M – ISSUE 1 [Winter 2020-2021]

Page 1

GOOD NEWS. COMMUNITY LIFE. FAMILY FUN.

BOXES OF HOPE

Bringing food and fun to local families

GOOD NEWS

Uplifting stories, fun facts and inspiration from Maybridge and beyond

MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH

PARENTING UNDER 5s Where to find help

CHRISTMAS TREATS Ideas, Recipes, Carols and More!

WINTER 2020/2021


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH We are a church family made up of people from all walks of life, but we share a love of Jesus and a desire to follow Him and show His love to our community. At our church building on The Strand, we run all kinds of Sunday services, community groups and sessions for children, young people, families and seniors. Some of these have now reopened, while others are still in the process of opening safely with government guidance in place. Whether you fancy coming along to our building or would rather find us online, there are plenty of ways to get to know MCC if you would like to – we can’t wait to meet you!

CHURCH AT HOME Try church from the comfort of your own home. Join us every Sunday at 10:30am online MAYBRIDGE.ONLINE.CHURCH

MaybridgeCommunityChurch MaybridgeCC

info@maybridge.org.uk

01903 700522 | 77 The Strand, Worthing, BN12 6DR | Charity Number: 1134489


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

Contents COMMUNITY

04

Good news

06

Boxes of Hope LIFE

08

Coping with financial changes JUSTICE

10

Ethical Christmas

14

Giving a Warm Welcome in Worthing FAITH

12

Welcome to M – the first-ever Maybridge Community Church magazine! My name is Matt, and I lead MCC on The Strand. With this year being a fairly rubbish one for most people, we just wanted to bring a little bit of joy

God with us all

to the local community and let you know that,

FAMILY

here for you and you are not alone.

16

Parenting the forgotten under 5s JOY

18

Gingerbread & DIY Christmas Crackers – Editor: Chloe Satchell-Cobbett Deputy Editor: Alice Stout Contributors: Gay Jacklin, Judy Keen, Alan Longhurst, Piero Regnante, Ruth Stanley, Jo Walraven, Julie Ward. Design: rogfog.co.uk

whatever 2020 has thrown your way, Maybridge is Within the pages of this magazine, you’ll find a selection of fun activities, inspirational ideas and uplifting articles to brighten up your day. So pop the kettle on, put your feet up and have a little flip through. And if you'd like to find out more – about us, our Christmas activities, Boxes of Hope, Alpha or how you can get involved – we'd love to hear from you so please do get in touch. Merry Christmas, Matt Walmsley Senior Minister

WELCOME | 3


GOOD NEWS Our round-up of uplifting stories, fun facts and inspiration from the local community and beyond.

Stories from lockdown Throughout lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, we’ve seen local communities come together and heroically support those in need. We think they’re stories worth sharing...

Moving in lockdown ◀Friends and volunteers rallied to help move Muriel (aged 89) during Covid restrictions. Her previous third floor flat made it hard for her to get out and get the help she needed – plus the lift was broken leaving Muriel even more isolated. With help and support packing and moving, Muriel was able to move to a more suitable home. She even left in style after friends arranged paramedics to safely help her down the stairs and get her settled into her new place.

Maybridge Seniors Goodie bags ▶ As the UK entered lockdown back in March, Maybridge volunteers put together 'goodie' bags for seniors in isolation. Led by the Faith Community Nurse, church partners made fudge, baked cookies and cakes and even whipped up home-made masks. Packs also contained quizzes, therapeutic colouring sheets, games and health advice. Each pack was hand delivered along with sociallydistant catch ups to check up on those most vulnerable in our community.

4 | COMMUNITY

▲ Seven socially-distant BBQs When lockdown restrictions eased over autumn, Faith Community Nurse Julie Ward hosted seven socially-distanced BBQs in one week for seniors in the community as an opportunity to reconnect and meet up with friends after lockdown. One group of ladies had such a lovely time chatting they refused to go home!


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

News from around the world

100th Birthday celebration A former Worthing shopkeeper turned one hundred years old this Summer and a celebration was held on the pavement outside her home. Lockdown meant the original plans for Maybridge resident Joan's celebrations were cancelled as family could no longer travel to celebrate. The party was brought to her as friends and neighbours marked the occasion with a round of Happy Birthday, bubbly and cake.

Meals for kids Half term breaks can be particularly tough for families who rely on free school meals for their kids. Across Worthing, cafĂŠs and restaurants offered free hot meals and treats to children who would usually qualify for them. A huge well done and thank you to businesses like Jordan's CafĂŠ (pictured right) who helped launch the #freeschoolmeals project in Worthing last half term.

Going green In November, Prime minister Boris Johnson laid plans for the UK to ban the sale of cars that burn fossil fuels by 2030. The UK could be one of first western economies to go petrol and diesel free. Plans also include to increasing offshore wind energy and investing in hydro and nuclear powers. A promising step to help the planet! Tree counting The folks at NASA are using supercomputers to capture top-down images of trees from space. The 'tree census' will help scientists track tree growth in drylands like West Africa. Analysing biomass data makes it possible to measure climate changes and how much carbon the Earth can store. Giraffe GPS The world's only known white giraffe has been fitted with a tracking device by conservationists in Kenya. Rangers can monitor it's whereabouts to protect the male giraffe from poachers.

COMMUNITY | 5


BOXES OF HOPE by Alice Stout & Jo Walraven

T

he coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives.

We’re isolated from our extended families and friends, and every chat outside of our homes requires a mask. Hand sanitiser has gone from being something at the back of the kitchen drawer to a pocket essential.

6 | COMMUNITY

For many people, it has had an even more drastic impact. Some of our neighbours are still on furlough, and others have completely lost their jobs. Though we’re living through a crisis, no one should ever have to worry

about putting their next meal on the table.

Quarantine care round the corner We have two Faith Community Nurses committed to caring for individuals within the Maybridge Estate. From supporting youth mental health to aiding our seniors, Julie and Jo are helping our community in lots of different ways. Jo has been leading our Boxes of Hope initiative. We had a chat about how it’s been going so far…


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

teenager!’ – One of our busy mums ' I’ve just received my box, and I can’t thank you all enough. We were taken aback by the contents and so touched by the little touches of the flowers and art & craft bits for the kids.’ – Our Maybridge neighbours Jo, what is a Box of Hope? It’s a little package to brighten people's days! It’s jam-packed full of food, cleaning materials and activities for children to help defeat boredom over the holidays. Who's it for? We give them to people in our community who are most in need. There are 4.6 million children living in relative poverty in the UK, and only 1.5 million are entitled to receive free school meals. We’re helping out families at times when they are struggling to put food on the table. These boxes are just that extra helping hand, so there’s enough cash left over at the end of the week for other essentials like school shoes. Who gets involved? We have some lovely volunteers helping out – from packing to donating food and money, to delivering, to going

shopping at the last minute for the few extra items. It’s been amazing! When do you deliver? We provide boxes over the school holidays. Some families find it’s that much harder to provide food when the kids are home from school. Our next delivery is due just before Christmas.

If you’d like to get involved with our next Boxes of Hope delivery or find out more information, go to maybridge.org.uk

Big smiles and full hearts It’s been fantastic to see our community gel together in this way. We’ve had some lovely feedback from people who’ve received Boxes of Hope so far. ‘ Thank you so much. Our kids are amazed and so happy. Really brought a smile to their faces after a very hard few months.’ – A thankful family ‘ This is a huge help this week, especially with a permanently hungry

Alice is a freelance Multimedia Content Creator. She is one of our church partners, helping on the digital church team and working on M Magazine. Alice is passionate about equality, human rights and community development, as well as proper cups of coffee.

COMMUNITY | 7


COPING WITH FINANCIAL CHANGES by Alan Longhurst

A

t some point over the last year, we’ve all had to think about our spending habits - and many of us are silently worrying about things like finding work, paying bills and even putting food on the table. It’s hard to know where to start or what can be done as we all deal with the economic fall-out Covid-19, so here are five tips to help get your finances back on track:

1

Don’t wait

Christian’s Against Poverty (CAP), an organisation that works to help people out of debt, found that the average person spends two years struggling before seeking help. All the time the situation gets worse and harder to deal with. Don’t panic or sit back in despair, however bad it looks – seek help as soon as possible. No one likes to talk about money, but we’ve all felt the implications of the Covid-19 this last year so you are not alone.

2

Use a budget planner

Carefully looking at your spending is a great first step into getting on top of your finances.

8 | LIFE

You can do this by using a budget planner which helps break down the things you spend your money on. A really good planner tool can be found at moneysavingexpert.com, where you will also find loads of tips and suggestions about how to save money. Try to be accurate and realistic about your spending habits.

3

Start small

Once you know what you're spending, you can start to change and prioritise what you do with your money to help you stick within your means. A good way to review your spending is to ask yourself: ‘What can I do less?’, ‘What can I do more cheaply?’,


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

or even, ‘What can I cut out completely?’ It doesn’t have to be a big change; if you treat yourself to coffees out, three coffees a week will come to around £450 a year. By having just one coffee less per week, you could save around £150 a year. Little things can help you free up money to save or spend elsewhere on the things that matter.

4

Plan ahead

Once you’ve looked at your spending, build in budgets by looking ahead. Plan for things like birthdays, Christmas and the things that regularly cost you so they don’t come as a surprise. Even things like reducing your mileage will help reduce costs, but may take a little extra planning to get to where you need to be on time.

5

Get outside help

It's easy to be overwhelmed by money matters and sometimes we can fool ourselves by underestimating how much we really spend. So you may find it helpful to speak to someone with an outside perspective who can help get you started with budgeting, and support you as you try and review your spending. Maybridge Community Church has a small team of people who are on hand to help get your finances on track, or point you in the right direction if you need further resources and support from Citizens Advice Bureau or other national agencies like CAP. Whatever you decide to do, don’t panic or sit back in despair and however bad it looks, don’t struggle on your own - we’d love to help.

Budgeting for the first time? We find the 50/30/20 budget rule is a great place to start We understand that the pandemic has shifted these percentages for many people. Maybe your needs are more like 70% leaving less room for wants and saving. The important thing is to get a balance that works for you, that makes you feel in control of your money: knowing what you’re having to spend, splurging on the bits you really want, and making sure you’re saving some for a rainy day.

Alan and a small team of volunteers from Maybridge Community Church help signpost people to the help they may need and offer friendly guidance when thinking about budget planning. The information in this article is for general information and should not be construed as financial or other professional advice. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

50%

NEED

30%

WANT

20% SAVE

LIFE | 9


FIVE STEPS TO A MORE ETHICAL CHRISTMAS by Chloe Satchell-Cobbett

I

t’s tempting to spend the hours at home ordering Christmas stuff on Amazon. But seeing as Amazon, like many big global companies, has been challenged about ethical issues like tax payments, treating workers fairly and their carbon footprint, we reckon it might be time to spend our money elsewhere, particularly at this time of year. So here are a few tips to help you not only have a good Christmas; but do good at Christmas too.

" there are plenty of places to shop online that can help you make feel-good choices. "

10 | JUSTICE

1

2

Between Christmas wrapping, food and gifts, we use an INSANE amount of plastic over the festive season, and many larger companies often don’t pay a living wage to the workers who make our Christmas presents. However, there are plenty of places to shop online that can help you make feel-good choices. If you don’t know where to start, try ethicalsuperstore.com – it’s basically the ethical version of Amazon, with a range of fair trade, vegan, organic and eco-friendly products for all your Christmassy needs.

When you buy from a local business, a real person does a little happy dance. Small business owners have been hit hard this year, so why not brighten up their Christmas as well as your own by shopping local? The “Buy Local Worthing” Facebook page lists all kinds of gorgeous local brands, or Etsy is a great place to find unique Christmas gifts made by small businesses.

Buy Better

Shop Small


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

3

4

Give Experiences

Go Second Hand

Some of us have got a lot more time on our hands at the moment, so why not get creative and make Christmas presents this year? Not only will it save you a lot of money; everyone loves a special handmade gift. Even if you’re not that crafty, there are loads of easy ideas from homemade beauty products to yummy festive treats so get on Pinterest and explore (or check out Judy’s ridiculously delicious gingerbread recipe on the page 18).

If we’ve learnt anything this year, it’s that doing things together is way better than sitting in your house with a bunch of stuff! Buy gift vouchers from local restaurants or cinemas, or make your own vouchers for fun things to do together once social distancing restrictions have lifted. And bonus: no wrapping up required.

Buy or request second hand gifts. Charity shops have been inundated with donations since the first lockdown, and many have lots of stock they need to shift. You can head to your local charity shop when stores re-open, or check out Oxfam’s online store or other second-hand websites like Gumtree to contribute to the circular economy.

Make Something

5

Chloe is part of the Maybridge staff team, looking after our communications and special events. She loves social justice, raising up women and, of course, caramel doughnuts.

JUSTICE | 11


GOD WITH US ALL by Piero Regnante

W

hile technology allows us to stay in touch with those who are near and far away, even the most introverted of us will admit that the digital world is no substitute for having people physically with us. With the disruption, loss and isolation caused by Coronavirus, many of us have felt the sadness of being apart from family, neighbours and friends. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of a child thousands of years ago, and we remember God’s promise to be with us. The Christmas story (the one so many of us know and love from school nativities) places Jesus on earth, becoming one of us. Another name the Bible uses for Jesus is ‘Emmanuel’, which means ‘God with us’ – God didn’t stay at a distance or leave us on our own, but chose

12 | FAITH

to send his Son Jesus to be born as a baby, and live amongst the people He created. Despite the uncertainty of this new Covid-19 era where it feels we are distant from so many, God’s promise remains – and it’s the very foundation of who He is. When the Bible begins detailing Jesus’s life, it doesn’t actually start with a stable or angels or three wonderfully symbolic but thoroughly impractical baby gifts; it begins with a long list of Jesus’s ancestors. At first glance, it seems like just a list of names (and, if we’re honest, a fairly dull way to kick off a biography

Piero is our Creative & Digital Media Coordinator, helping the church do life together online. He is a Graphic designer and leads the Worship team. He loves cooking, music and is fuelled by coffee. You'll find him communicating through song or film quotes. of the most famous person who ever lived) but Jesus’s genealogy in the book of Matthew tells us the same, crucial thing about God


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

that the Christmas story does; first and foremost, God is with us all. You would expect the ancestry of Jesus to be full of fairly impressive people - or at least good, solid, faithful blokes who always did the right thing - but it’s a much more mixed bag than that. Matthew names both men and women, he names people who weren’t ‘religious’ at all, and he names well-known Bible characters from all kinds of backgrounds - from those who came from poor and unimpressive circumstances, ranging right up to adulterers and murderers. In this seemingly odd prequel to Jesus’ birth, the author Matthew leaves us with clues about the kind of people Jesus came to save, and shows that Jesus is with and alongside them. The underlying message of Christmas is not only that God came to be with us as promised; he came for everyone. Jesus offers friendship and a relationship that changes everything about our past, our present and our future. Christmas is the celebration of the fact that in Jesus, God comes down to and for us – to the lost, lonely, broken, weary, sick, suffering and everyone in between.

There is still so much uncertainty around what Christmas season might look like for us this year. But however isolated you may feel, however messy your history, or difficult your family background or current circumstance may seem, as a church we hope and pray that you might know

that God sent his Son Jesus to be with us all - and that definitely includes you. We’d love you to join us online on Sunday 20th December as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the timeless Nativity story, and explore what it means for us to have God with us in our lives.

LIFE’S BIG QUESTIONS This year we started our first online Alpha course during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a course that gives space to explore Christian faith topics and ask questions like: “Is there a God?” and “Is there more to life than this?” questions that many of us have probably started asking this year. If you’d like to know more about faith and Jesus, we invite you to join our next alpha course from the comfort of your own home. You find out about our next course at MAYBRIDGE.ORG.UK/ALPHA

FAITH | 13


GIVING A WARM WELCOME IN WORTHING by Alice Stout

I

n the lead up to Christmas, many of us will be putting up the last little decorative touches. You know – lights, baubles, that hideous Santa ornament you inherited from your aunt – the works. At this time of year, we like to make our homes warm and inviting, places of safety and rest.

When Jesus was born that first Christmas, he didn’t exactly arrive in the most warm and comfortable of places. I don’t know if you’ve been inside a stable before, but I’ll bet you wouldn’t stick a newborn in a cow’s feeding trough given alternative options. And while most of us remember the gist of the

Image by Maybridge resident: Roger Harrison

14 | JUSTICE

Nativity story from our primary school days, we rarely learn about the events that followed the stable. Herod had ordered the killing of all newborn boys to protect his status as king. Jesus and his parents were forced to flee Bethlehem. At just a few days old, God’s own son was made a refugee.


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

" ... A vision for the Worthing area to be a place of welcome, safety, integration and justice for refugees " In March 2011, the world woke up to the news that war had erupted in Syria. The conflict is still ongoing, and has claimed the lives of 400,000 people. Over 6 million Syrians are still displaced within the country, and more than 5 million have fled.

Stepping Up and Responding Church leaders across Worthing got together to brainstorm a way to respond to this crisis. In 2015, the British government pledged to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. And so, Worthing 4 Refugees was born; a group of local Christians who have a vision for the Worthing area to be a place of welcome, safety, integration and justice for refugees. Assisted by our local councils and the Home Office, we welcomed our first Syrian refugee family

in 2017. It was quite a long process with lots of things to prepare – finding a safe and affordable place to live, stocking the cupboards, finding Arabic speakers to interpret all the life admin… the list goes on and on. And as much as these practical arrangements are essential, what we really want is to help people establish a good new start here – living life in all its fullness. We provide opportunities to meet people, activities for the children, trauma counselling if necessary, access to volunteering opportunities, work experience, and a journey to employment. We're currently on this journey with more Syrian families. Last year we started a monthly drop-in for refugees and asylum seekers so more people could have access to help and a local community. This is currently on hold due to the pandemic, but we hope to start up again as soon as possible. And we have exciting plans for the coming months! We’re starting a language cafe for refugees and asylum seekers so that people learning English can come for a cuppa, convo, and create new friendships.

Join in Worthing has a history of generosity to those who have fled war and persecution, as far back as the Second World War. We’d love to continue this legacy together with you as a united community. If you would like to know more, you can check out our website worthing4refugees.org.uk for updates, to get involved or to get in touch.

Gay is our Church and Community worker, working closely with our volunteers and teams. As well as heading up Worthing 4 Refugees, Gay teaches music in her spare time, helps lead our community choir and regularly plays as part of our worship team.

JUSTICE | 15


PARENTING THE FORGOTTEN UNDER 5S by Ruth Stanley

W

e’ve all faced tough challenges this year, but if you’ve been pregnant or trying to parent little ones during a global pandemic, I think you deserve a medal. Schools and nurseries have re-opened, but if your child is too young for those places there are very few options available. Children’s Centres remain shut, access to a Health Visitor is difficult and you are probably feeling a bit forgotten. If you have a 2020 baby you will know the difficulties of giving birth alone and not being able to see a Health Visitor in person. At a time when you needed

" ... We are doing our best to support our local community. " 16 | FAMILY

your family around, they were not allowed to see you. There are no groups, no support, and it is very isolating. Having worked with Early Years and supporting children with speech and language difficulties for many years, I am concerned about the long-term effects this pandemic will have on children’s social, emotional and communication development. But, as parents, there are things we can do to help prevent this from happening; making sure we talk and sing to our children as much as possible, and meeting up with someone else (within government guidelines) so our kids are around other people. As a Children’s and Families Worker, the main thing that has been on my heart this year is how hard it is for parents and their very young children – especially

new Mums who don’t have others to turn to for support and advice. But while it feels like there are no groups or resources available, here at Maybridge Community Church we are doing our best to support our local community.

Ruth and her teams provide clubs and teaching for kids on Sundays and in the week as well as working to support families in the area with parenting classes, groups and mentoring. Ruth is the proud founder of office 'Cake Wednesdays'.


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

Every Wednesday (even during lockdown) we are running Building Bonds with Bumps and Babies – a supportive group for Mums and babies where you connect with other mums, learn together and just have a nice chat and a biscuit. You can come along right up to your baby’s 1st birthday, but due to government guidelines you will need to book at maybridge.org.uk/events each week. Our other group is called Tots & Tinies; a fun group for children up to school age and their grown-ups. We

briefly re-opened this group in the Autumn with two weekly sessions – Thursday mornings and Thursday afternoons – but due to the restrictions of Lockdown 2.0 this group is on pause at the moment. We will start it up again when we are allowed to do so, so do keep an eye on our website so you can book your place as soon as we reopen.

BUILDING BONDS WITH BUMPS & BABIES A term-time group for new mums with babies up to 1 year old. A chance to get together with other new mums and have a chat, hear and get involved in sessions on bonding with your baby as a new parent.

In the meantime, please know that you are not alone, no parent is perfect and you are doing a great job in unprecedented times. We hope to see you soon.

TOTS & TINIES A toddler group for preschoolers and their grown ups with crafts, play and singing.

Meets Wednesdays, 10:30am - 12pm at 77 The Strand.

Meets Thursdays (termtime), 10-11.30am & 2-3:15pm at 77 The Strand.

FAMILY | 17


Method

1

Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas Mark 5. Sift the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl.

2

Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (the kids will love doing this bit, or you can save time by pulsing it all in a food processor). Mix in the sugar.

Judy’s Favourite Gingerbread Judy and her family are Maybridge residents and Partners at MCC. She is well known for her baked goodies. She says: 'I like this recipe a lot because the biscuits are quite soft – I'm not a fan of crunchy ginger-nut-type biscuits. In the past I have made a gingerbread house, and it was brilliant fun, but because the dough is quite soft it was a bit lopsided!' Prep Time: 16 Minutes Cooking Time: 10-12 Minutes Ingredients 175g/6oz plain flour 2 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp bicarbonate of Soda 55g/2oz butter or margarine 85g/3oz soft brown sugar 2 tbsp golden syrup 1 egg, beaten Icing sugar Smarties, raisins, sprinkles, chocolate chips etc.

Judy’s Top Tip: ' I would use a medium egg, and if it feels a bit too sticky add in some extra flour.'

18 | JOY

3

Warm the golden syrup in a small saucepan until runny, then add to the mixture with the beaten egg. Mix it all together until you have a soft dough, and knead until smooth.

4

Lightly flour your work surface, roll out the dough, and cut out your gingerbread shapes. You could go for classic gingerbread people, use Christmassy cutters like trees and stars or, if you don’t have a cookie cutter to hand, an upside-down glass or mug will give you circle shapes you can turn into Christmas puddings or baubles with a bit of icing.

5

Lightly grease a baking tray, or cover with baking paper. Bake your gingerbread for about 10 minutes, or until just golden and crisp. Allow to cool.

6

Get decorating! Mix some icing sugar and water to act as your glue, and then stick on sprinkles, smarties or whatever you like. ACT OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE To turn these biscuits into an ecofriendly Christmas gift, wrap them up in the baking paper and tie with a ribbon or string. You could start a new family Christmas tradition of leaving lovely gingerbread parcels on doorsteps for your friends, family and neighbours.


MAYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH | M

DIY Christmas crackers Christmas dinner can’t start without a tug-of-war over a good ol’ cracker. Instead of buying a pack from the shops, why not design your very own? Follow steps below to create your version of this Christmas classic. You will need… • Card • Tissue or wrapping paper • Twine or string • Scissors • Sticky tape • Snaps* • Toilet paper (the hero of 2020!) • And some Christmas cracker goodies * You can pick up snaps from Hobbycraft or order a pack online for under £2.

OBLIGATORY TERRIBLE CHRISTMAS JOKE How did Mary and Joseph know Jesus’ birth weight when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger! FUN FACT Camels have three sets of eyelids and two rows of eyelashes to keep sand out of their eyes.

Instructions

1

Using an empty loo roll as your template, measure the cardboard to size and cut out rectangles. These will be the inner tube of the cracker.

2

Roll the card around the tube and fix in place with a piece of sticky tape, then slide the tube off of your loo roll. Repeat until you have as many crackers as you like.

3

Put a snap through the tube, making sure the ends are equal on both sides, and secure with a piece of sticky tape.

4

Time to make it look like a cracker. First, measure your tissue or wrapping paper. It should be long enough to cover the cardboard tube and the snap, and wide enough to wrap around the cardboard tube a couple of times. Cut the paper to size.

5

Place the cardboard tube on your tissue or wrapping paper and make sure it’s in the centre. Roll the tube up in the paper and tie one end with your twine or string. If it’s not staying in place, use a tiny piece of tape to hold the paper while you secure the end.

6

Put your Christmas cracker goodies into the tube. The tied end will stop them falling out the other side. Switch out cheap bits of plastic for mini soaps, candle melts, or chocolate goodies. Stick in your best eye-rolling jokes alongside some tissue paper crowns.

7 8

Tie off the open end with your twine or string.

Now you decorate to your heart’s delight you could tie holly leaves on. Voila. Your own beautiful, bespoke Christmas crackers – have fun!

Choir goes virtual Christmas at MCC wouldn't be the same without our fabulous choir. Although very different, singing and fun still continued as the choir moved rehearsals online. Catch our first virtual choir performance at our digital carol service, and look out for future choirs online. Everyone is welcome to join.

JOY | 19


Emmanuel

GOD W I T H US AL L

Join us online this Christmas

Digital Advent STARTS SUNDAY 29 NOVEMBER

Follow our digital advent with daily posts, stories, inspiration and creative activities

Carols Service

Christmas Day

SUNDAY 2O DECEMBER 10.30AM & 5PM Join us as we celebrate God with us all online. Performances, stories and, of course, our brilliant Christmas choir

FRIDAY 25 DECEMBER 10AM

Join the celebration of Jesus’s birth with our unique all age service on Christmas morning

MAYBRIDGE.ORG.UK