Wimborne Folk Festival

Wimborne Folk Festival

In the Wimborne community

Good News Church, Wimborne, UK

It has been really exciting for us to be able to partake in community events and projects in Wimborne over the last two years. Good News Church started meeting on Sundays in October 2015, and since then we have been involved in:

  • The Wimborne Folk Festival 2016 and 2017
  • St. Michael’s Fireworks Display 2015 and 2016
  • The Save the Children Parade 2016 and 2017
  • Last year we also started collecting for Wimborne Food Bank.

These events have given us the opportunity to serve the town, and to show Christ’s love in the community.

Wimborne Folk Festival

In 2017 the Wimborne Folk Festival attracted over 60,000 people to Wimborne; what an opportunity! Good
News Church got involved in stewarding the event having offered to help where needed. Because of our
involvement with stewarding, the main events organiser made contact with us about Good News having a
trade stand in 2018. The events team are giving us this space next to the first aid tent, so that we can pray
for people! The team have also asked us to run a church service on one of the main stages on the Sunday
morning. We are excited to see what this weekend in June brings. Please pray for us!

St. Michael’s Fireworks

Another large event in Wimborne attracting thousands of people is the St. Michael’s Fireworks evening. Over
the past two years we have helped to steward the event and to keep the community safe.

Save the Children Parade

The Save the Children parade takes place in Wimborne each year in December. We have taken the
opportunity to remind people about the true meaning of Christmas through our church floats. In 2017 we
gave out 2000 mince pies and invites to our carol service where the gospel was shared, and ALPHA invites
given.

Wimborne Food Bank

During 2017 we started collecting for Wimborne Food Bank on a Sunday morning and have delivered many
bags to this brilliant project.

We are looking forward to seeing what other opportunities God brings our way in 2018!

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Little life

Little life

Parents, carers and toddler group

Life Church, Southampton, UK

Let me introduce you to Lenny, our very own Little Life Frog. But what’s in the box? For that you will have to come along one Wednesday morning.

We are a toddler group that meets Wednesday mornings during term time at St Denys Community Centre. Our morning starts when families arrive, sign in and are offered a drink, then the serious business of playing begins for about an hour. We have a baby corner with baby toys and mats with chairs around for the mums to sit and chat.  For the older ones some of the toys on offer are a home corner with dressing up clothes which has proved a great hit. We have cars and a garage, a wonderful train set which everyone enjoys playing with, a dolls house, dinosaurs and animals. There is a puzzle table and a playdough table as well as our weekly craft activity which is related to our half-termly theme. We have space for scuttle bugs and little cars to be ridden indoors and when the weather gets warmer we can use the outside area which is great. Then everyone gets involved in tidy-up time followed by drinks and snacks for all. We have a story related to our theme (which ranges from the seasons, parables of Jesus, Friends of God, God’s wonderful world, our senses etc) followed by some songs finishing with Great Big God and The Little Life Going Home Rhyme.

In all that we do we want to show the love of Jesus, giving everyone a warm welcome and providing a safe place for all. Where children can have a great time and adults can chat and share their concerns, be prayed for if they’d like and receive help if needed. In all that we do we want to show excellence, from making the coffee and snacks to providing good quality toys and caring for our families.

I joined Little Life in July 2016 to lend a hand wherever I could. I no longer had my own children to keep an eye on so I was free to do whatever was needed. In the Autumn Term I took over leading Little Life, not what I had in mind but obviously God had other ideas. I love Little Life, it is such a privilege to be able to serve in this way. Yes, I go home ready to put my feet up but it is so worth it. I can highly recommend getting involved or starting up a toddler group, it’s a brilliant way to get involved in the local community and meeting the needs of those around you.

Kathy Parkin and the amazing Little Life Team.

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Reaching your community

Reaching your community

Outreach

Grace Church, Salisbury, UK

Last year I looked around our church and I thought hang on a minute we are slap bang in the middle of this council estate but no one from it comes? I got a bee in my bonnet and wrote a paper on how I think our church is far too middle class and how I felt it needed to change. I arranged to meet with our Church Leader and moaned to him about how something needed to be done. He listened to my complaining and then at the end of our conversation said “so what are you going to do about it ” I was like what? Me? At that point I felt God say you cannot have an opinion if you are not willing to be part of the solution.

So after laying the law down to our Church leader and him batting my complaints back to me I thought what have I done? I went home and thought right that’s it I am going to help change this and set up a 6 week course for our church to explore ways in which we could better reach our community.

The course was a great way for us to look closer at our community. It became apparent that we needed to be much more relational as a church and get out and start integrating with the people around us. We all realised that a Facebook post or a flyer through the door will not build a friendship so we went to where the people were at rather than expecting them to come to us. To start we organised pub quiz at the local pub. And were astounded when Over 50 people came along. This was a great way to really start to get to know the local people. And what a treat it was when 3 people signed up for our Alpha Course. After that people kept asking what we were doing next. Many came along to further events and brought their friends along too. Then new friendships started to form and we got to know some really amazing people.

So over the last 9 months we have connected with just short of 300 non-Christian people in our local community. Some have attended church and some Alpha. We know it’s not all about the numbers and looking back we can see now that through being more intentional and relational with the people around us. We have not only made some fantastic new friends but now feel much more connected to our community My advice to anyone who has a heart for local ministry would be step up and step out, lead the way and enjoy what God does through you-his plan will be amazing.

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Christchurch Food Festival

Christchurch Food Festival

Food Festival

GodFirst, Christchurch, UK

Christchurch has had a food festival in town for nearly 20 years; – it turns the town upside down and brings in perhaps 100,000 people, though we aren’t certain on numbers. Some of us in the church sought for a means of being involved, e.g. perhaps by offering a tea tent or the like.

After some fact finding and seeking the Lord for how to make a difference, we noticed a large amount of litter accumulated during the days the festival was on. Whilst the festival employed waste contractors, these only came at the end of the day, meaning mess and litter built up during
the day until the waste contractors arrived on site.

After this fact finding, we approached the food festival organising team, and have been involved as litter pickers during the Food festival weekend for some years now. We started small and with the food festival team hesitant – “please no church branding” etc. – the organising team wondered what our agenda was – “would we even turn up?”. These were their words to themselves at the time, that they repeated to us.

Following our first year of involvement, which was very low key, they were not only convinced that we would turn up … “but we did so and in spades” (their words again).

We now still litter pick, we also manage traders early morning and last thing, we provide a squad of amazing full time servers that just step in and serve where necessary, and we now have become such an integral part that the festival team say they can’t do this without us.

In 2016 they offered us a healing tent space – their words were “we’ve earned the right to be there, and they want to honour us”. This has continued on since then; GodFirst are offered space to erect a healing / prayer tent very close to the main event & VIP marquees in the Quay / Quomps area, such that this is one of the first things people and all traders see.

Some feedback we have received from the festival team to the church over the years:

1. We are visible (we now wear distinguishable GodFirst branded stewards jackets) – a marked difference from the committee wanting us to be initially invisible and “unbranded”.

2. The lack of rubbish is obvious around the town – random boxes and rubbish sacks not being left around makes everything seem so much tidier.

3. Some traders have repeatedly asked us to pray a blessing for them year on year, as they keep having their best festival ever because we’ve prayed for them.

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