Audacious Church

The Audacious church on Trinity Way is gearing up for a busy yuletide season as they call on local residents to help them in their most ambitious Christmas project so far.

With Christmas this year hopefully being a return to normality for most, it is worth remembering that there are still many families across the region that are still reeling from the effects of lockdown and the wider pandemic itself.

Which is why Audacious Church have brought back their annual festive charity drive, The Christmas Big Give, to provide those who need it with some much-needed festive cheer.

Working alongside the Audacious Foundation, the church, which sits on Trinity Way, is now entering its sixth year of The Big Give and has expressed that they want this year to be their biggest project to date.

Speaking back in November at the launch of The Big Give, Glynn Barrett, one of Audacious’ Senior Pastor’s, stated that it is definitely an operation in which all the community plays a role, he said:

“Every Christmas, we at Audacious make it a priority to reach out to those in need within our communities.”

Audacious Church have been running their Big Give initiative at Christmas for the past six years (credit: Archie Richards)

“(Audacious have been) Working in partnership with local schools, health care and social workers to bring support in what can be a difficult time for many.”

Last Christmas, the church put together nearly two and a half thousand meals with the help of donations and an army of volunteers packing hampers that went on to feed over 600 of the most struggling families across Greater Manchester and Salford.

Laura Howard oversees the work done by the Audacious Foundation, who play a key role in The Big Give every year, she explained that the project was initially set up as a direct response to what they saw in the community around them, she said:

“It was probably about five years ago that we started to really see the need within families with our local community. It was a bit of a reaction to the need on the ground.”

Howard went on to explain that the core idea of the initiative is to provide the families who may not necessarily be able to afford the luxuries of Christmas with all the elements they need to celebrate properly.

Starting off as a local project that initially started as a small project feeding Salford families, The Big Give developed, with their outreach going across the region and further afield.

“It feels like our biggest year yet. We started with (making and delivering) 150 food hampers to Salford families and it’s grown year on year.”

Laura Howard (left) oversees the work of the Audacious Foundation and Keith Reid (right) is the church’s Mission and Kid’s Director – both play a big part in organising The Big Give.

“We’re now working in campuses across the UK, so we’ve (now) got food hampers going out in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Sheffield, Cardiff. And we’re aiming for 700 food hampers this year which will feed families with five or six within a family… in terms of numbers it’s big!

Donations can include all the key elements that make up a Christmas dinner including gravy granules and stuffing mix, but the church has also stated that you can donate Tesco vouchers and the shopping will be done for you.

Keith Reid, Audacious’ Mission and Kids Director, explained that the local response they’ve received from drives such as this is a true reflection of the church itself and that Audacious as a community is more than just the building, he said:

“For us its a picture of what church is, the church isn’t restrained to the four walls but it is actually the people.”

“What better way to show that we love our city, we love our neighbor than for all of us to contribute by bringing in food offerings, financial offerings together into one point.”

He continued by saying that there definitely is a huge food poverty problem in Salford and Manchester, which is why The Big Give is only a small part of the church’s wider festive plans, with projects and collaborations with local schools to their own Christmas production being show this weekend, all intending to give back to the people of Salford.

“We’re an active church in our community, so there’s lots of stuff going on in different departments.”

“In the building today we’ve got our homeless banquet. So we feed the homeless in our building twice a week and out on the street six days a week, but we always do a special Christmas banquet around this time of year. I’m not sure, with Covid, what the numbers will be like, but I know we’ve had over 100 homeless people in (before).”

In terms of the Christmas hampers, Audacious are asking that donations consist of the key elements found within a Christmas dinner, ranging from gravy, to mince piece and even Christmas crackers. Gifts and toys are also encouraged to be brought to Audacious’ the Trinity Way campus, ready to be distributed on Christmas week. Volunteers to help pack and deliver the hampers are also being asked to come forward as the amount of donations is expected to be substantial this year.

Audacious’ The Big Give in Salford will take place this Sunday December 19th. To find out more regarding how you can donate to Audacious’ Big Give, or volunteer at any of their Greater Manchester sites to help pack hampers, you can visit the Audacious site here.

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