A Year of Make Lunch Club

This Easter, we’re celebrating an important first anniversary. It’s a year since we first started ‘Make Lunch’, a club for families who need extra help in the school holidays, whether in terms of finances and food, or space to be together and find support. The 3 Churches Benefice partnered with a national charity ‘Transforming Lives for Good’ or ‘TLG’, whose aim is to help churches to work in their communities to combat poverty and improve the lives of children and young people. We started in the Easter holidays last year, running lunch and activity sessions twice a week for anyone who wanted to come. To date we have run 21 sessions, usually Mondays and Fridays, through all the school holidays, and we have made over 300 meals for children and their parents/careers, welcoming over 74 different children and 38 adults.

Every session is different in terms of who comes and what kind of day it is, but we always have an activity and a theme, a two-course hot meal, time to sit together and eat, and to get to know each other and build relationships. We have 16 volunteers signed up and try to have at least 6 or 7 on each session, working in the kitchen, cooking and washing up, or out front coordinating activities or chatting to folk.

It’s been hard work but we know it’s worthwhile from the stories we can share of parents who moved to the area recently and now feel part of the community, of children who were anxious and struggling at school but now feel they belong and have a sense of their identity and value. We shared some of our stories of the last year with our Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) Lead, Alex Hall, who has supported us on the journey and led our yearly review. She is so pleased with our work that she has awarded us Gold Club status!

We look forward positively to the next year at Make Lunch and thank all our supporters, volunteers and families for sharing the adventure!

Join us at Make Lunch Club over the Easter Holidays for fun, friendship and some yummy food. See the poster HERE for all the details.

We look forward to welcoming you!

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Baby Loss Awareness Week, 9–15th October 2023

The loss of a baby or pregnancy is heart-breaking, and this is happening to families across the UK everyday. During Baby Loss Awareness Week, from 9–15th October, The 3 Churches Benefice wanted to create a special display to remember all the babies lost, whether recently or long ago.

As such, we made a Ribbon Display outside St Andrew’s Church, Stanstead Abbotts and invited those affected to add a ribbon to our special Memory Tree. The church was open on Sunday 15th October, from 12 to 4pm for quiet reflection.

We also organized a Ribbon Run to raise funds for Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity who organizes Baby Loss Awareness Week. The team set off at 1pm on Sunday 15th October and walked/ran the 5km circuit from St Andrew’s Church. The current total raised so far is £282 + £49.62 GiftAid. Thank you to everyone who took part or sponsored the team. The page is still open if you would like to donate: Sands – Stanstead Abbotts 5k Ribbon Walk. All money raised from the Ribbon Run will go to Sands, so they can continue to support families and reduce baby deaths, by investing in research and championing better maternity care.

For anyone who needs the support of Sands you can find more information on their website .

The Big Quiz Night for Tearfund

On Saturday 7th October, we had an epic night of poverty-beating fun as we took part in The Big Quiz Night for Tearfund. This is an event that is run nationally, with churches all over the UK taking part.

This year at The Wilshere Hall we had a great turnout with around 23 attendees. It was a fun night, coming together as a community to enjoy a good quiz, but also to raise much-needed funds for a fantastic charity.

At the last count, The 3 Churches Benefice raised over £120. Overall, 5320 quizzes were run, 144 churches got involved and the current running total is £31,451 (on 11/10/2023)! To check out the latest numbers, go to The Big Quiz Night Totaliser HERE.

Thank you to everyone who came along to support this event!