First Shouts - Community projects

In a nutshell
For the churches in Lichfield, HOPE was a great chance to get started on some community work in their local area.
Who has done it?
churches in Lichfield
How did it work?
Saturday: We started off the weekend with a free car wash, and then went on to do a free barbeque and family fun afternoon at a local church with lots of free face painting and balloon modelling.  
Sunday: On Sunday the young people led the service at our church, to let everyone know what had been going on.
Monday: We started Monday morning by painting a local community building, it was hard work (we didn’t realise quite how big a job it was before we started!) but we were really proud of the results. We spent the afternoon face painting, balloon modelling, hairbraiding and playing games with children in the park. This was really popular and we had lots of good feedback from the parents and children. We then finished off the weekend by having a meal together, sharing stories and watching the video from the weekend.
The Outcome
It went much better than we’d expected for our first try at some social action projects! Although we had a relatively small group I think everyone worked really hard and it is definitely a positive step in terms of working with other churches and putting faith into action. Mostly we had very good feedback from the public, although lots assumed that if things were free there must a catch!
Top tips
  • Talk to your local council about your plans and get them on board. Make the most of secular organisations that have expertise in this area.
  • Get young people involved and leading things from the start.
  • Have a variety of projects so that people can choose to get involved in something that appeals to them.
Lessons learned
  • Because the young people were involved in running it, we didn’t have enough adult support. In future we’d make sure all ages of the church both knew about the event and got involved if possible.
  • We’d also try and communicate better with other churches and get more people involved.