Adapting church in London
At this time we are regularly hearing encouraging stories of churches adapting existing projects or starting new initiatives to serve vulnerable people. King’s Church London – reacting quickly to the current COVID-19 crisis – has done both; adapting one longstanding project and starting a new work to serve those within and beyond their four local church communities.
Jericho Road Project
The church’s Jericho Road Project (JRP) has been operating since 2001, supporting those living on the streets or in other vulnerable situations. However, lock-down has changed their weekly Feast operation from a Wednesday meal at the Catford Building to the new Feast Delivery Service, which is currently preparing and delivering 125 meals, three times a week. The leader, Simon Allen, talks about it in this video:
The Hope Initiative
At the same time as the changes to an existing work have taken place rapidly, the leadership team has also seen the current crisis creating problems for a wider community – physical and social isolation, job losses and reduced hours, or other uncertainties. The new Hope Initiative is the forum for both those in need and those able to assist others at this time.
Neal Glanville, one of the church pastors, who is helping co-ordinate the initiative with his wife Becci, comments, “The Hope Initiative is working alongside the JRP, widening the pool of people we can help and is combined with pastoral care and support.”
Those seeking help are primarily being linked to one of the church’s four communities at Catford, Lee, Downham and Beckenham. To date, the requests for help have included, practical tasks – especially shopping, financial assistance and often just a simple personal connection and prayer. On the help side, money is being given through the Hope Fund as well as volunteer time at different levels, including those willing to connect with those in isolation and those able to offer expertise on the benefit system particularly to the self-employed or people losing their jobs.
The key to the work of this London church is put like this, “This is a season for us all to be generous with what we have – our time, our resources, our skills and our prayers. We believe that even in the midst of difficult days, there is still hope.”