In 2014, members of Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church in South London bought 500 chocolate eggs for £1 each and gave them away to neighbours, local shopkeepers and people in the street with personal invitations to their Easter service. It was a great, simple, fun and inclusive way to reach out into the community together. It was so effective that in 2015, they did the same with 1,000 eggs and invitations!
ShareTheMiracle grew from there. It is a simple initiative with one aim – to help you build stronger communities through acts of kindness. Anyone can get involved. It starts with a gift, accompanied by an invitation and results in a story to share, which inspires and encourages others to do the same. Find out more on the ShareTheMiracle website
Washday - spring cleaning for the soul
Washday is all about taking part in practical social action during Lent and Holy Week. An opportunity to go out and wash anything and everything! It could be cleaning windows for people who would find that difficult, washing a car, washing clothes for homeless people, or washing up mugs in an office. It’s a new take on Maundy Thursday when, traditionally, church people have washed people’s feet – or more recently offered free shoe-shining on the streets. Washday is a great opportunity to tell the Easter story in a fun and creative way, but it's not a one day wonder. Loving your neighbour is one way of loving God. And that’s something that lasts all year. Find out more at www.washday.org.
Through Lent and up to Pentecost invite members to Try Praying (www.trypraying.org). Use the ‘Use it and lose it’ strategy so church members use the book themselves first, then pass it on to someone else. Find out more here. This involves one Sunday service to launch ‘Use it’ and a service to give the challenge ‘Lose it’. Don’t forget to follow up with opportunities to tell how God answers people’s prayers.
This Easter One Friday is helping churches to tell the Easter story with open-air events, exhibitions, processions and art trails. Archbishop of York, John Sentamu says of One Friday, 'I encourage you to find out more ... who knows what transformations may follow!' Visit the One Friday website for inspiration from others plus ideas and resources to use in your community.
‘Beating the Bounds'
Set up prayer stations around your parish boundary or the neighbourhood served by your church manned by praying members of the congregation who might find the boundary walk too much.
Get the rest of the congregation to walk or run round the boundary stopping to pray at each station
Finish with a barbecue, picnic or praise party