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Growing church-led community action

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Growing church-led community action

Published: 22 January 2021
A grant from Benefact Trust is supporting Cinnamon Network to develop its network of Social Franchise projects as a blueprint to support churches to meet the needs of their local communities.
Church social action has been a notable feature of the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Churches across the country have stepped up to provide front line support to those in need within their communities. Many have chosen to do this through replication of one of the 35 social franchise projects currently affiliated to Cinnamon.
With the support of £201,440 from Benefact Trust, Cinnamon aims to strength Christian social action so that, ultimately, more churches can help to transform their communities through projects that tackle poverty and equality.
The grant from Benefact Trust will be used specifically to build on the success of the Cinnamon Project Incubator teaching and coaching programme, which helps ambitious social actions projects to develop and join the community of replicable Cinnamon Recommended Projects.
With support from Benefact Trust, Cinnamon Network UK aims to: 
  • Give churches a greater choice of projects they can replicate by increasing the number of partners in their Recommended Project network from 35 to nearly 50.
  • Improve the diversity of social franchise projects by doubling the number of projects recruited into the two-year Incubator from five to ten within three years.
  • Help projects replicate more quickly and improve their long-term sustainability by supporting leaders with access to an “IncubatorPlus” workshop programme. 
The three-year project will contribute to a more diverse and more resilient Christian social action sector that is better equipped to serve the local churches that will replicate their model projects. It will also ensure that the sector is positioned to offer a distinctly Christian response in the context of contemporary challenges and opportunities. 
Mike Royal, Co-Chief Executive of Cinnamon Network, said: “As we’ve seen over the past few months, churches have a significant role to plan in our responding to our communities’ deepest challenges. We are delighted to have been awarded this significant grant from Benefact Trust, which will help us to build on the social franchise model, that we know works so well, in order to support and resource churches for the challenges ahead.”
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “Cinnamon has a proven track record in growing social action networks, sharing impact and learnings from pioneering churches and enabling others to follow in their footsteps. We were delighted to fund this innovative programme of activity, which will develop and empower Christian community leaders and grow the social franchise network, putting even more churches at the heart of tackling some of the biggest issues facing society and enabling communities to rebuild stronger and feel more connected.”

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