Neighourhood engagement continues in Blackburn lockdown

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blackburn rLockdown has not stopped Revidge Fold URC in Blackburn, Lancashire from serving the local neighbourhood in a time of great need, as efforts to provide winter wellbeing packs, Christmas Hampers, knitted blankets and a community garden have all continued.

When Age UK Blackburn within Darwen asked if the church could help them in distributing Winter Wellbeing Packs to people who are in particular need of them in the Blackburn with Darwen area, the church was happy to do so, especially as it was delivering its own church newsletters anyway. A total of 42 packs were delivered to people in need, including advice leaflets, a room thermometer, a pen, puzzles, recipes, knitting patterns, health advice and other useful items. Other URC congregations and ecumenical partners also engaged with this project by providing hand-written Christmas cards which were sent out alongside the Winter Wellbeing packs.  These were very much appreciated by all who received them, especially the Christmas cards, which added a personal touch.


Just before Christmas, Age UK, once again, in conjunction with not-for-profit care organisation Creative Support, initiated a Christmas Eve hamper scheme in which the church could identify people living alone in the local postcode area who would welcome a hamper on Christmas Eve.  As a result, 5 hampers were delivered, an unexpected gift, which was greatly appreciated by all who received one. The church really welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with other agencies to serve the local community. 

A longstanding tradition at Revidge Fold URC has been the knitting of squares to make into blankets for distribution to those in need abroad through charities. In lockdown, congregation members, lunch club and participants in other church groups kept this going, firstly to keep themselves occupied and secondly in order to do something useful for others. All in all, at least 19 knitters have kept things going. Two ladies who are still knitting are in their late 80's (in fact, one may have turned 90 this year). They are constantly requesting more wool. A square a day keeps the boredom away!

A grant from Churches Together in Lancashire has also allowed the church’s community garden to continue growing. The aim is to increase the biodiversity of the gardens by planting wild flowers, conserving those that are there already, together with sweet peas, cosmos daisies and sunflowers amongst others, grown from seed by Memory Café guests. There are also plans for a cross-shaped bug house and a desire to involve as many people as possible, from across the generations, in caring for the garden. Due to current restrictions, the volunteers must work separately, but it’s still a great way of exercising outdoors, especially in good weather, to make a start on this important eco-project!

How has your congregation engaged with the local neighbourhood during lockdown? Share your story with us by e-mail to

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