Annual Report Summary 2019-2020
Covering the period 01 August 2019 to 31 July 2020
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Covering the period 01 August 2019 to 31 July 2020
After a challenging year, it’s so encouraging to look back and celebrate all that God has done in and through the church. Please join me in reflecting on just some of the highlights of the past academic year. We got off to a memorable start with the annual Christ Church London Retreat at the end of August 2019. We enjoyed wonderful times of worship, teaching and ministry and a real sense of excitement as people from each of the services gathered together in one place.
In October we were thrilled to see the start of our sixth Christ Church London service, a Bethnal Green morning service, at The Globe Primary School, Tower Hamlets. Other highlights of the autumn term included the Everything Conference in November, and celebrating our 15th birthday at Love London Sunday.
Our annual Gift Day in March 2020 was held just before the national lockdown, and we are deeply grateful for the remarkable generosity of the church, who have given £212,000 to date.
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions changed the course of our activities for the rest of the academic year. We worked quickly to take every aspect of church life online, and you will see some of the impact of our efforts reported here.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed to the life of the church over the previous year with their time, resources and dedication, including staff, volunteers and trustees. It is my great joy to serve alongside everyone.
Alongside our Sunday services, courses and Connect Groups, we ran a number of events through the late summer and autumn terms. In August we held the Church Retreat, which was attended by 180 adults and 54 children, and in November we celebrated our 15th anniversary with a Love London Sunday which featured nine baptisms. The Everything Conference was attended by 270 people, and this was complemented by a number of other smaller Everything events through the term. Our Christmas services on the theme of hope were a real highlight at the end of 2019.
Click the arrows to scroll through and see images of some of these highlights.
This year we had a total of 5 Alpha courses, with 90 guests and 36 volunteers.
Here is Izzy’s story.
We celebrated Christ Church London’s 15th anniversary with all of our services together at the Mermaid Theatre.
From Sunday 22nd March, all our live services were cancelled due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. We responded with an online service called Church at Home, pre-recorded and available to watch on multiple platforms.
"The amount of support we are gaining just from the online Church at Home has been amazing. It’s been an absolute blessing. We pray in hope for the day we can visit your church together. God bless you all at Christ Church London who make Church at Home a ‘possible’ & wonderful experience with God!"
One of the highlights of moving online were our online STEPS courses. We had 150+ registrations from our church, across the UK and further afield. We also ran our first Church leaders’ course, and had 20 groups over the year, with 140 participants. For the first time, we hosted three live pastoral seminars on different aspects of emotional health, reaching over 400 people. Our Kids team also ran Kids Zooms each Sunday across all of our services.
"STEPS has reminded me again of the immensity of God's love and that nothing is too difficult, or too unimportant, for Him. I am thankful for having found a way of expecting and allowing God's ongoing work of transformation in my life."
We have a wonderful church family at Christ Church London, and are so thankful that even during lockdown we have been able to stay connected online and share moments of life together, both big and small. Here are some of our favourite bits.
Click the arrows to see some of our favourite online moments.
Church at Home worship
The Vauxhall Foodbank ran its usual café on Wednesdays and Saturdays from August until March 2020. During those eight months, it provided food to 1,726 people (Full year 2019: 2,184). London City Mission provided the venue and cooked breakfasts for clients.
In April we joined forces with two other Foodbanks in Lambeth to run a delivery service to the whole of the borough out of a warehouse in Streatham. In the period April to July we jointly delivered food parcels to 12,674 people, of whom it is anticipated 12.5% of clients were linked to the Vauxhall Foodbank. We have utilised staff and volunteers to support the increased workload. Many of our regular café volunteers were unable to keep serving due to the relocation to Streatham, but new opportunities have emerged for volunteers as delivery drivers and as part of the signposting team, who follow up on the deliveries with phone calls to offer further support. Estimated full year provision is 3,310 people (2019: 2,184).
We have also been grateful for the financial support we have received from the wider community who gave over £20,000 to our Crowdfunder appeal.
We continued to support two child survival programs in Rwanda through Compassion, as well as our partnership with International Justice Mission’s Field Office in the Dominican Republic. We also supported Refugee Support Network, GrowTH night shelters in Tower Hamlets, Tearfund’s Disaster relief, the Lambeth Partnership, The Sophie Hayes Foundation and Power the Fight.