Community Projects

In a nutshell
A day of community work, blessing four existing local projects with practical help such as painting, gardening and cleaning.
Who has done it?
Christ Church and St Andrew’s in Herne Bay, Kent
Why do it?
We wanted to get out into the community to show people Christians are just ordinary people; we’re not as scary as some think!
How did it work?
Members of our congregation suggested projects they thought might need our help, including an Age Concern Day Centre that is next to one of our church buildings, and three local nurseries. We contacted them and asked how we could help.
On the weekend we met at 9.30am for a short time of praise before heading out to our projects and ended the day by meeting back at the church for another time of praise.
At the Day Centre we painted 13 rooms in one day! The nurseries asked us to help with some gardening, cleaning up the kids’ outdoor toys, renovating a play area, painting fences and sheds.
Between the two congregations 50–60 people got involved, young and old alike and between them they gave 180 hours of kindness.
The Outcome
The people at the nurseries and Day Centre were really grateful for our support and even came along on the Saturday to say thank you. The projects brought everyone in church a lot closer, too; it was a great chance to build and deepen friendships plus as a church HOPE has helped us be much more outward looking.
Top tips
·         Build relationships with the people you are trying to help. Get in touch with them well ahead of the day so they have time to think about how you can serve them and to get ready for your visit. Keep that contact up as well so they know you really will follow through.
·         Learn to listen; whether it be to what kind of help they’re really asking for or their questions and concerns about faith.
·         Members of the church who are less physically able can still be a vital part of the work. We had an organised prayer rota so that the whole event was covered in prayer.
·         Make sure someone in each team takes responsibility for the quality of work being done and the safety of participants.
·         Make sure you have enough paint, paintbrushes, cleaning equipment, etc. for the day’s work. If you need volunteers to bring anything themselves, make sure they have plenty of notice.