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As a church in the city and surrounds, we are constantly learning how to interpret the scriptural mandate on us to remember the poor. This has been the case for the last 40 years, and it’s been an adventure to empower and harness those who identify with the vision and values of our church to use the skills God has given them for the flourishing of their communities.
There has never quite been a time like this where, post-pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to seek the welfare of the people in our city. This cultural moment, therefore, is perfect soil in which to plant new seeds, tend fresh initiatives and develop new partnerships in the season ahead. That’s what we’ve been doing in the last year or so, and the 'Care for Our City' team has put its energy into some significant areas of priority. These are Food Insecurity, Housing, Well-Being and Family. For us with such a mission before us, understanding the 'story' of individuals is the starting point of authentic care, and learning to help with tender signposting towards wholeness and health.
There are numerous projects underway that are fruitful and worthy in their own right, but when we look at the whole picture it’s clear to us that identification to an overall vision leads to productivity, shared-learning and stable partnerships. And of course we want our city to see how much we care - it’s our gospel motivation.
Caring for our city is our joy.
We are now running three food banks (Shoreham, Villas, Clarendon Centre) from the premises of our Sites. Each project is led by church members, benefitting from the generous time and energy of volunteers - not just from our churches but including people of faith and of none in the community. All our food banks are networked with the Trussell Trust, and are partnering with local council agencies across Brighton, Hove and Adur. They also receive regular donations (food & finance) from multiple individuals and organisations.
Charis Counselling is a supportive community of counsellors and therapists from a range of disciplines and modalities that are united by their Christian faith. Counselling is available to people of all faiths or none, however, most of our referrals come through local Church Pastors and Church ministries.
We also partner with the KEYS Detox program, equipping churches and Christian organisations to reach their communities and support those facing addiction to find freedom. Our programme is Christ-centred, practical, and relational, providing holistic support to address the addiction, its root causes, and the ongoing impact it can have to bring hope, healing, and lasting freedom. We work with individuals, their local church, and their existing networks to provide support tailored to their needs, through every stage of the recovery journey.
Partnering with the Time to Talk project enables us to offer a range of joy-filled one to one and group befriending services, intergenerational projects, seasonal events, chaplaincy and signposting services for older people experiencing loneliness. We are engaged in supporting people across Brighton and Hove, Adur and Worthing through a strong team of community volunteers.
Brighton, Hove & Adur is much like any other large conurbation in the UK that is needful of families and individuals who are willing to open their homes to children needing a loving, nurturing environment. Fostering & Adoption is a complex and emotive arena, but very much at the heart of the gospel. We are partnering with other churches in the city to raise awareness of the need for people to join the adventure of fostering and adoption. In the Spring of 2022 we hope to facilitate a 'foundations course' open to multiple church congregations to investigate the realities of such an adventure.
There is a need to be met.
We are also engaged in support and networking within our own church those who are already currently on the journey. The Home for Good charity in the UK is helping us to shape this work in the months ahead.
Baby Basics is a national charity supporting new mums with the essentials they need, for baby and themselves, to navigate the early months of family life. We work with midwives, health visitors and hospitals to meet the needs of families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. We have these projects operating in both the Brighton & Adur regions, under our project leadership and support of our Sites.