Sussex churches invited to showcase their inspirational community projects

Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life
Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life

Anglican churches across Sussex are being invited to take part in a competition to uncover inspirational projects and campaigns making a difference to communities across the country.

The 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 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.

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 win 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 there are also the full terms and conditions.

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

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.