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Parish in Kent gives out free Christmas-activity boxes for children and families

11 December 2020

St Margaret’s Church, Rainham

Items included in “Christmas in a Box”

Items included in “Christmas in a Box”

A CHURCH in Kent has distributed almost 500 boxes of Christmas material for children in its parish.

At the start of Advent, families in the parish of St Margaret’s, Rainham, were given a package containing Christmas activities for children. They included a magazine with ideas for parents, rocks for nativity-based games, sweets, birthday candles, prayer beads, and felt-tip pens and paints.

The Vicar, the Revd Nathan Ward, said on Tuesday: “We liaised with different people and came up with this concept of having something to take children through the Advent season. We knew the box needed to be self-contained for people to use it who had no arts and crafts at home.”

The boxes were financed by a grant of £4600 from the diocese of Rochester’s Children and Young People’s Fund. About 450 boxes were produced and distributed free to every pupil at St Margaret’s C of E Junior School.

Mr Ward said: “Before lockdown, we were reaching about 199 people per week. Now, we’re reaching close to 4600 on social media. The church has reimagined itself more in last few months than it has in last few decades — yet work with children and families hasn’t been included. This is one way in which we have manged to do that. ‘Christmas in a Box’ closes the triangle of church, school, and family.

“Families are under a lot of pressure at the moment. As a Church, we need to step up to the plate and deliver, and how we do that is what we need to think about going forward. We don’t want Covid-19 to further widen the gap left by the ‘missing generation’ during church. We need to keep families and children engaged at a time when we can’t physically engage with them.”

Christmas bags. In Devon, the South Tamar Mission Community, in the village of Lamerton, has made 65 Christmas bags for the residents of two care homes. They contain angels and crosses knitted by villagers, a large-print copy of the carol “Away in a manger”, diabetic chocolates, a prayer card with the Lord’s Prayer, and a large-print copy of the Christmas story. They are due to be distributed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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