A roundup of All Saints’ Christmas breakouts
At All Saints, we like to get out and serve others, showing God’s love in different ways and in different places. To this end, we ‘break out’ a few times a year – most recently at the start of December. Here’s what went on.
Rachel Mulema: CAP Christmas Hampers
People in All Saints filled up the Christmas hampers so generously. Eighteen people from church were involved in delivering the hampers both on breakout Sunday and the following week. What happened when they were delivered?
- A said thank you many, many times, adding that we will never know how much this means to them as a family.
- S said it was a lovely surprise.
- A single mum with a big family with hardly any money to buy gifts for her children was extremely grateful. She couldn’t hold back her tears as she expressed her gratitude.
- Another client said the hamper brought her so much joy during this lonely Christmas period as she lives on her own.
- S would like to bake a cake for the family who put together her hamper.
- C gave the young man who brought her hamper a big hug.
- Six clients were very touched that we reached out to them, and responded by coming to church for the Carol service.
Thank you for your involvement in the CAP ministry. This year CAP recorded the 5000th person to come to know Jesus through the work of CAP, and All Saints has played a part in this.
Mike Bansback: Camberwell Care Home
A group from All Saints gathered in Santa hats with carol songsheets and a keyboard to share Christmas joy with the Camberwell Care Home. Sadly the home is closing over the coming weeks, and there is a lot of uncertainty about where and when some of the residents and staff will be going which means it is a difficult Christmas. So it was all the more important to visit and spend time at the Home, and it was very much appreciated.
We set up the keyboard in several different parts of the home, determined that no one missed out, regardless of how mobile they are. We were able to sing carols, share mince pies, crackers and some small gifts with all the residents. Having some children with us helped a lot, and it was great to see so many smiles. One resident who we have noticed is often grumpy when we visit, was finally won over and was smiling and singing by the time we had finished. Others were clearly moved, and it became quite emotional and sad at times, as residents appeared to remember Christmas from years gone by.
It is not an easy place to visit, many residents have a very lonely existence and stay in their rooms for most (if not all) of their days. However we know that Breakout Sunday gave an opportunity to break into that routine, and help demonstrate God’s love this Christmas.
Darius Weithers: practical help
We managed to fit 12 square metres of laminate for a lady who is a friend of All Saints. She already had the laminate but nobody to fit it. It was hard work, but we had a great time of fellowship while getting the job done.
Andy Blacknell: Brixton prison
Brixton was very encouraging. Jo Sayer had organised a prayer meeting after our last visit. The previous long-term wonderful chaplain had left, the new one only stayed a few weeks and there was a new governor who brought an Imam with him from his previous prison to head up Chaplaincy.
We arrived on Sunday to be met by a wonderful new young chaplain called Jared who led worship and preached a fantastic sermon. During ministry time he said he had never seen the men respond so quickly as they came forward. Many of us had powerful times of prayer with the guys. I prayed for one man who was illiterate but full of faith and a gentle, contrite heart. It’s a real privilege. Jared said we had been an incredible blessing and encouragement to him as well.
Jenny Dawkins: Carol singing
And lo, there appeared at the station, and around the streets of Peckham, and in the Christmas markets, a great host of Saints, praising God and singing “Joy to the world!” “O come all ye faithful!”, and of course, “Bring me flesh and bring me wine”.
In Breakout Week, All Saintsers made a joyful – and remarkably beautiful – noise singing early morning carols to the commuters at Peckham Rye, evening carols to those living around the church, and Saturday carols to the shoppers at Pexmas. It’s such a great way of inviting people into the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We handed out chocolate and invitations to our Christmas services, and received a lot of good will, including commuters tweeting their thanks! My prayer is that the amazing truths we were singing about would linger in our listeners’ ears, the way that music can, and that those of us that sang, and those that listened would all know for ourselves how “where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.”