Christmas outreach - better together
At this time of year, lots of churches, across the UK, prepare thousands of Christmas hampers for families in difficult circumstances in their communities. It is often a brilliant part of word and action mission for churchgoers but this festive season, more churches are working together to make a bigger impact in their area.
Just one of these initiatives, known as ‘Christmas Lunch on Jesus', started in
2007at Jesus House in Brent Cross but has now grown tremendously to involve a collective group of 19 churches in Barnet joining forces each year to distribute hampers to pockets of deprived areas in the London borough. This year they are partnering with many other local churches, including Northwest Church, Hendon Baptist Church, St Barnabas and Salvation Army, Hendon. Through a hamper, these churches share hope and the love of God with everyone.
Mr Ayo Adedoyin, Communications Manager from Jesus House: “ It all started off one Christmas when we found out about a gentleman on the Grahame Park Estate, Wayne Lindeboom, who had spent the entire day on Christmas locked in his flat with no food and no friends. Our hope is that through these Christmas hampers people will see that love is more than a word - True LOVE is best expressed by giving”.
The boxes of Christmas goodies are full of ingredients for a proper Christmas dinner with trimmings and delivered by members to the doors of people in estates such as West Hendon and Dollis Valley – those on benefits and income support and pensioners. As churches together they are able to cover more areas in the community. The hamper doesn’t just contain food, but also the Word of God through Christian literature about Jesus.
Spreading Christmas Cheer
In the same borough, the same churches and others (30 local
churches in all) are involved in ‘Spreading Christmas Cheer’ at 13 tube stations across the area.
The church-going merry-makers are different to the normal buskers or sellers – everything is free and the name of Jesus is on their lips. They hand out mince pies and hot drinks at evening rush hour and even offer to pray for commuters returning from work.
Associate Director of HOPE Yemi Adedeji said: “The beauty about both these Christmas projects is that it is the unity of the churches that makes the difference. It demonstrates just what the Church should be – united and doing mission together in words as well as actions.”