We wish we didn't exist
This week's blog is a call to action from Cinnamon Network's resident writer, Jennie Pollock featuring some of the many activities Christians in Ipswich are involved with
Reprinted with kind permission. (Cinnamon Network UK, partners with many Ipswich churches on social action projects.)
In a world where numbers matter, where your worth is assessed by looking at your market share and your significance is measured by your growth, there’s one sector of society that strives for the opposite. The charity sector.
It’s true that at Cinnamon we shout about the Recognised Projects; we celebrate them and love to see them replicate in many cities, towns and villages across the country, but at the same time, we really wish they weren’t growing. And so do they.
We wish we weren’t needed.
In 2015 MakeLunch served 13,058 meals across 51 locations to children who would otherwise not have had a hot meal during their school holidays (source: their website). That’s enough to feed 435 classes full of children, but it’s still barely scratching the surface, since there are still over 1 million recipients of free school meals in the UK, and 170 days in the year when they’re not in school.
The team at MakeLunch wish the project didn’t exist. They long to see the end of poverty in the UK (and indeed the world), and look forward to the day when each kitchen can close its doors forever due to lack of demand.
They’re not alone. All Cinnamon's recognised projects love what they do and love the people they serve, but always hope that one day they might not be needed.
CAP longs for the day when their job clubs and debt advice centres will stand empty.
The Link Visiting Scheme wishes that communities would come together to care for each other such that there were no longer any lonely, scared people relying on their volunteers for a bit of human contact.
Night shelters wish they had no clients.
Baby Basics, 4Family and TLG would like to see every child and every family safe, flourishing and well-supported. We wish there were no crime, no war, no substance abuse, and no fear.
But until that day comes, we need your help. We need to grow – all of our projects do. The needs far outstrip the resources, so we need to do all we can to meet those needs.
Can you help?
Could your church start one of our recognised projects? Could you sponsor a church to start one? Could you forward our news sign-up to friends and family? Could you mobilise volunteers to join in with an existing project in your area?
We wish we didn’t need to exist, but since we do, would you join us in making a difference to those people most in need in your community?
Cinnamon Network Author
Contact Heart4Ipswich about these or any other ideas about starting a recognised church-based community project - click here.
Full article here: www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/we-wish-we-didnt-exist/
Since 2010, Cinnamon Network has partnered with local Ipswich projects: Christians Against Poverty (CAP Debt Advice), Ipswich 4 Family (Family Support), Parish Nursing (Care in the Community), Hope Into Action (Homeless Housing), Ipswich Winter Night Shelter (homeless shelters), Home for Good Suffolk (Adoption and Fostering).
In 2015 Cinnamon Network commissioned a nationwide Faith Audit. The local Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal survey results can be found here.
Cinnamon champions over 25 Recognised Projects – brilliant church-based community projects, both big and small – aiming to provide practical support and a strong network for them to rapidly expand and grow in impact. As Cinnamon looks forward an additional focus for 2016 is growing stronger links between local churches and local authorities, the police and other agencies.
For more information on Cinnamon Network see their website: www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Heart 4 Ipswich, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users. We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted in the forum below, upon the ideas expressed here.
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