Diocese of Manchester

    Church for a Different World awards 2018

    Bishop David has announced nine Church for Different World awards in recognition of churches that are reaching out to their communities in new and innovative ways.

    The awards celebrate how churches across Greater Manchester and Rossendale are changing to meet the needs of their communities by providing welcoming spaces and championing the needs of communities, many of which are in deprived areas.

    Bishop David said, “This is the second year running that we have invited nominations from our churches for Church for a Different World awards. Once again I am delighted with the response, and eager to celebrate the inspirational and innovative work that our churches are doing.”

    This year’s awards demonstrate how churches are at the heart of the communities they serve, providing welcoming spaces, places of belonging and events for the wider community. The outworking of Christian faith is demonstrated in many ways, from the provision of English classes and music lessons, holiday and lunch clubs, and projects that tackle social isolation and lack of opportunity.

    Awards evening
    The award-winning projects for 2018 are:
    Group Project Summary
    Run by four churches: Holy Trinity, Platt, Manchester Chinese Christian Church, Manchester Arabic Church, and Grace Church. Alexandria Library Bookshop at 247 Wilmslow Road Providing a Christian presence on Curry Mile, the Library stocks books in Arabic and Asian languages. It provides a meeting place for many nationalities who linger to chat and browse, and well as rooms above the shop for gatherings, meals and offices. A growing number of people are coming to Christian faith through meeting in the bookshop.
    St Katharine, Blackrod Blackrod Scarecrow Festival The popular Scarecrow Festival, now in its 12th year, is organised by the church and brings the whole community together to take part in creating 130 scarecrows that adorn the village. It’s a time to get together (all the churches and schools are involved and hold their summer fairs on the same day). People enjoy each other’s company, friendship and fun.
    St Clement, Chorlton St Clement’s Lunch Club A lunch club for elderly and isolated people including people with disabilities/
    dementia and their carers. The project transcends the age gap by inviting Year 6 pupils to chat to guests and help with serving meals and clearing tables.
    St Paul, Heaton Moor Men in Sheds Tackling men’s isolation, this project gets men together in the choir vestry for wood working sessions. They create bird and bat boxes, plant troughs and bottle openers. Men in Sheds has made the church more accessible to the community and met a social need for friendship and creativity.
    Christ with All Saints, Heaton Norris Christ with All Saints’ Music Club In a deprived area, the church offers free Saturday morning music lessons for children who would not be able to afford it. Church choir members and volunteers from the RNCM teach 28 children in vocals, organ, brass, woodwind, piano and strings. The result has been to double church attendance and a proposed Sunday school and community choir.
    St Andrew, Hillock Community Hub and Breakfast Club Transforming an empty vicarage into a community hub that offers a food pantry, clothes store, library and wifi for low income and unemployed families. The breakfast club provides free breakfasts for children in the summer holidays, with support from the local council and allotments.
    The Ascension, Lower Broughton Creative English Classes Using trained facilitators, the church offers English classes for refugees and migrant workers. Role play involves games, activities and drama and helps people learn and practise conversational English in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Users report increased confidence, understanding and integration into the community.
    North Manchester Deanery Funeral Project A deanery office was created for a group of churches in North Manchester. By working together they are able to accept all bookings for funerals, thus being able to care more effectively for families at their time of need. Clergy cover for one another and there is a single point of contact which has been much appreciated by funeral directors.
    St Chrysostom, Victoria Park Olympias Books In an area of high child poverty, the church facilitates and encourages reading through Olympias Books. Donations of high-quality second hand books, including from MGS students, are sold at St John’s Primary, Longsight, making reading pleasurable and affordable. The money raised goes to a school in Gambia, achieving further good.
    Award for Christ with All Saints' Music Club

    Congratulations to the award winners. We hope that by sharing their ideas, other churches will be encouraged to try new things that have been shown to work well elsewhere.

    More photos on Flickr

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
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