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
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
26th November 2015
Christmas is a time of celebration, a time to give thanks and a time to share presents. But for families who are struggling to get by on low incomes, Christmas can also be a very challenging time. That is why I love Big Red Box and King’s Christmas Trees, our King's Christmas initiatives.
BIG RED BOX distributes gifts of food hampers donated by the church and local community to families who might otherwise go without over the festive period. It was launched in 2011 and has so far given away over 2,300 boxes. The scheme has been headed up by the brilliant Mike Reich and this year he has been joined by the equally brilliant Alice Tibbert. Last year we gave away over 1,000 hampers and we are hoping to equal that in 2015. Collections began early, and we have already filled 184 boxes! They will be distributed through Social Services, Lewisham Refugee Network and other local charities. We would love as many of you as possible to get involved. All you need to do is:
1. Get the food – pick up a list or use the website and decide what items you are going to get. You can buy just one or a few items, get it all yourself, or you can join with others: family, friends, work colleagues, class mates, group – you choose!
2. Get a box – if you want to fill a whole one, you can pick up a flat-pack box from any King’s Church London site from now.
3. Give it in – you can give a complete box or simply bring in any donations from the list. All items and boxes should be brought to any of our sites on or before Sunday 14th December.
You can also help in these ways:
4. Make a Donation – If you are unable to give food or a box in person, you might like to make a financial donation – we will do your shopping for you! Details of how to do this can be found on the webpage.
5. Volunteer! – If you visit a local supermarket in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you are likely to see our fantastic volunteers – dressed in their distinctive red t-shirts – collecting donations from generous shoppers. We are out again this weekend, and we need more volunteers! We also need people to help with packing and transport. If you would like to get involved, please contact the church office on 020 8690 5121 or send us an email.
KING'S CHRISTMAS TREES is another exciting Christmas initiative which has been running for a number of years. The Tibbert household loves a real Christmas tree – it is a part of our family tradition – and by buying ours from King’s Christmas Trees, we know that we are making a difference. Not only do we get a beautiful tree, but all profits from sales are helping rough sleepers and vulnerable people through the work of our Jericho Road Project. This year we are hoping to sell 500 trees and I have been told that we have already sold over half of them! Profits from the sale of just one tree can provide ten hot, three-course meals at The Feast, our weekly drop-in meeting. So, if you normally buy a real tree, can I encourage you to go to the webpage and order yours from King’s Christmas Trees?
The theme for our carol services this year is Closer, and it promises to be yet another brilliant event. Have you thought about who you can invite? Don’t forget you can pick up your tickets this Sunday – they are free, but it really helps us to have an indication of how many are coming! This week I am looking forward to preaching the last in our 'Follow Me' series, considering what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus and follow Him! And then in the evening at our 5.30pm meeting, we have the privilege of Terry Virgo preaching the final part of his brilliant series on grace. Definitely a great Sunday ahead, and I look forward to seeing you all there.
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.