Christian mission award winners announced at Lambeth Palace event

The winners of the third annual, national Christian Funders’ Forum (CFF) Awards were announced at a special ceremony held at Lambeth Palace on Thursday 17th November. This unique event identifies the very best of Christian mission projects run by churches and charities in the UK. It is supported by Christian grant makers in the UK such as the Joseph Rank Trust, Laing Family Trust and Lancaster Foundation, who together with other members grant more than £30 million a year to Christian work.  The awards ceremony is designed to highlight and celebrate the people behind these key projects, which are having great impact in their communities and cities around the UK and overseas. 

Members of the Christian Funders’ Forum have been meeting for over four years in order to share best practice and explore ways of working together to increase the reach and impact of churches and Christian charities. The awards themselves have six individual categories including Best Innovative Youth Project, Best Project Advancing the Christian Faith and Best Replicable Project.  Members from the teams of the churches and charities nominated, traveled from cities such as Liverpool, Birmingham and Derby to gather together at the Palace to celebrate the best in Christian mission.

Matt Bird, Chair of the Christian Funders’ Forum and host of the ceremony said, “Jesus said you are the light of the world. The CFF awards shines a light onto the best Christian mission in the UK and overseas. Giving a message of hope to people in desperate need. It is always very difficult to select three nominations from the vast amount of incredible work being done by churches and Christian charities. The judges commented that whether the nominees won gold, silver or bronze they epitomise the very best of Christian mission, and we value just how much they contribute to the life and wellbeing of their community’s.”

He continues, “As judges we wish to congratulate everyone who won an award, it is always a privilege as members of The Christian Funders’ Forum to recognise these amazing churches and Christian organisations who are doing some incredible and innovative work, making a real and tangible difference to so many lives.”

Category gold winners on the night were The Joel Community Trust, based in Kingston Upon Thames who provide a year round shelter for homeless men and women and won gold for Best Social Action Project. Peaced Together a charity for women who are isolated, depressed or victims of abuse, runs in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Croydon and Redbridge also won gold for Best Replicable Project. St James and St Basil church based in Fenham, Newcastle were the winner’s of the gold award in the Best Church Building Project category. The Best Project Advancing the Christian Faith award was awarded to the Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries and the Best Innovative Youth Project gold winners were the Bardsley Youth Project.

This year a new award was added for Best International Development Project and was won by Hope Enterprises Addis Ababa. The award was included due to the fact that 15% of grants go to overseas projects and it was therefore logical to include this new category.

Founder of Peaced Together Heidi Singleton says, “It’s been fantastic to be here to celebrate our win and also so many of the amazing projects that are going on in the country, which are often not recognised and to be encouraged in what we’re doing as well. Funding is such a massive part of our and any charity work and so it’s great to celebrate the fruits of that. I hope that receiving an award like this from the Christian Funders’ Forum will leverage more support like theirs in the future and encourage us to do even more.”

Christian grant makers in the UK are increasingly working together to provide support and encourage excellence in Christian mission.  In light of this every year the CFF awards will continue to identify and award the best of church and Christian social action projects, which are making a significant difference to thousands of people in communities all across Britain.