How can you affirm and celebrate your existing engagement with the wider community, and encourage further development? Would participation in a local community audit or survey help you all learn more about your wider community? Can you identify areas of need where you can serve your community in co-operation with others?
Many churches offer volunteers, use their buildings and other resources to support projects in their local community.
There are a range of tools to help you learn more about your local community.
Peninsula Initiative Community Chaplaincy is a professional project working with men prisoners on release from Devon’s 3 prisons (Dartmoor, Exeter and Channings Wood) and women at Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire.
Devon Community Foundation works with other local organisations to address poverty and exclusion across the county through community development and grants: http://www.devoncf.com
Exeter Community Initiatives is a church-initiated community agency which runs a variety of projects in the city, including 3 Children’s Centres, Homelessness Collaboration, Soup Kitchens Network, Bike Bank and Family Resource.
Exeter City Centre Chaplaincy reflects the love of God through visiting stores and other places of business in the city centre on a regular basis, and caring for people within the city centre, through listening and offering support
Churches and others have recently launched an active North Devon Living Wage Campaign to lobby for fairer incomes in the area, where wages are among the lowest in England.
Plymouth Fairness Commission invites churches and other agencies to address issues of inequality and injustice in Devon’s largest city. The Diocese is very supportive of this and further details are outlined in a downloadable leaflet.
This is a community project run at Stoke Damerell parish centre by volunteers and involving people from all backgrounds. Twice a week ‘About Time’ offers free lunches for asylum seekers & refugees and all others in need, followed by language classes especially aimed at refugees or asylum seekers who have been in the UK less than 6 months or those on the waiting list for other provision in Plymouth. The language classes are open to migrant workers on low incomes. ‘About Time’ also offers a Timebank, encouraging & co-ordinating the exchange of skills & time amongst the community.
Food Plymouth is a city-wide, cross-sector partnership of organizations and businesses working to support Plymouth’s journey to be a ‘Sustainable Food City’. http://www.foodplymouth.org
Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support was started by churches and other groups in 1999 to offer assistance to local people seeking sanctuary and asylum in Plymouth. It seeks to be culturally sensitive in offering practical support to the needs of the city’s refugee communities. http://dcrsc1.cfsites.org
The Diocese of Exeter’s vision for growth includes a major new project, Growing the Rural Church. Launched in February 2017, the project works with rural churches and their communities to help find creative ways to ensure growth and sustainability. Growing the Rural Church
The Devon Churches Rural Forum supports the work of the rural church in Devon. It is an ecumenical body, chaired by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple. The forum brings together people from our churches and wider community, including farmers, ministers, academics and farming and community support groups and some public agencies. It is at an early stage of development, but we hope that groups working on a range of rural issues can meet together to share their ideas and concerns. http://devonchurchesruralforum.org.uk
Devon Communities Together is an independent charity with over 50 years’ experience of community development work. Founded in 1961 we have accumulated a wealth of experience in helping communities resolve and progress the matters that are important to them. Devon Communities Together is the new operating name for The Community Council of Devon. www.devoncommunities.org.uk
Torbay has won a £6 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help us Do Ageing Better!
The grant means that the Torbay Community Development Trust will be helping coordinate a wide range of projects aimed at reducing social isolation amongst the 50 plus generation. This is a programme that will be a partnership between people over 50 and organisations from the voluntary, public and private sector. It will co-produce new approaches, activate people to support each other, stimulate new connections and activities and influence new ways of delivering services with people rather than for people.