Amount given: £28,900 over 2 years (funding from 2020 – 2022)
This application was towards the costs of increasing and sustaining the activities offered to local children by the ‘Kids Team’. The application was made under our reaching out to the unchurched – especially young people and young families – by nurturing their spiritual interest and well-being priority for our Christian Projects grant programme.
Christine Muskett, Christian Grants Programme Manager
We were attracted to give a further grant having seen the impact of this work and particularly the focus given to encouraging young families into the church family. The whole team and the new Kids Pastor demonstrate that all have a heart for reaching young families with the Christian message; creative ideas include “Tots&Me on tour”, as well as regular weekly groups meeting in the church, providing a space for parents and children to explore faith.
Find out more about the work of the Holy Trinity Hastings
Rev Simon Larkin, Vicar
Financial support from The Henry Smith Charity has enabled us as a church to engage with many families in Hastings who are not part of our church community.
With the help of the grant we have been able to re-start our weekly ‘Tots&Me’ parent group meeting which now regularly attracts over eighty children. The children love the variety of activities on offer from craft, sensory messy play, construction, roleplay, physical play, singing and music and hearing bible stories. Parents and children are growing both in their relationships with each other as well as with our committed volunteer team. Families have started to regard our church as a fun, engaging place to be a part of and a place that cares and shows real interest in their lives.
The funding has enabled the Church to run Holiday Clubs for primary school aged children in our community during the school holidays particularly half terms, giving working parents a safe, fun and affordable place to send their children for a few days. On Sundays we have been able to further resource children’s groups and now organise regular family meals and other events together. We have been able to grow and train a team of volunteers who feel excited and energised by the work we carry out with children. It has meant that we have been able to be very thorough and rigorous in all our child protection policies, providing a safe and welcoming space for all local children.
‘Two years ago I was really struggling with depression and anxiety and felt like every day was exactly the same. I would look after my child, and struggled to leave my flat. I felt very isolated. I heard about the church and started going along on Sundays and to the ‘Tots&Me’ group.
I met so many nice and welcoming people and it made me want to keep coming back each week. After a while, I heard about ‘Alpha’ as a good place to explore further the Christian faith, I had loads of questions so I went along. At ‘Alpha’ I found the answers to the questions I needed to know and became a Christian. Since then, as corny as it sounds, my life has changed. I don’t feel alone anymore and I just feel so much more positive about things. I am now loving helping as part of the core team running ‘Tots&me’ and am involved in families ministry on a Sunday and enjoy encouraging other families in the community to engage with the Church.’