Does Your Church Have a Bright Idea?

by Gerry Lynch last modified 26 May, 2016 04:01 PM

Ecclesiastical offers up to £10k prize money for churches with ideas for reaching their communities

The search is on. A national competition to find the nation’s church with the brightest idea to help its local community has this week been launched by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical. The ‘Reaching out, inviting in – churches helping communities’ competition aims to uncover inspirational projects and campaigns making a difference to communities across the country.

The competition is open to Anglican churches in the UK, and sets out to find ideas and initiatives that have really made a difference to local communities. The good news is that churches can enter any activity they have organised in the past 12 months, so the project doesn’t have to be currently active. Which means it can be an ongoing campaign or a one-off community outreach project.

The entries must be clearly aimed at supporting, helping or reaching out to local communities and must be managed by the Parochial Church Council, or the church council entering the competition.  Ideas can be as wide-ranging as collecting clothes for the homeless, or running a lunch club that enables older people to get out of the house, make friends, and enjoy a nourishing meal.

The winning project will scoop a top prize of £10,000, with five runner-up prizes taking £2,000 for each church.

Commenting on the launch, Michael Angell, church operations director at Ecclesiastical, said, “People sometimes forget what a unique and valuable focus churches are for our local communities, often being at the heart of finding solutions for some of the biggest issues and challenges faced by a community. This year we would like to find those churches, who work tirelessly every day to bring the communities around them together, and reward the best examples of community engagement for the contribution they make.  

“We are not only looking for major projects or initiatives where a community has rallied to build a church brick by brick from scratch, but also for the small scale projects, whether it is a soup kitchen for the elderly or a back-to-work counselling drop-in centre run in the church.

“It doesn’t matter if the project is great or small – if it has made a difference to the people in the church’s local area, we’d like to hear from them!” 

Applications for the competition are available online at www.ecclesiastical.com/churchcomp where you can also read the full terms and conditions.

Applications must be received by 31 August 2016, with winners being announced at an award ceremony in London on 9 November 2016. Entries are being accepted now.

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