Churches reach out offering fun activities and healthy food for families
Churches across our diocese are reaching out to families offering great activities and healthy food for children during the summer holidays.
In St Budeaux in Plymouth churches are working together to offer a programme of events for families. Hope4Summer is the name of the project that has brought together churches and community groups.
Transforming Plymouth Together (TPT) Development Worker Chris Forster said: “Many people do not realise that child poverty is a real issue in Plymouth, with over 11,500 children in the city living below the poverty line. During the summer holidays, this is made worse for many of them because, unlike term-time, they will not even receive a school dinner. So, we know that, for many families, the summer holidays are a struggle. With children at home 24/7 and no free school meals, the weekly budget has to stretch further for food and there is little left for activities and treats.
“As the Development Worker with TPT, I am delighted to have been working with churches and the community centre in St Budeaux supporting the Hope4Summer pilot project to test the idea in Plymouth. The idea began with a desire from the churches in St Budeaux to support the young people of the area. It has been fantastic to see the growing support from members of each church as they recognised the need for healthy nutrition in the school holidays.
“Sponsorship from the Church Urban Fund in providing the resources to help make Hope4Summer possible has been invaluable but the story begins and ends with the people at the heart of it all and I want to celebrate and thank the fantastic staff and volunteers who make Hope4Summer happen. I hope we will see Hope4Summer extend to other areas, churches and holiday periods in the city in future years.”
It’s not too late to join in with activities. Call Donna Griffiths on 07946372093 for details.
In Black Torrington, Children’s Worker Morag Lobley and team, have been busy running a morning on science and faith. Morag’s daughter Carina gained an award from the Templeton Foundation last year, to promote a better understanding between science and faith. She used part of the funding to develop a family science club at her local church in Chilton, Oxfordshire and offered to share her expertise.
Morag said: “In our remote benefice it’s always a surprise at how many or few come to such ventures and we had the joy of being slightly under-resourced when 22 children arrived with parents and carers.”
Following an exciting morning for the children when they created mini-volcanoes and walked on water, actually a thick solution of cornflour and water called ooblek, the session concluded with a shared time of prayers for our world, written on post-it notes stuck onto a large inflatable globe.
Morag finishes: “Children went home armed with mini lab books recording what they’d done and with many smiling faces. Adults went home filled with the excitement of watching the children (and of having had a go at volcanoes and testing the properties of ooblek!) and with smiling faces. Outcome…..success!”