Congregational Federation Serving the Community Awards 201221 May 2012
Village community initiative celebrates Award
The Village Community Breakfast, an initiative created by Bow Congregational Church to help build and celebrate friendships within the community, has recently won a prestigious national award.
This quarterly event offers a free breakfast and seeks to build relationships within the local community, while also breaking down negative perceptions of the church by providing a friendly and non-threatening environment.
Bow Congregational Church began the breakfast in 2009 as part of a wider effort to build vital links with the local community, which also included refurbishing areas of the church and holding informal lunches twice annually after the Sunday service to share the vision with church attendees.
Volunteers from the church prepare a continental or full cooked breakfast for anyone wishing to drop in. Attendees have tripled since the first breakfast was held and include mums with school-age children, elderly members of the community, local tradesmen and farmers.
The Village Community Breakfast has been so popular that the church recently provided a Village Tea, which included activities for primary school children, following requests from local parents.
Reverend Colin Smallacombe attended the 40th Assembly of the Congregational Federation in Dunfermline to receive the award and £2,000 prize money.
He said: “We’re overjoyed to receive this recognition from the Congregational Federation and Congregational Insurance.
“When we set out with this project we wanted a scheme that was open to all and engaged with the local community.
“We’re so happy with the growth of our project. We see more visitors every time we hold the event and seeing new faces really motivates us, there’s nothing better than sharing a meal together.
“We will use the much-needed prize money to update our kitchen facilities, buy vital equipment that we currently have to rent and invest in soft play equipment for the young children that sometimes attend with parents.”
Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager from Congregational, said: “We’re delighted to present this award to Bow Village Community Breakfast as the work that the volunteers do is clearly appreciated and of great value within the community.
“Providing a free meal in an informal atmosphere is an excellent way to encourage those who perhaps wouldn’t normally attend church to drop in. They can meet old friends and neighbours as well as new and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the local area.
“It’s great to hear such a wide cross-section of the community mixing together and it’s further proof that the church is providing an essential service to this community.”
The Congregational Federation Community Awards seek to recognise local schemes that make a positive impact in their community. The awards are sponsored by Congregational & General Insurance which has run a community award scheme for the past fifteen years.