I hope that this latest edition of ‘Inspire’ does just that! Below you will read something of our passion and success with children in London and the Southeast, but here, in this covering letter, I regret that I must write and share our current concerns: Spinnaker finds itself in a time of financial difficulty and I am seeking your intervention.
We have been reviewing our budget and Spinnaker needs to secure an additional £30,000 from across all 9 of our Hubs. Ideally this should be in the form of regular committed giving to achieve the ongoing sustainability of our mission.
We have been blessed by a generous legacy gift several years ago that gave us a buffer through lockdown, and we have been incredibly grateful for this provision. Over the last year, we have been implementing our fundraising strategy to encourage a transition to sustainable local giving from churches and individuals, as well as continuing to apply for grants where possible. However, recent legal changes in holiday pay calculations, plus the current cost of living crisis, have had a significant impact on our cash flow, forcing us to take drastic measures.
In direct response, we have made some salary reductions across the board. Additionally, to do our best in protecting the jobs of frontline staff, I and other core team members have volunteered to reduce our hours. These measures have shored up our immediate situation, however, we will be forced into further action if we cannot find the funds to get Spinnaker to a place of sustainability.
We have already contacted many of our wonderful supporters to ask them to pray and consider what they can do to help. We have also contacted church leaders to suggest various ways that churches might ideally respond (including adding Spinnaker as a mission partner if we are not already, increasing/forwarding financial support, and connecting us with their congregation and sympathetic sponsors).
If you have not already been invited to do so, may I ask that you too pray, and consider if you can contribute to enable Spinnaker to achieve a sustainable position as soon as possible?
Please get in touch with me via email or phone, I would love to hear from you, and for you to help us with our immediate difficulties - we know we do not do this alone. Of course, please do give, but most of all please pray for God’s wisdom and provision as, together, we fulfil this mission.
Yours in Christ
A Message from our CEO
- Mike Harrowing
Jesus tells us to proclaim: ‘the kingdom of heaven has come near!’ (Luke 10:11), and that ‘the kingdom of God is in your midst’ (Luke 17:21). We have a vision that EVERY primary school has a connection to the kingdom of heaven - with a Christian visitor from the local church listening, sojourning, and sharing with children. Everything we do is to see that vision become reality.
At a time where the temptation is to focus solely on secular messages, we have published our first major publication in ‘It’s Jesus’. Aside from the desire to create a high-quality series usable for all, this resource has been specially designed to answer the question unequivocally and publicly: ‘What is Spinnaker about?’ – It’s Jesus!
We will continue to be explicit about our Christian purpose because we know that it is an encounter with Christ, it is the nearness of the kingdom, and it is the light of the Gospel that brings hope, fulfilment, restoration, and moral vigour to children’s and families’ lives. We make no secret of this belief, and our experience is that this faithful commitment is welcome – in all kinds of schools!
Since the hopelessness of lockdowns, schools have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about welcoming Christians in. Meanwhile, the increasing prevalence of social-media communications has had the unfortunate side-effect of supercharging hateful and confusing messages to young people: The cultural climate right now is unique in our 37 years of operation, and we believe that realising this vision is of the highest importance.
Glimpses of Glory
- Sam Oakes, Eastbourne Hub Leader
This year has been such an exciting adventure, delivering fortnightly worship assemblies using the ‘It’s Jesus’ resource. The continuity that is provided - by the bespoke artwork and consistent approach of hearing a story about Jesus - means that each visit offers the opportunity to build up a picture of God that looks like Jesus. Sometimes during an assembly, a child will share their own personal faith or ask probing questions, others prefer to share thoughts privately at the end. One instance that really stood out to me was when a girl told me that she had been looking online for things that Jesus did – she excitedly relayed the story of him healing the blind man by putting mud on his eyes. She spoke about it with such enthusiasm and wonder. When I asked if her family were Christians, she paused and thought before telling me that her grandma was.
Small glimpses like this deepen my hope that our work in schools is helping to fire and fuel the curiosity of children from all kinds of backgrounds as we point them to the amazing person of Jesus.
Our vision for next year is to continue to deliver and to develop the ‘It’s Jesus’ resources. Schools gladly welcome the extra input that we can provide, and our plans include making these Worship assemblies, RE lessons, afterschool clubs and other additional inputs available to as many children as possible.
Connecting with Your Local Schools
Our strategy is to work alongside local churches to encourage and help press on in the shared mission to reach this generation. This includes meeting with leaders and children’s workers as well as looking for ways to partner with other Christian organisations.
Have you thought of having one of the team come to your church or group to share with you about the exciting ways we are reaching out to children and connecting with schools? Perhaps your local school! You and your church can hear how you can play a part in joining up the dots between school, church and families.
Contact us to arrange a visit from one of our inspirational team, and be encouraged as they share, from their heart, what an amazing difference can be made with Jesus in schools:
There are, of course, lots of ways you can get involved and help us in our bold vision to build a kingdom connection with every school! We have listed a few of them here, together with handy website links.
Which one could you do? We'd be thrilled to welcome you to the team!
- Pray: visit www.spinnaker.org.uk/pray
- Go into school: Yes, YOU! visit www.spinnaker.org.uk/volunteer
- Support the team in a variety of ways: Contact your local hub leader www.spinnaker.org.uk/meettheteam
- Give: We love knowing we are doing this together www.spinnaker.org.uk/donate
- Sponsor a Spinnaker Assembly - www.spinnaker.org.uk/sponsoranassembly
Our prayer is that we can be channels to carry the very presence of Christ into schools. Let the wonder of God move hearts to draw closer to him.
As we educate about our faith, let understanding grow to become an encyclopaedia of God in Christ, visit by visit, equipping children and adults to search out the riches of God.
May they be stirred with curiosity, prompted by circumstance, and led by faith to discover life in him.