26 April 2011
With the Royal wedding and a bank holiday this weekend, Christians in the south-west are taking advantage of the extra time and communicating God's love in inspiring, practical ways.
Churches in the north of Bristol are joining together as part of The Noise initiative and putting on a range of community transformation projects.
Holding senior citizen banquets, sports activities, family fun afternoons, BBQs and practical help for communities all for free, The Noise is now running in its tenth year.
And the work doesn't just stop after the bank holiday. With a vision to inspire other projects throughout the year, fresh ideas coming out of The Noise this weekend will be fed into plans for sustainable projects in the coming months.
Working across estates in north Bristol, teams of volunteers from churches across the city will be working with local churches in Horfield, Lawrence Weston, Little Stoke, Lockleaze, Sea Mills and Southmead.
Louise, a local resident and volunteer, says of her Noise 2010 experience: "It's not just about being part of the church, it's about being part of the whole community... I had people come up to me who I didn't know and say 'thank you, you are doing such a great job'. It's nice to know that there are people who care and are willing to do these things for our community."
The Noise was started 10 years ago when local churches wanted to get together and use the weekend to serve their community. Over that time the initiative has significantly increased in influence and enabled churches from all over the city to serve urban estates in north Bristol.
Teams will be doing a range of practical things in the community from working in the gardens of vulnerable adults and single parent families and making rubbish clearances, to painting and helping out with the maintenance of local schools.
Family fun afternoons will include inflatable games, face-painting and a road show. Food will also feature on the programme - with three community BBQs and three senior citizen banquets being held. Sports activities will include football coaching and tournaments and car washing will also be hosted at the events.
Adds Louise: "I even got my children involved [in The Noise], which really made them appreciate their lives . . . It's really hard work, and I was shattered by the end of it, but if I'd been asked to go and do it all again the next day, I would have been there."
For more information see www.northbristolnoise.org.uk