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
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.