Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough

Encouraging Christians in Wokingham Borough to Engage with their Communities

Tag: how to… (page 1 of 2)

Open Space Evening September 2016

This autumn Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough is hosting an  Open Space evening on Thursday 22nd September 2016 at Wokingham Town Hall.

This is an informal evening for churches and christian groups across Wokingham Borough to share their successes, find out about other local activities and encourage each other.

Organised and hosted by Faith in the Community Wokingham Borough, there will be music, drinks and nibbles and lots of opportunities to catch up with new and existing friends and colleagues.

Get the date in your diary now, you don’t want to miss this event.

Open Space Flier 220916 final
When: Thursday 22nd September 7.30 – 9.30pm
Where: Wokingham Town Hall Market Place, RG40 1AS
To reserve your place email

How to… be missional at your #PokeGym

Emma has written about #PokemonGo and the fact that many churches, including their own St Nicolas Earley, are now a #PokeGym or a #PokeStop.  This is a missional opportunity we all need to embrace.

pokegym poster portrait

It is extremely likely that your church is a #PokeGym or #PokeStop and this is great news for churches, because all of a sudden there will be all sorts of people coming to battle online.  There will be kids, tweens, teenagers, young adults, older adults and families all coming to your church to play #PokemonGo.  There will be lots of people at your church hanging around out of choice and most of them probably won’t be members of your church or even people who have ever stepped through the doors.  This is a mission opportunity……



Community Navigator Scheme Launch

Community Navigator Launch Events poster Jul16 (002)

Supporting and Empowering People to Engage in Self-care, Independence and Well-being across the Borough of Wokingham

On Tuesday 12th July at Bradbury Centre in Wokingham and on Tuesday 19th July at St Nicolas Church in Earley Involve Wokingham will be launching the Community Navigator Scheme.

Community Navigators are local volunteers who help people find their way to activities, services or organisations which they would enjoy, find useful or benefit from within the local community. This is an information giving and signposting project.

The Community Navigator scheme is for anyone of any age from the Wokingham Borough. You may be a young parent looking for peer support and different activities in your area, you may be a working age individual wanting to find out about local sports or music clubs and groups or you could be an elderly person looking to find support with managing a health condition or looking for new social networks to join. See the example scenario below.  Navigators are recruited, trained and supported by a volunteer co-ordinator at involve and are based at GP surgeries and community venues across the Borough of Wokingham.

People can access the service through a referral. This may be from a GP, social worker, family member or a self-referral. A time slot is booked with a Navigator who will explore a range of options in the community for the individual to engage with and will encourage them to attend groups, activities and services that can help them meet their needs.  Navigators are not counsellors or experts at dealing with particular issues and they are not going to solve a person’s problems for them – but they will help and guide the individual to discover “what’s on in their community”.

These launch events are for everyone who might be interested in volunteering as community navigators as well as support workers and organisations who will be happy to accept referrals through the scheme.

Please come along to one of the launch events and spread the news through your community, let’s make sure this scheme can help as many people as possible across Wokingham Borough.


Earley and East Reading Churches at East Reading Festival

Last weekend Churches Together in Earley and East Reading (CTEER) came together to provide a church zone at the East Reading Festival in Palmer Park.  The festival is “a celebration of the diversity of the local community and aims to strengthen the connections between the people and organisations of the area.”  There were over 50 stalls and 3 performance stages at the free festival and the church zone was a key part of the festival which welcomed over 5000 visitors.

Copy of ERF Logo

A wide range of churches worked together at the East Reading Festival including Vineyard with the Healing on the Streets team, Wycliffe, Park United Reformed Church, Anderson Baptist Church including the Nepali congregation, Earley Christian Fellowship, Brookside, St Nicolas Church, Wesley Methodist and CAP (Christians against Poverty).  Here are some of the photos celebrating the presence, prayer and praise that blessed the festival and the community.


The puppets came along from Wycliffe



The Boys Brigade organised a game of football


There was worship by the Nepalese church


Home For Good and Christian Community Action were in attendance raising awareness of their charities


Messy Church was visited by many families and there was a tent available for specific prayer


Healing on the Streets were praying over anyone who wanted to be blessed with it


We are called to be in the world but not of the world; the presence of the churches together at East Reading Festival showed this in all it’s fullness.  We look forward to coming along again next year.

With thanks to Steve Blunden for the wonderful photos.

Refugee Week 2016 in Wokingham Borough


20th to 26th June 2016 is Refugee Week and today we are highlighting some of the many different events which have been taking place across Wokingham Borough and the nearby areas.  The theme of this years Refugee Week is “Welcome” celebrating the welcome shown to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, and seek to encourage and inspire communities to continue to welcome new arrivals in the weeks, months and years to come.

The Refugee Week website writes about why “welcome” has been chosen as the theme this year
During the second half of 2015, the ‘refugee crisis’ was accompanied by incredible acts of welcome by communities and individuals across the UK and Europe.  Some were getting involved in refugee rights for the very first time, while others were continuing the volunteering and campaigning they are committed to all year round, year on year.


Wokingham Methodist Church organised a day of prayer and reflection with resources around the theme “Different pasts, Shared futures” on Saturday 16th July.

St Nicolas Earley collected items including towels, toiletries and children’s clothes which were made into Care Packs for expectant mothers, babies and families as part of the Samara’s Aid Appeal.  The cost of delivery to the refugees in the Middle East is being funded through the sales of Ice Cream Sundaes on Sunday 3rd July.

Palmer Park United Reformed Church held a day Refugee Week Cultural Event on Sunday 26th June including prayer stations, international foods and music and a chance to get to know different cultures.


Clare Hooper, from Wokingham Baptist Church is part of the steering group working with Wokingham Borough Council to work out how refugees can be supported locally and says that the process is moving along well with a suitable house being sought in the borough.  A summary of how this works is provided below by St John the Baptist Church in Crowthorne

In December 2015 a meeting of Wokingham District Council was chaired by Simon Price and subsequently addressed by: Daniel Hobbs from the Home Office, Deputy Head of the Government’s Resettlement Programme; Ray Millard, the partnership manager S.E. Strategic Partnership for Migration; Nick Hagbourne – Reading Refugee Support Group; and Zaimal Koroma – Reading Red Cross. They described their experiences in Reading. The Government has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees from the United Camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Life there is very basic although the Government has already spent billions in aid there.

Of the 20,000 promised, the first 200 came in September. It was expected that 1,000 would be resettled before Christmas. Daniel Hobbs is in charge of this resettlement programme together with the help of “a team made up of local government representatives”. Of the numbers seeking resettlement there were two levels of screening including medical screening done, first in the camps and again on reaching the U.K .but those selected would match up to the following criteria: women with children on their on their own; survivors of torture; those with particular medical needs; those with problems of sexual identity.

Each local authority is being asked to house five families. Five-bedroomed houses are being sought for which the rent and maintenance would be paid over a five-year period. Support from the Overseas Development Aid would be provided. After five years the resettled family can return or apply for resettlement. A case worker and translator would accompany each party of refugees. For practical reasons the authority is hoping to find accommodation within reasonable distance of work which does present difficulties. It is probable that Wokingham’s refugees will probably be placed in the Woodley/Earley area.

You can also read this report by The Wokingham Paper which was written about this important process.



In neighbouring Reading the Reading Refugee Support Group is hosting the bid to become a Town of Sanctuary for Refugees.  RRSG help refugees and asylum-seekers overcome the many challenges they face and help them to be independent, to access their rights and to encourage their self-esteem and confidence.  This week they hosted, at Reading Film Theatre, Nicky’s Family film which tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II.  This was followed by a Panel Discussion.

Last, but certainly not least, a Wokingham Borough resident, Rachel Bradley, has continued to inspire and encourage gossip girls (and guys) across Wokingham to donate items needed by refugees in The Jungle in Calais through the Gossip Girls in Action Facebook Group.  This group has over 1100 members who have already delivered clothing to refugees and are currently collecting food to be delivered at the same time as the colouring books and stationary items on the trip next month.  Please join this group if you would like to donate the following items:

Tea bags
Tinned pulses/beans (any variety other than baked)
Tinned tomatoes
Vegetable Oil


These are just a selection of the collections, prayers and discussions happening across Wokingham Borough to support refugees, if you know of something else then please comment to spread the word about the good news.




How to… Communicate as a Church


What is Communication?

  • Not telling, but being heard
  • Not informing, but engaging
  • Not broadcasting, but interacting


What is Church?

  • The people not the building
  • A cross generational community
  • The most complicated of organisations


social media speech bubble


Who do you want to communicate with?

  • The church community / congregation
  • Anyone who is connected with the church
  • Everyone living in the area around the church
  • Absolutely any one who is interested to hear from us




How to communicate within the church

  • Realise that communicating within the church is a ministry
  • Put in the time, it is a conversation with many people and that takes a lot of effort
  • Encourage everyone in the church to be part of the communication – they have networks
  • Make the communication relevant for each generation


How to communicate outside the church

  • This is mission and evangelism, own that
  • Give information about what you offer and how to join
  • Share the good news about what you are doing and planning
  • Get everyone in the church involved and sharing the communication
  • Build networks of sharing communication to broaden the breadth and depth of reach
  • Use a range of communication to reach the different generations


Social media networks projecting out from smartphone. Editorial use only


Communicate to every generation

When working with Traditionalists (born before 1945):

  • Use formal greetings and salutations: Mr. or Mrs.
  • Ask them how they want to be addressed.
  • Respect their experience and acknowledge it in front of other team members.
  • Give feedback face to face.
  • Include them in groups that have a defined hierarchy, even if they are not the lead.


When working with Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964):

  • Involve them in group decisions.
  • Communicate with them more often.
  • They thirst for reporting on progress and status.
  • Greetings can be less formal and more relaxed than Traditionalists.
  • Recognize their titles and status in the group.
  • Remember, they are extremely competitive.


When working with Generation X (born 1965 – 1982):

  • When communicating the “what,” remember the “why.”
  • They like to be abreast of the bigger picture.
  • Let them know you care about how the job affects them and their family.
  • Communicate with them less often.
  • They do not need to be micromanaged.
  • Give them the result you want, and let them determine the best course of action.
  • No long meetings or lengthy communications late in the day (especially Fridays).
  • They get anxious when they believe work is cutting into family time.


When working with Millennials (born 1983 – 2000):

  • Communicate in small bits of information.
  • They are used to conversing in sound bites.
  • Communicate often, but not face to face if possible.
  • Use e-mail or text messaging or even messaging.
  • Reinforce positive performance and/or behaviours.
  • When communicating the “what,” don’t be as focused on the “why.”
  • Concentrate on results.



Methods of  Communication
T – traditionalists            B – Baby Boomers
X – Gen X                              M – Millennials

  • Announcements (T, B)
  • Sunday sheet (T, B)
  • Church calendar (T, B)
  • Notice board (T, B)
  • Sandwich boards (T)
  • Newsletters (T, B, X)
  • Posters and fliers (T, B, X)
  • Word of Mouth (B, X)
  • PowerPoint slides in church (B, X)
  • Website (B, X)
  • Emails (B, X, M)
  • Blog (B, X, M)
  • Facebook (B, X, M)
  • Twitter (X, M)
  • Instagram (X, M)
  • Snapchat / Whats App / Text Message (M)
  • Videos (M)
  • Personal Invitation (T, B, X, M)


How to… Pinterest


What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.  It is a pin board on the internet.


social media speech bubble

What are the benefits of Pinterest?

As a family and children’s leader I have boards for just about every Bible story as well as ideas for games and prayers and quiet time and plays.  You name it, it has a pinterest board so that I don’t loose an idea, no matter where I find it.

This is the main way most people use pinterest, to help them store ideas they find online and make sure they can find them again in the future.  Of course many of these may well be pinned and never seen again, but who knows.

People love to take photos, of their crafts, of food, of holidays and anything else; pinterest is a great place to keep these organised and share them with your friends and family.

Pinterest might be a place you find inspiration or somewhere you hope to inspire others; or perhaps a bit of both.  It is a place to share and find and browse no matter what your interest.



How to get onto Pinterest

Click here for a video guided tour of Pinterest to see it in action.  If you like what you see then the best way to learn is to give it a go, or come along to our workshop day, see below.


Online Mission

Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media. We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25. This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.

How to… YouTube


What is YouTube?

YouTube is a video sharing online platform.  Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos.   YouTube provides a forum for people to share, connect with and inspire others across the globe.  As part of the google organisation it is easy to upload videos and even easier to watch other peoples’.


social media speech bubble

What are the benefits of YouTube?


YouTube is the perfect place to share edited videos of events; catching the excitement and atmosphere to let others see and encourage them to get involved.


YouTube has made videos as advertising even more popular than they ever were before.  If you want more people to know about what you are doing, make a video; if you are looking for donations, make a video; if you want to spread the message, make a video.  It is the most popular form of social media for teenagers and children and many of them are getting involved by vlogging their lives.

Sharing Sermons

And for the more mainstream you can video your sermons, or perhaps just sections of them, get them onto YouTube and link them to your website and other social media platforms.



How to get onto YouTube

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that YouTube have a range of videos to help you join, set up, upload and comment on videos.  Rather than try to do similar ourselves we suggest you click here for a step by step guide.


Online Mission

Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media. We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25. This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.

How to… Facebook


What is Facebook?

Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities.  A personal profile is for non-commercial use and represents an individual person.  The people in a church would have their own Facebook profiles which should reflect their lives closely; it is with these profiles that people interact with other people, pages and groups.  In order to start a Facebook page or group you must have an identity as yourself.


Facebook Pages

Pages are for organisations to share their stories and connect with people.  When you start a Facebook page for an organisation you are required to confirm that you are an approved representative of that organisation.   You customize Pages by publishing stories, hosting events and starting conversations. People who like your Page and their friends get updates from your Page in their News Feed.

Pages are predominantly about sharing information although some will include discussions, reviews and chats.  Facebook pages are used much like websites and should be kept current and encourage interaction and sharing of the posts onto individuals’ own timelines.


Facebook Groups

Groups are spaces where you can keep in touch with people by sharing updates, photos or documents.  In order to create a group you become the administrator.  Most groups will have at least two administrators and a number of other people who can ensure that the group is used appropriately and rules adhered to.  This is not a difficult thing to achieve until the size or activity of the group grows large.

Groups are places for discussion and sharing, depending on the type of group.  There are public, private, closed and secret groups.  Open groups can be read by anyone but you must be accepted as a group member before you can post or comment; closed groups can not be read by anyone except the members, who have to be approved to join; secret groups are not shown in any lists or searchable systems and members have to be invited to join.  It is important to choose which sort of group you might like; for example a prayer chain group would most likely be closed but a church chat group would be open.

Most churches will have several groups within their church, these might well be expected to be replicated on Facebook.  Identifying the groups and their admins and keeping these supported is an important thing for church leaders to undertake.


social media speech bubble

What are the benefits of Facebook?

Share Information
Facebook is a cross generational social media platform which appeals from teenagers through to the silver surfers in retirement.  It is often used by families to keep in touch and share news and photographs.  Facebook is used to share information both about personal lives and interests; for example people might share charity events they are involved in or campaigns they are supporting.  Individuals will share articles of interest onto their timeline so that their friends can see them; in this way news can spread rapidly.

Facebook events are an excellent way to tell people about something which is going to happen.  By creating an event for the community fun day and inviting all your contacts in that community you have immediately told them about the event.  You can also share events into community groups or ask people to share events with their friends or invite their friends.  This is free to use and extremely effective with those aged 30-60 who tend to be the most connected on Facebook.

Facebook discussions, debates and other chat are becoming increasingly popular and allow groups of people to share their interests and opinions as they might do in real life.  Many churches find that discussions about sermons continue through the week and that prayer support can be requested and provided without the need for a central point.  However this requires that administrators are active and watching out for any arguments or additional needs beyond that of Facebook.

Facebook has fostered networks and friendships across the world, taking on the role of discussion boards before it, enabling strong bonds to form.  It is a fact of our current society that people do not necessarily live near to people they wish to socialise with and Facebook enables these relationships to continue and develop.  Charities and Churches are able to receive and give support to members who are geographically displaced and this is an important aspect of an organisations’ life and mission.



How to get onto Facebook

If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can sign up for one in a few steps:

  1. Go to
  2. If you see the signup form, fill out your name, email address or phone number, password, birthday and gender. If you don’t see the form, click Sign Up, then fill out the form.
  3. Click Sign Up.
  4. Once you sign up, you’ll need to confirm your email address or phone number. They will send you either an email or a text message to help you confirm your account.
  5. Spend time connecting with people and pages and groups you know and learn as you go.  Most people are more than happy to help new users find their way if you ask for help.


Online Mission

Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media. We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25. This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook. Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.

How to… Tweet


What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online social networking service for individuals and organisations to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.   People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.  Registered users can read and post tweets, whilst those who are unregistered can only read them.

When you create an account you choose a username which becomes your twitter handle “@username”.  To find other twitter users you can search for people by name or @username and follow them. Twitter will suggest users who are similar to those you follow to help you make more connections.  Following a user means you have chosen to receive their new messages every time they post; these will scroll with time so you might need to search through your homepage to find tweets from specific users.

If someone chooses to follow your tweets then Twitter will notify you; if you decide that they are not someone you would like to read your updates then you can decide to block them but this is mostly used to prevent spam or problem behaviour.  Your twitter homepage shows your Following and Followers; you can also see these lists for every other user you are connected to.


social media speech bubble

What are the benefits of Tweeting?

People come to Twitter to discover what’s happening in the world right now, to share information instantly, and to connect with people and businesses around the globe.  It is a fluid place where discussions and debates flourish and where new ideas can be floated and experimented with.  Used effectively, Twitter allows you to follow and interact with people outside of your personal network to raise the profile of your organisation and build valuable connections.

Tweeters are interested in social justice and in championing causes; by being a part of these conversations you can better understand the issues and passions of those in your locality and engage with people you would never encounter in your normal life.



How to Tweet

The best way to learn how to tweet is to tweet; you can’t go wrong and you will learn skills as you experiment.  But the basics include three simple steps:

  1. Post 140 characters about your day, for example “writing a blog post for Faith in the Community about twitter”
  2. Reply to someone else’s tweet to enter into a conversation, for example “@FitCWokingham I am looking forward to reading your post”
  3. Retweet a tweet you like and want your followers to see, for example “RT @FitCWokingham have written a really useful post about twitter”


Online Mission

Online Mission: Would you like some training?
We are putting together a one day workshop to increase your confidence and use of social media.  We are keeping the cost of as low as possible and expect it to be £25.  This day will be entirely practical, allowing participants to learn from the experience of creating a video, uploading it to YouTube, Tweeting about it and sharing it on Facebook.  Fill in the form below if you would like to be kept informed or have any questions about what the day.

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