Being present in the community

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There are many creative ways of reaching out to your community in order to join God at work there and share the love of Jesus with them, both in word and deed.

Some of those are well-established models that churches have been familiar with running for many years, such as coffee mornings or mother-and-toddler groups.

However in recent years new, creative ways have emerged in response to changing needs around us:

Community pantries, food banks and fareshare

Jesus fed people; whether groups of thousands or just his own disciples, sharing meals was a key way Jesus used to minister to those around him. Here are some current ways you as a church can become involved in meeting practical needs, while building relationships:

  • Food banks have become a part of the landscape across Wales, supplying people with food who may otherwise have difficulty sourcing enough. You can either run one yourself as a church, or support one in your area by volunteering or donating items. Running one is a large commitment – there is more information available here: Start a Food bank – The Trussell Trust
  • Fareshare often runs in parallel with foodbanks, supplying surplus fresh food to complement the non-perishable items food banks provide: FareShare | Fighting hunger, tackling food waste in the UK
  • Community pantries. These are a form of local food co-op where for a small weekly subscription of around £3.50, members can select at least 10 items from a wide selection of groceries. Unlike food banks, people do not need to be referred to this and the aim is that they are open to anyone and everyone in the community: Your Local Pantry

Warm Spaces

Sadly, the needs in our society have grown to such an extent that winter warm spaces have become a necessity for many across the country, with spaces popping up in libraries, community centres and even museums. A large proportion of these spaces are run by churches, and many Baptist churches have felt compelled to see how they can use their facilities to contribute to meeting this real need – often combining the need for basic warmth with food and companionship. If you use and heat your church facilities in winter during the week for events or programmes that are open to all and free of charge, why not register it as a warm space so people can benefit?

Some things to consider when running a warm space:

  • Cost and capacity. Do you have people to open up and man the space appropriately, and to ensure you can run the space every week?
  • Community. You don’t want to compete with other groups in your area – why not co-ordinate with them and support each other?
  • Registering. Check what else is available in your area and let people know when your space is open here: Find a Warm Welcome Space Today (your local council may also have a similar page)
  • Funding. Can you fund the heating bills for the space you are using? As of early 2023 there are some grants available from county councils and Welsh government for this; enter into conversation with them to see if your space would be eligible.
  • Food; many church-run warm spaces focus on a meal or a cuppa together: Warm spaces – The Baptist Union of Wales (

Repair Cafes

Repair cafes are a new and innovative idea. In short, they are pop up events held on regular dates where the local community can get their broken household items repaired for free by volunteers. Local people can bring their broken or damaged household items to be repaired, for free, by volunteers. Typical repairs include clothes, household electrics, technology, woodwork, children’s toys, furniture and bikes. 

These offer a creative way to use the skills of some of those in your church, while serving and building relationships with people in your community. More information is available here: Repair Cafe Wales – Local Community Repair Cafés

St David’s Day

For several years, the BUW have been working with ‘Hope’ to produce a St David’s Day mini magazine that is unique to Wales. For more information about the work of ‘Hope Together’ please visit their website:

The aim is for churches to order copies of this mini-magazine and distribute it in their community, through letter boxes, door-to-door conversations, or as a way to open up conversations about the Christian faith with friends or colleagues. The content, which is bilingual, has been written with a Welsh context in mind. Please consider ordering copies of these leaflets for your church to use as a way of bridging the gap between church and community. 

We trust that this publication will be well received by people in your area. It can be used alone, as a part of a wider outreach programme or with an invitation to your church’s St David’s Day services and celebrations. Previous copies can be viewed here: