to those who have done it. The first (four-week) CAP Money Course started this week and is already full, but we have a new course starting on Wednesday 24th February, and there will be other courses running through the year. Please take a look at the short video below to find out more:
The Covid Crisis is having a dramatic impact on our economy, and sadly many people are finding themselves without a job. When faced with unemployment, it is often difficult to know where to turn, which is why I am thrilled that we are now running an Employment Plus service in partnership with the Salvation Army in Catford.
REFERRALS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
You can make a referral for yourself or someone you know to any part of our LYN project – food provision, money and debt advice, or employment support – using this referral form, and someone will be in contact with you.
Lastly, none of this could happen without the support of our fantastic volunteers, but we are always looking for more. (In fact, Deb and I have just joined a Big Red Box packing team, something we really enjoy doing.) The LYN team are in particular need of delivery drivers on various days, and Employment Plus volunteers who can help on Friday mornings. If you are interested in helping in either of these or in any other area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
21st November 2019
Christmas will soon be upon us, and preparations have been underway at King’s for several months now. I have actually lost count of how many carol services are planned for this year! We want to make it possible for more people than ever to attend a service and hear the Good News of Jesus, and I’ll be telling you more about this year’s Christmas services in a couple of weeks.
One of the things I like to do on the blog at this time of year is profile our two Christmas social action projects, King's Christmas Trees and Big Red Box. King’s Christmas Trees is one project which is very simple but has a huge impact. All profits from trees sold go towards providing hot meals at The Feast, a weekly drop-in meeting for rough sleepers and vulnerable people. Last year we were able to serve more than 4500 three-course meals to local people in need. You can find out more about volunteer opportunities or how to order a tree here.
Big Red Box is the sister project to King’s Christmas Trees. Last year, with the help of local social services and charities, we were able to distribute more than 2200 hampers of food to people who would otherwise go without. This year we are encouraging everyone who calls King’s home to get involved – to donate an item, a bag or a box of food from the shopping list. (If you come to King's, here are the details of when and where to drop off your donations.) You can also help with supermarket collections or packing and distributing boxes. You’ll find everything you need to know at bigredbox.org.
Extending God’s love and mercy in practical ways to those who are hurting or in need is an integral part of our vision at King’s. Christmas can be a challenging time for some people, so let’s take this opportunity to get involved and share the hope of Jesus with those around us.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
30th November 2018
This week Deb and I ordered our King’s Christmas Tree, a sure sign that Christmas preparations at home are underway. We love a real tree at Christmas and it’s great to know the profits from our purchase will help provide meals for homeless and vulnerable people through the coming year. We have also been shopping for food items to contribute to Big Red Box, which distributes Christmas food hampers to local families who might otherwise go without.
An integral part of our vision at King’s is to extend God’s love and mercy in practical ways to those in our community who are hurting or in need. King’s has been running Kings Christmas Trees and Big Red Box for a number of years now, and it is exciting to see how each project has grown and developed. I have asked Alice, our Jericho Road Project Manager, to give us a quick update on how things are going so far this year:
Big Red Box
Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the generous contributions from people at King’s Church and in the local community. With the help of a fantastic group of volunteers, we have already distributed 478 boxes across south east London through our contacts with social services and local charities. Many companies are getting involved and at the end of this week we will be at J P Morgan packing boxes with donations collected by their employees - this year they hope to beat their previous record for number of boxes filled. On Monday, Lewisham Good Gym will be joining us to help sort and pack donations. We also have more schools taking part than ever before and we are looking forward to collecting their donations over the next couple of weeks.
If you would like to take part or donate, you will find more details at bigredbox.org.
King's Christmas Trees
This year marks our tenth year selling trees to fund The Feast and we are hoping to sell 700 this year, beating all previous records—I am excited to report we have already sold more than 400! More trees sold means even more meals can be provided for homeless and vulnerable people in the local area.
Our 700 trees arrived this week, and some have already been distributed to local schools and businesses. To mark our tenth anniversary, we have produced a short video about our work, which you can check out below. You may also like to take a look at this recent Huffington Post article profiling our work.
It’s not too late to order your tree! We have four collection sites in Beckenham, Catford, Deptford and Dulwich, and you can also order for home delivery. Go to our website kingschristmastrees.org for more details.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
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
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. The church has seen continued growth since the mid-1990s, both in terms of size and diversity.
As well as leading King’s, Steve hosts and leads Newfrontiers, a fellowship of apostolic leaders with hundreds of churches around the world.
Steve is married to Deb. They have three grown up sons and one grandson.