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02 April 2014

HOPE in the Lakes

HOPE in the Lakes

Food, films and community action are on the agenda this Easter as churches, college students and local residents team up to treat Kendal to a make-over.

The HOPE Kendal Easter event starts this week and is lead by Cornerstone church (Sandylands Methodist Church) in partnership with other local churches in the town including St Thomas' Church and working with Southlakes Housing, local residents' association. Students from Cliff College, a bible college in Derbyshire, will also be taking part.

From 4 – 13 April volunteers will be giving back to their community, focusing on the Sandylands estate, by taking part in activities such as painting over graffiti and sprucing up residents' and public gardens in time for spring. Local MP Tim Farron will assist in the painting of a community wall.

The team will also be putting on film and craft afternoons for children and an Oscar- winning blockbuster film night for adults followed by discussion with desserts. The 10-day festival will end on Palm Sunday with a special breakfast event.

Community worker at Sandylands Methodist Church, Rev Jonny Gios co-ordinates the mission: "The primary needs are what we are responding to - the felt needs of the community.

"It's a big event that is drawing local churches to work together for the first time and we have 105 volunteers so far. It's brilliant that people want to make a difference.

"Sandylands has around 2,500 residents who are mainly white British but with increasing numbers of eastern Europeans. The community has both private and rented housing and has pockets of deprivation with almost one quarter of the population earning less than 10k per annum."

"This is an opportunity for people to explore the meaning of Easter in a fresh way. I'm hoping that the community will be a better place to live and residents will see the church in a positive light as Christians serve and talk aboutsalvation with local residents.

"The Church has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to engaging with our communities. Christians need sensitivity, passion for the gospel, holistic love for their community and a willingness to get their hands dirty."

HOPE Sandylands is part of HOPE, an ongoing mission movement, which seeks to encourage the whole UK church to impact the whole nation through words and actions. HOPE has the backing of an unprecedented range of denominations, ministries, movements, conferences and networks.

Roy Crowne, HOPE's national director says: 'It is thrilling to see churches working together to make a difference to local communities, bringing the community together. Easter is the perfect time to celebrate together as a community and to discover the lasting hope Jesus died to give us all.'

Find out more about what is going on in HOPE Sandylands in Kendal