Six months of parish fundraising
It is hard to believe that I have been the Parish Fundraising Manager for the Diocese of London for over six months now. During this time I have shared my many different thoughts on a whole range of fundraising ideas: how to find out what the community really wants from its local church; legacies; and digital resources to name but a few.
I have learnt a lot about the Diocese, its parishes and more importantly, about the amazing outreach that is being undertaken by our churches throughout London as they share the love of Jesus Christ by their actions.
In a recent communication from Bishop Richard he mentions that:
“churches have a unique role to play in bringing to life stories of London communities coming together as neighbours and fellow citizens across all the boundaries of class, religion and ethnicity”.
I am very blessed in my role as a fundraiser to hear about many of the ways this is happening. Below are just two example of those projects.
St Michaels and All Angels, Harrow Weald
The vision is for the church and community hub to meet the needs of their local community, by extending and re-ordering the church to become a Community Hub, providing much needed space at affordable prices for local groups and organisations. The PCC has carried out an extensive review to make sure that they are meeting the needs of the residents which has helped them to secure awards funding from several grant makers to help them fulfil their vision.
Christ Church with St Laurence, Brondesbury and St Laurence’s Larder
This high profile project recently featured in the Evening Standard as part of their food waste campaign.
The Larder started with the then new Rector, Stephen France, in November 2012 as a Thursday afternoon drop-in. When one of the volunteers asked a young woman ‘would you like a cup of tea?’ She replied that she was starving. She hadn’t eaten for four days because she was trying to feed her children. A meal was quickly prepared for her to take away to her family and enjoy.
The team started by serving 12 guests on a Thursday but demand grew. They now open two days a week and serve over 200 guests. Guests can be homeless, lonely, poor and the marginalised; no questions are asked of them instead the team listen and offer food, a hot meal, bedding, clothing and fellowship to help ensure that nobody leaves The Larder hungry, angry or wanting.
The ongoing challenge is for the church is to cover the running costs of the project along with the bills for the gas, electricity etc which becomes more of a challenge as the number of guests catered for grow!
And finally, my top tip for this blog:
The Christian Funders’ Forum (CFF) is a group of executives of grant making trusts and foundations. Members of the forum grant more than £30 million a year to Christian work. The Forum meets regularly to encourage the sharing of best practice and to work together wherever that is possible.
Their webpage is hosted by The Cinnamon Network and is a useful site to visit as it provides the details of 25 funders in one place.
Carol Ward is the Parish Fundraising Manager for the London Diocesan Fund and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further help on fundraising check out www.london.anglican.org/fundmychurch.You can also follow us on Twitter @fundmychurch.