Annual Report Summary 2020-2021
Covering the period 01 August 2020 to 31 July 2021
Covering the period 01 August 2020 to 31 July 2021
It is a joy to report that Christ Church London has known God’s blessing in many ways over the last year.
In August 2020, we continued to deliver our Sunday services online with Church at Home, which helped strengthen many through a particularly difficult season during lockdown. After restrictions were lifted, we began to transition back to in-person services.
In July 2021, we secured a 5-year lease on a property on Coborn Street in Mile End. Many members of the church, especially those living in East London, gave their skills and resources to help refurbish the building, making it ready as the new home for the Mile End service.
STEPS moved online and saw a three times increase in attendees, and the Everything Conference received positive feedback both from the UK and internationally. Vauxhall Foodbank was also awarded a grant from the Love Your Neighbour initiative, which funded the resources needed to reach more people in the Lambeth community.
We are also very thankful for the annual Gift Day which raised £220,000 including Gift Aid and pledges, surpassing our target of £150,000. The money raised from this Gift Day has been allocated to the Property Fund, the Vauxhall Foodbank, and STEPS.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible generosity of the staff, volunteers, and trustees of Christ Church London. It has been a great joy to serve alongside you all.
Throughout the year our Sunday services continued to provide a well-rounded Bible teaching programme encouraging people to grow in their faith, which was especially important in light of the challenges of this unique season.
Over the year, we ran sermon series on Living by Faith, exploring biblical examples of living faithfully; Kingdom Come, looking at Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom and how it meets our deepest needs; Spirit Filled Life, learning to continue God’s work in the face of contemporary challenges; and Living Sacrifice, looking at Romans 12 and how to build genuine community.
Church at Home continued throughout the year, broadcasting the service online for those unable or uncomfortable to attend in-person services when we were allowed to meet again. Worship songs for Church at Home were filmed and recorded at the Swiss Church, and we now have a bank of over 50 songs available on YouTube for both church and public use. In October 2020, the single Emmanuel was released which we used as the basis for our Christmas film, and it has garnered over 3,200 views on YouTube.
In early summer 2021, the two services came together to form one service on Sunday mornings. There has been an emphasis on re-gathering and strengthening the service as there have been many changes for people who have historically been part of the Central and Covent Garden services.
During lockdown, members of the Stockwell service were encouraged to engage with the Sunday services held online. Each week, a host introduced the different elements of Church at Home, before leading into praying for one another or catching up in breakout rooms. As we found this a meaningful way to connect we decided to continue even after we returned to in-person services. A highlight from the year was baptising a member of the congregation in an outdoor hot tub!
Since the move to The Cryer Arts Theatre, the Sutton service has grown significantly over the last year. The children’s ministry grew to over 70 children, including teenagers. There have also been a number of Hong Kong families joining Sutton as a result of the Hong Kong BN(O) welcome programme.
In July, we secured a 5-year lease on 1-3 Coborn Street in Mile End. Bethnal Green services were postponed throughout July, and DIY Sundays were held, where volunteers were invited to decorate and prepare the space. Over 60 different people volunteered throughout the month. The service was renamed Mile End to better reflect the building’s location.
In 2020, Vauxhall Foodbank was awarded a £61,000 Love Your Neighbour grant, which afforded two additional vans and van drivers enabling deliveries to be made five days a week. The delivery service has enabled food access to those unable to leave their house. It has been determined that they will continue operating in a hybrid model going forward.
Collectively, Lambeth Foodbanks fed 30,727 people across Lambeth, resulting in provision to approximately 3,840 people. Over 1,000 Christmas parcels containing gifts and festive food were delivered to those in need over the Christmas period.
£68,000 was raised for Vauxhall Foodbank through the crowd-funding campaign, and community and corporate donations. We are delighted that Foodbank has been able to fully cover its costs through external fundraising.
We have continued our support of two Child Survival Programs in Rwanda through Compassion UK, as well as our partnership with International Justice Mission’s Field Office in the Dominican Republic. We also supported Big Kid Foundation, London Cares, Growth, Refugee Education UK, and Tearfund’s disaster relief.
Due to COVID-19, all STEPS activities were moved online. The online format proved to be more accessible and efficient, and we had over 400 people participate in a STEPS course, with 14 churches running STEPS in tandem with us. We were also able to run courses in the USA and Canada.
“The STEPS course has proven to be both thoughtful and well produced. Those who have worked through the programme have found it amazingly powerful, beyond the expectations they had at the start. We will definitely build this excellent discipleship tool into our annual plans for the future.”
This year, the pastoral team was run entirely by volunteers based in each of the services, offering one-to-one support mainly via Zoom.
Monthly emotional health seminars were held online, followed by several four-week long pastoral groups supporting individuals facing issues such as managing grief and relationship breakdown.
The Everything Conference was held in November as an online livestream event, hosted in partnership with World Vision UK. Throughout the year, we also held two Everything Movement Leaders Roundtables, focussing on the role of church networks in the role of cultural renewal. In January, in partnership with World Vision UK, we presented the Connected Generation Report by Barna Group, which was the largest-ever study examining the unique challenges and opportunities facing 18- to 35-year-olds.
In August, we hired Erin Bradbury as Director of Everything to facilitate the growth of this area.
In addition to live carol services, we also produced a film called Emmanuel. The film included spoken word, carols, and readings, showcasing the talent of Christ Church London volunteers. Our Carol services raised over £12,000, which was split evenly between two London based charities: Big Kid Foundation, which works with disadvantaged and at-risk young people in south London, and the London Cares family, who work with the elderly in north, south and east London.
Click the arrows to see some of our favourite online moments.
A Conversation About Race, with guest speaker Reverend Mark Nam
Emma reading the Easter story for CCL Kids
Good Friday service