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Churches contribute to community spirit and party mood for Diamond Jubilee

What will you bring to the table? That was the question from the Eden Project’s Big Lunch team when they asked HOPE to help to get churches involved in local Big Jubilee Lunches. As a result thousands of churches were inspired by HOPE to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee by helping with or hosting a Big Jubilee Lunch for people in their neighbourhood. Peter Stewart, Campaigns and Communications Director, the Eden Project said: “At the heart of many communities, churches are fantastically placed to bring people together.  The Big Lunch offers the chance for members to reach out to others in the community and put their faith into action. 
“We are delighted to have worked with HOPE and to have the Archbishop of Canterbury support this year’s Big Jubilee Lunch – part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last weekend.  Together we have encouraged hundreds of dioceses and churches across the UK to get involved in the Big Jubilee Lunch with their local community.  We hope that churches will continue to take part in the annual Big Lunch initiative for many years to come.”
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s Executive Director said: “HOPE’s aim is to help churches to do more together in words and actions, sharing faith and building up local communities. The Big Jubilee Lunch fits our mandate perfectly, so we were thrilled to support and encourage churches throughout the country as they pitched in helping with community events and hosting thousands of street parties.”
PortisheadHOPE provided free Jubilee resources and ideas to use in schools, with senior citizens and at neighbourhood street parties. A specially-written Diamond Jubilee Grace, which was seen by the Queen, was used at hundreds of Big Jubilee Lunches, and more than 655,000 copies of a specially-produced Diamond Jubilee New Testament were given away.
In his sermon at the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury hoped that the lasting memorial of the Diamond Jubilee would be a rebirth of “an energetic, generous spirit of dedication to the common good”.
Quoting Romans 12 he added: “’Outdo one another in showing honour, extend hospitality to strangers, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, live in harmony with one another…'.” HOPE is working with churches of all denominations and cultural backgrounds to make that vision a reality, encouraging churches to work together to build cohesive, hope-filled communities.
Round-up of HOPE-inspired Diamond Jubilee celebrations
 HOPE supports local churches of all denominations doing more in mission together using words and actions to share faith.
HOPE’s Facebook page and a ‘My Diamond Jubilee New Testament Story’ Facebook page have been set up so people can share their stories and upload photos.
Big Lunch Facts & Figures
• The Big Lunch is an Eden Project initiative that started in 2009
• This year’s Big Jubilee Lunch took place on Sunday 3rd June 2012
• In 2011, the best part of two million people took part in a Big Lunch
• 89% of people hosting a Big Lunch in 2011 did so because they wanted to encourage
a sense of community*
• 97% of people who attended a Big Lunch in 2011 would recommend it to their family & friends*
• 88% of 2011 Big Lunchers said it had a positive impact on their community*
• The Big Lunch is led by the Eden Project, funded by Big Lottery Fund and partnered by MasterCard, EDF Energy, Kingsmill and Asda
 (*Havas August 2011)


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