We asked those who have attended the engage events to post their Good Ideas on a board so that we could share them with everyone via the web site. Here they are. We have only edited them for typos, otherwise they are as delegates wrote them.

There are some great ideas here that may help you. We would encourage you not to copy them unless they really fit with the need that you see in your community. Instead get inspiration from them and come up with your own culturally relevant idea that is tailored to the needs of those in your community. If you have an idea and would like to send it to us simply complete the online form. Who knows we might contact you and expand your idea into a full article.

Asylum Seekers

Day clubs for non working immigrants –

Teaching English

  • Sharing different cultural food
  • Talking about their own celebrations
  • Learning about life in Britain
  • Visiting special places in Britain – outings
  • Knowing a place to go if they are struggling for food, money, support, housing etc

Dignity Packs

We provide Dignity Packs consisting of toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. for the women’s refuge and the Asylum Seeker detention Centre near our church

Welcome Nights

Welcome nights for migrant workers


Using Music to Engage

Free musical tuition for children – by church members, in children’s home or other – in groups or with individuals. [Comment: You need to be aware of Child Protection Issues] [Comment: What a great way to get the Worship Group involved in Engagement!]

Messy Church

We run a Messy Church 2x per term. It is brilliant. Craft, games, worship and food.

Kidz Klub

Start a kidz klub for the unchurched – ours is monthly with a monthly home visits. We visit 80 unchurched families a month and we are always warmly received


Top Tip on running Parenting and Marriage Courses

Run parenting and marriage events during weekend afternoons and provide a children’s fun club or holiday bible school programme for the children to provide child care – a family meal would be good for parenting groups – with fun things for families to talk about (relating to what the parents* have learned) during the meal. *Parents can bring packed lunches for kids so they can have a ‘marriage meal’ together


Provide contact centres for children and the non-resident parent


Munch Bunch

One of our small churches (15 members) runs ‘Munch Bunch’ – providing a main meal once a month for senior citizens at minimum cost. This is their way of reaching out to the village community

Shopping for the elderly. We as a church are currently involved in setting up a scheme to help those over 60 who are unable to shop for themselves within our local community

[Comment: Many elderly people never feel the warmth of an embrace of being touched dancing gives them this.]

Children & Elderly

Build a link between your local primary school and the old people’s home – a mutually benefical arrangement (be careful with legislation on Child Protection etc)

Environmental Issues


Working alongside those who share our concern for the environment [Comment: There is a double influence here.]


Provide recycling facilities for lunch packaging and plastic bottles


Bacon Rolls and Builders

We provide bacon rolls one morning a week free of charge to the local workmen and builders in our town

Low Cost Meal

Low coast meal on a Friday lunch time for local community

Subsidised Sunday meals for church and community

Offer Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunches for folks who live on their own or single parents

Use Food

Food banks / food parcels at Christmas for vulnerable in community

A Ministry of Food (sorry Jamie!)

Where families can come, children can cook while adults prepare meal (on a budget) then all eat together


Put on a barbecue free of charge for your local community. Use good butcher’s meat, hire a bouncy castle and just bless people. When your church people get behind you the funds to run it will come in no problem! We’ve run 2 now with over 250 non-church guests blessed this time. for pictures!


Fruit & Veg food co-op. Order from Wholesaler and distribute via your groups.


Have a great big tea party for your street.


Healthy Brockley

We run an initiative locally called “Healthy Brockley” consisting of events, activities and courses, aiming to scratch where people are itching. The events are run twice a year using a local school – we invite the community in but also community groups (e.g. Stop Smoking, Fitness, Counsellors, etc) to set up stalls. Plus workshops of all kinds of things from spiritual healing to laughter therapy!) We follow these events up with community courses, e.g. parenting, marriage, happiness and wellbeing, money / stress management (using CFF courses!). We are aiming to establish a “tradition” in the community to celebrate seasonal things. (Christmas, Easter, but also others …) We feel as if we’re still scratching the surface, but so far we’re engaging people more where they are at than previously (Andy Parnham, Brockley Community Church)

Parish Nursing

If you are a nurse become a parish nurse

Learning Disabilities

Reaching out to adults with learning disabilities. Meet Thursday evenings and monthly for church service and tea

Need for craft / social / integration groups – especially with current threat of cuts in local authority services

Be in touch with Prospects – supporting parents of children and adults with learning disabilities, who are often shunned by churches


Marriage Preparation

Inviting any couples who plan to marry during the year to a special lunch in the early New Year when you give them details together before private talks with couple


Men’s Group

Discussing real issues that affect all men in a non-religious way

Dads and Kids

Dad’s morning with Kids. Bacon rolls, games, football, craft. [Comment: This can be used with any age of child, you just change the event/content.] [ ] [Comment: Often the best way of engaging men is not directly but through what they do.]

Engaging Dads and Schools

Churches working with schools and children’s centres to set up dads and children’s groups. Develop more ministries aimed at men and fathers in the community

Money and Debt

Financial Counselling

We obtained a licence from the /Office of Fair Trading and now help people through their financial problems. Have helped 7 families in the local community in as many months

Parents and Toddlers

Bumps and Babes Group

I ran a bumps and babes group in our village for a new mums – I ran it in the afternoon from 2:30 – 4:30pm so that mums didn’t feel they had to get out of the house early in the morning and feel a failure if they didn’t get there


We don’t have the resources to run a Parent and Toddler – but, at least once, during the school holidays we run “Playdays” – an afternoon of craft and games – 90% of people are unchurched

Afternoons in school holidays. Craft and activities for 0-11 yrs. Somewhere for families to go!

Book Library

We recently introduced a book library (for adults) at our Toddler Group and already this has resulted in some opportunities for some interesting conversations with a few parents

Toddler Group and Prayer

Our toddler group (in a very mixed faith area) has introduced a prayer board where people can share their joys and concerns

If you haven’t got space

We didn’t have space for all the kit you need to run a traditional Parent and Toddler Group so we started a Music and movement group instead. [Comment: You could do this with whatever talents you have in the church: a Big Cook; Little Cook Group; a Dance Group; A story time group.]

Run 21st Century Parent

Run 21st Cen Parenting along side toddler group. Where parents can be doing what thy normally do. Course in another side room. They are 15-20 mins long run two at different times so parents can help look after each others children and if possible have a floating crèche worker in toddler group as well to help?

New Mums Group

I run a group for mothers with babies under one. It is very popular – the mums make friends at a challenging time in their lives. There are then links into our church activities


A giant teddy bears picnic for the Under 5s in a local park


A special nativity service for the Under-5s from Toddler Group. They all dress up and we do the nativity story.

Other Services

(Mother &) Toddler “pram service” supplement Christingle with Crosstingle (Easter) and Summer Tingle (Summer hols)


Preparing Parents for Secondary School

Use “Extended Schools agenda” – transition to Year 7 parents meetings as opportunity to advertise and offer How to Drug Proof” sessions. [Comment: What a great way to engage. Get the Church parents whose Kids have just gone through year 7 to tell their story of transition.]

Lending Library

Our local children’s centre has started a library of books to lend to parents.


We run “Jigsaw” – a parenting group-support and discussion over real coffee and homemade cake. The kids are in a crèche and we allow mums to be themselves for 45 minutes.

Expecting a baby

We organise pamper days for pregnant ladies, advertised through the community midwives. We do their nails, feet, facials, have afternoon tea and magazines and send them away with a goody bag and church info. We follow up by text and send cards when the babies are born


Christmas carol service

For whole community with mince pies and mulled wine

Hot Cross Buns / Mince Pies

Give out hot cross buns and mince pies to shoppers at local supermarket at Easter and Christmas

Profile Raising

We have no church building – need to raise our profile – occasional outreach events (Christmas, Easter etc.). Give away things drinks, cakes, bacon sandwiches etc. (worship group, drama), gift bags free with e.g. candles ,plants, books etc. (depending on theme) Crafts for children, prayer tent, Fairtrade stall, other stalls, bouncy castle etc.

Use Food

Food banks / food parcels at Christmas for vulnerable in community


We’re having a ‘sausage sizzle’ on our front lawn – soup for parents, hotdogs and games for children – we’ll share our faith and stuff like that while they’re with us

Christmas Give-away

Do a big Christmas give-away. Get church members to buy Christmas gifts for app. £5, collect them all, and then give them away on your local High Street.

Night Shelter

Six churches together run a night shelter from November to March

Bonfire Service

  • Held on nearest Sunday to 5th November
  • All age / Family orientated!
  • Powerpoint / activities e.g. Rocker Rangers etc.
  • Fireworks as part of the event
  • Food
  • Worship & Prayer
  • Start approx 4pm and finish at 5:30pm


Chatter Box

I have set up something called “Chatterbox” which his serving tea and coffee to mums either after they are dropped off in the morning or half an hour before they collect in the afternoon. All you need is a room preferably near the playground. Schools love it as it fits the “extended schools programme”

Parent Support Advisors

To make contact with and/or use Parent Support Advisers (PSAs) in schools – a government sponsored role which has been rolled out nationally since Autumn 2008

Top Tip for Engaging Schools

Making a difference to families directly impacts on the achievement of children … schools will be interested … just be thoughtful about how you make the approach

Just Listen

Schools are always looking for volunteers to go in and help with reading abilitities. Just sitting and listening to kids read one on one.

Engaging Dads and Schools

Churches working with schools and children’s centres to set up dads and children’s groups. Develop more ministries aimed at men and fathers in the community

Preparing Parents for Secondary School

Use “Extended Schools agenda” – transition to Year 7 parents meetings as opportunity to advertise and offer How to Drug Proof” sessions. [Comment: What a great way to engage. Get the Church parents whose Kids have just gone through year 7 to tell their story of transition.]

School Governor

Become a School Governor, it’s a great way to build relationship / trust with Staff and Children

Schools and PSE

To get access to schools e.g. to teach PSE subjects. Approach schools as a partnership of several churches not a single denomination

“Open The Book” scheme

This is active in a number of Gloucestershire Churches – working in first schools. This scheme approved by Government enables churches to do bible stories in schools often where there is otherwise no bible story telling in school education! Teaching and work books are available

Careers Talks in Schools

Offer career talks from Church people to school kids

Music and Schools

Drumming club in local schools


After school / homework club

20s – 30s

20s-30s Group

Start a 20s -30s homegroup once a month, evening with a take out meal. Time of peace, sharing and support of busy lives

Engaging 20s & 30s

Developing relationships with 20s and 30s. Providing opportunity for developing relationships with single or married young men. Organise time out paint-balling or go carting etc. Invite friends and start to build relationships from that pray for further opportunities


Fun evening

Hold a family fun evening at church once per month

Dream Scheme

Have you seen the Dream Scheme? The church hands out Positive Social Behaviour Orders (PSBOs instead of ASBOs) to kids who do good things in the community.


We held a DIY Pamper Day for a really small charge for ladies in the village. Chance to relax, pamper yourself and chat. Amazing how many folk have said they built relationships through it and some stayed in the church as a result

Engaging Cheaply

Gather your friends from the community and use the CFF resources together – informal, easy and cheap!!


Engage the community through campaigns i.e. ‘Shoe Boxes’ Christmas Child (Samaritans Purse Charity)

Street Pastors

Street Pastors Project we have in Weston-Super-Mare. Is a great way of speaking to the teenagers. They know their community and the training is great. [Comment: This has led to the Winter Gardens offering a free night a month for a youth event and the council offering £10,000 to cover expenses.] [Comment: Street Pastors does not have to be just for the big towns and cities it could work anywhere.]

Sunday School and Services in the Park

Take church / Sunday School into the local park on a warm day

Neighbourhood Watch

Set up a neighbour Watch of around 20 houses around where you live. Have get togethers, get neighbours to look out for each other and take up local issues. Loving your neighbour. Bloom where you are planted!

Pass it on

All the skills that traditionally parents and grandparents passed on can be passed on to the wider community

Craft Club

Start a craft club. Loads of people make their cards and nowadays Christmas is not too far away!!


Film club

As a small Church we run a Black and White movie night we get 30 of our village attending. We have also run it during the day.


Start a singing group in church (from Community) and give Christmas / Easter / Summer concerts.

Car Boot Sale

Take a stall at local car boot sale

Engaging and Gardening

Weeding on the streets – leads to lots of chats and opportunity to do some gardening for people


Show the England games in the World Cup on the big screen at church. Invite everyone to a family-friendly environment that’s nicer than a pub. All you need is a TV licence

Home Start

Find out about Home Start


Convert Double Decker bus into mobile community centre. Use it to bring Mums and Tots group, After Schools Clubs, Youth Drop Ins, Resident Cafes to rural communities without these services.


Just say Hello and smile to everyone you meet walking to the shops etc.


A small team has engaged with residents in the Dementia unit of one of our local residential care homes. This includes befriending and a short interactive monthly service.