The impact on fundraising during the Covid-19 crisis
Fundraising is one of the many things impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, the lockdown and the abrupt closing of doors on expectations, dreams and aspirations. All across Cornwall, plans that communities had prayed over, committed to and fundraised for have come to a halt. Understandably, funders have re-deployed their resources and energy to responding to the immediate needs of the many affected by this vicious virus. And community fundraising, most of which includes mass participation, simply cannot happen given the physical distancing restrictions
But many of these fundraising projects are vital to their communities, from building a much needed community hub in the centre of our capital to essential repairs on a rural church that, beyond the lockdown, will struggle to keep its doors open if the work isn’t done.
What happens to projects like Truro Lifehouse with big fundraising targets?
Truro Lifehouse is an ambitious project for All Saints Highertown, a church that has grown over the past eight years to become one of Truro’s largest community providers. It aspires to transform its tacked onto, patched up 1980s church building into a purpose built community centre, to better serve the hard-working organisations who operate from there. Organisations like Truro Foodbank, the Cornwall Children’s Clothing Bank, Singing for the Brain and many other groups and partners providing vital services to our most vulnerable.
Funding applications had been submitted, some very positive responses received, including from the council who recognise it as an essential development for the area. But then the virus came to our shores, doors had to be closed, applications put on hold and prayers sent up to ask, what next?
And small churches, like St Sampsons, also with big fundraising targets?
Likewise, St Sampson, a small rural church on the outskirts of Callington, has seen the bridge drawn up between themselves and funders. The community around this beautiful 13th century church now stand at the foot of a very expensive mountain. In a village of just 500, the church needs a raft of repairs and renovations, from the roof and ceiling to the stained glass windows, installation of running water to a loo and a kitchen. Funders will come back on stream eventually, but what can be done in the meantime?
In the case of All Saints, life remains very busy on a pastoral level making sure needs of the community continue to be met and that no one is left behind or forgotten. Says Revd Jeremy Putman, “It’s obviously a worry as our plans for the Truro Lifehouse will do so much to improve the lives of the great many people who use it, as well as make it so much easier for all the organisations that use our building. But the vision came out of John 10:10, that Jesus came so that everyone can experience life in all its fullness, and we’re holding on to that promise.”
“… The vision came out of John 10:10, that Jesus came so that everyone can experience life in all its fullness, and we’re holding on to that promise.” says Revd Jeremy Putman
The team at All Saints are still talking to funders and working on preparing applications for when funding streams become available again.
Taking a brick by brick, £1 by £1 approach to fundraising
At St Sampsons they are doing the same but they are also taking a brick by brick, £1 by £1, approach. Reader Judith Ayers has been very proactive. This time last year, she opened up her beautiful garden for visitors and sold her produce for fundraising. That isn’t possible in the present crisis. So Judith has made her garden available online, though the Just Giving platform, and has so far raised £145.
“I was really heartened by the response. But it is hard to motivate people beyond the immediate community to contribute. We really want our church building to still be around as a community resource, a heart for our village, in years to come.”
“We really want our church building to still be around as a community resource, a heart for our village, in years to come,” says Reader, Judith Ayers.
Judith is part of a fundraising group called CRUX, which stands for cherished, restored, unlocked Church. It is made up of church and community members for fundraising and community engagement. The banner was made by the local toddler group
Fundraising is important, but so is praying
As one parishioner said, “The setting in which the church stands was ordained by God. When you think of all the prayers and hymns that have been sung down through the centuries, its presence is a vital part of where we are today and where we will be tomorrow for not just this generation but the next and the next. God’s presence protecting and upholding us all now and always.”
“God’s presence protecting and upholding us all now and always.”
It’s in times like these that prayer seems to be the only thing left to do. Prayer started these projects and prayer will see them through, as the Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
If you want to find out more about either project, please follow the links: