Friday, 19 December 2008

The Christmas Feast

I haven't stopped since Wednesday evening so it has taken until now to put the photos from the evening on the blog.

The evening was fabulous and a special thanks to the huge effort from the kitchen team. They provided Christmas dinner for about 140! The youth band and the drama were great and I was so delighted by the choir, who performed brilliantly. I am sure there will be more from the choir in 2009.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Winter Shelter

Tomorrow night is the Feast Christmas Meal, which will be the last Feast of the year. It will be great fun with music, drama, presents, the choir and lots of lovely food. Photos will follow! The Feast starts back on the 7th January 2009. We generally refer people to the Crisis Open Christmas which we will do again this year, but also this year there are a number of winter shelters that rough sleepers can access. The newest addition starts in Bromley on the 20th December. Importantly this is only for people who have a connnection to the Borough of Bromley. The nightshelter in Deptford runs from the 5th January until the 13th March 2009. If you would like to see a full list of the winter shelters in London (not including the Bromley one) please click here. If you need further information regarding referals please ask me for more details.

At the weekend it is the King's Christmas Carols: Saturday and Sunday at 5pm and 7.30pm. There is still time to invite people, I am handing out flyers on Thursday and Friday afternoons at 4pm. We are meeting outside the copperfield pub in Catford. We will hand flyers to people coming out of the stations, to shoppers and probably put some through the doors of the streets near Catford that have not had flyers yet. If you can spare an hour at 4pm on Thursday or Friday please join us.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Caring Christmas Trees

Steve Redrup and I are travelling back from Edinburgh having experienced first hand the delights of Caring Christmas Trees. This is part of the process to establish whether next year we could run caring christmas trees in South East London as a fundraiser for the Jericho Road Project.

This Edinburgh project raises funds for Bethany Christian Trust, a project I visited on my sabbatical and hence discovered the trees! Basically it works like this, people order their trees (range from 4ft -8ft) online and then pick it up at locations on a Friday evening/Saturday on the two weekends before Christmas. This year Bethany plan to sell 4000 trees and this means appoximately £40K raised to operate their winter shelter. In addition to fundraising other obvious benefits are as follows. Firstly the opportunity for volunteering (for example we met people who have bought trees from CCT for a number of years who this year are giving up 2 hours to volunteer), secondly increasing the awareness of the organisation (in our case the jericho road project and also King's Church) and thirdly it has the potential to increase financial giving and I expect volunteers throughout the year. It is huge fun!

So we have had a very busy 24 hours in Edinburgh, moving trees, counting trees (more difficult than you would imagine!), picking trees, carrying trees to people's cars/local flats. In fact Steve and I have become tree experts.

There are a still a few more steps to go through but hopefully in the first quarter of next year we will be able to confirm that the Jericho Road Project will run caring christmas trees 2009 in London. Maybe you will consider volunteering and buying a caring christmas tree next year!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Job Vacancies at PECAN

I regulary receive information about job opportunities in the social action arena and this blog provides the best and most immediate way to communicate this information. PECAN, a project based in Southwark, was started by Simon Pellow who is both an inspiration to me and also a friend. He has moved onto new adventures but PECAN remains a significant Christian project. In fact the Jericho Road Project has a strong relationship with their family link team who make regular referals to our housing project. But back to the job opportunities please take a look at the following click here. Currently they are advertising Youth jobs but there will be other jobs coming soon.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Social Action conference 2009

Last friday I visited the venue for the 2009 newfrontiers social action conference in Milton Keynes. The venue is very good with plenty of space for the main sessions as well as the seminars.

The conference will be called 'Remember the Poor' and will take place on Saturday 18th April 2009. The conference brings together 350-400 people who are highly commited to building churches that benefit those in need. The ministries that are covered include Housing, ESOL, debt advice, and pregnancy advice. The title 'Remember the Poor' is taken from Galatians 2:10 and is very significant for newfrontiers because in 1998 Simon Pettit spoke at a Leadership conference on this passage highlighting the importance of our churches engaging in caring for the poor. God changed the movement through Simon's word's. To listen click here. In the last ten years there has been an significant increase in the number of churches who are making a difference to those in need. My desire is that this conference would continue the progress of remembering the poor.

The full program and booking details will be available in the new year.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Christmas Feast

Well rehersals for the Feast Choir continued last night. One more week to practice before the performance. It was a lot of fun, I joined in to sing 'Hark the Herald' and 'under the moon of love'. I don't suppose many choirs have such flexibility in their song choice. I do wonder how people in the choir will cope with nerves performing in front of the Feast, we will get to know people a little better I am sure. Please invite people to the 17th.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Christmas Preparations

I hope you are feeling prepared for Christmas. There is always so much to do! My children are totally excited and making sure that the house looks and feels festive. I do love the build up to Christmas with the sense of excitement, having fun and eating lots of nice food. It is sometimes demanding! Here are some of the events we are preparing for.

I am delighted that this year at the Christmas Carol's event Why Christmas? there will be a powerpoint feature on The Jericho Road Project during the service followed by a collection where 50% will go to the project. In addition there will be a JRP display in the Hall, where drinks will be served. This will take the form of photographs and written information. Please do invite your friends, family, neighbours and work collegues to this event.

The Feast Christmas Event is on the 17th December 2008 and will include the Feast Choir (see previous entry for photos of rehersal). Last year there were about 150 people there. We will send out an invite to all those that we have an address for, mostly people who have attended the Feast in the last year or so. Please feel free to invite people to the event and of course make sure you are there. It should be a brilliant night. As usual everyone will receive a present. This year there is a church in Bermondsey that is keen to buy some presents for the people at the Feast.

The annual resident's walk and (non alcoholic) pub meal is happening on the morning of the 18th December 2008.

When people consider Why Christmas? at this year carol services I am very excited that the kingdom of God will be displayed through a practical demonstration of love and care for the poorest in our communities. As the church cares for those in need not only are we connecting with God's heart for people, but we are communicating to thousands of people how good our God is!