The BPCA has secured funding for 3 community peace barbecues in our home town of Ilford. Our intent is to promote community cohesion and interfaith harmony, whilst also creating a stronger awareness of the presence of our community in the UK - well London at least!
Obtaining one of these prestigious Mayor of London grants, evidences our total commitment to making this group work. It will enable us to engage with people who otherwise, simply would not be aware of our more national approach to challenges facing Christians in Pakistan. These barbecues will continue the work of the community centre we have created locally. They will express our Christian desire, to espouse stronger community links and to serve others. God calls us to be witnesses of the love that faith in him induces and to inspire others through our good deeds;
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,.." (Hebrews 10:24)
The last time I was involved in a similar programme through one of my other groups a unexpected outcome, was being able to feed and cheer many homeless people. In the spirit of unity the barbecue stirred they were able to join us without any stigma or resentment, no member of the public caused any friction. This was inspiring to say the least.
It is a great opportunity for outreach and if any local churches such as St Andrews in Ilford, or others, please feel free to make contact. Our mini events will all be held in March and planning will start in January - so if you would like to get involved just pick up the phone.
"For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give -- large or small -- will be used to measure what is given back to you." (Luke 6:38)
Such programmes do work, Pakistani Christians living in the UK have benefitted from years of inculcation of positive ideologies, in a country that was once riven with racial tension. I lived through the 80's when being a Pakistani meant that certain areas where no-go zones. Surely now, in this free society we live in, it is time we gave something back...
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Here is some blurb on Team London taken from their website:
Team London is the Mayor of London's programme for all Londoners. The aim is to make volunteering easier to do and easier to find out about.
Team London also rewards and recognises the work of everyday Londoners and the many voluntary groups and charities in the capital.
Building on all the work that is already taking place in the capital, Team London focuses efforts on areas of need where volunteers can help make a difference. The three Team London priority areas are:
- Cutting crime
- Improving quality of life
- Increasing youth opportunities