Prayer News – October 2018

Cinnamon Network is entering into a new era with a refreshed focus to help churches meet the needs at the very heart of their communities. As an established and highly regarded charity in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Cinnamon’s model has attracted attention from across the world. As part of the developments at Cinnamon Network, Cinnamon’s founder, Matt Bird, will be moving into a new role to establish Cinnamon International.

Matt Bird

Amanda Bindon and Mike Royal, who are already on the leadership team at Cinnamon, will be leading Cinnamon UK into this new era, building on the foundations that have been established and supporting the work with even more churches across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Of his new position Matt Bird said: “I am immensely proud of all that Cinnamon has achieved and am excited about being released to establish Cinnamon International, whose purpose will be to set-up self-sustaining Cinnamon Networks in countries around the world. I will continue in a founder advisory role to Cinnamon UK supporting my leadership team colleagues as they take the helm.”

Amanda Bindon

Amanda Bindon has been Cinnamon’s Communications Team Leader and brings with her extensive experience form the corporate world. Amanda has worked for Esso, Jacob’s (part of Danone), Pizza Hut and subsequently led the Waitrose Marketing Department before joining Cinnamon. Amanda said: “Cinnamon has come such a long way and the need within communities across our nation is more acute than ever. I am excited about leading Cinnamon to develop the capacity of churches to respond.”

Mike Royal has been leading Cinnamon’s Church Engagement Team to date and has been the national pioneer of TLG Alternative Education Centres, with vast experience of working across denominations. Mike said: “Having been part of Cinnamon’s incredible growth, I am passionate about developing the knowledge and talents within our team to progress the work to support even more churches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.” 

Mike Royal

David Westlake will continue to chair the Board of Trustees and adds his support to the changes at Cinnamon UK saying: “We are deeply grateful to Matt for his vision in not only establishing Cinnamon Network, but in building such a capable team to support the continued growth of the work in the UK. As a Board we are looking forward to working closely with Mike and Amanda as we consolidate the great work that Cinnamon is already doing so we can be even more strategic in the support we give to churches across the nations.” 

Cambridgeshire County Council join forces with local churches to support the vulnerable

On 13 November, Cinnamon Network will be launching an exciting new partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council to support local churches as they set up new social action projects that will make a lasting difference in high need communities. This new partnership, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovate and Cultivate Fund, will be launched with the council’s Chief Executive Gillian Beasley, who will be joined by local church leaders and representatives from the Cinnamon Network.

Five Micro-Grants of £2,000 are available to help churches establish projects that directly address the needs of vulnerable people within the community.

Cinnamon will help the churches to understand the pressing issues in their community and identify stakeholders to partner with. A combination of expert advice from a dedicated Cinnamon Advisor, a Cinnamon Micro-Grant and Cinnamon Leadership Training will help to ensure that projects remain effective and sustainable.

Cinnamon Network has extensive experience of working with local authorities, police forces and churches across the country to support community transformation through the delivery of church-based social action projects. With an established reputation in the community, access to resources and a ready-made network of volunteers, Cinnamon believes that churches are well placed to to serve their community.

According to research carried out by the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit in 2016, faith groups contribute at least £3 billion worth of social and welfare support to the UK every year, helping 48 million people in the process.

Mike Royal, Head of Church Engagement at Cinnamon Network, said: “We are living in a time of great social need and many families and individuals require help and support to avoid crisis and poverty. This partnership seeks to build on the immense contribution that faith groups make to civic society. By providing churches with a combination of expert advice and practical support to start projects, we hope to make a lasting difference in the lives of the most marginalised and vulnerable. 

The prospect of churches, the local authority and other community stakeholders working together is tremendously exciting, and I look forward to seeing the impact this partnership will have in Cambridgeshire.” 

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Communities and Partnership Committee, Councillor Steve Criswell said: “Our Innovate and Cultivate Fund was designed to support communities on their journey to making a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s always uplifting to see amazing initiatives like this one coming through the process.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cinnamon Network and local churches to support vulnerable people within the community. Together I believe we can make our communities not only safer, but happier places.”

Find out more about Micro-Grants that are available.

The Cinnamon Project Incubator takes innovative, new social action projects and helps them grow to a point where they can be replicated many times over.

All great local church social action projects have to start somewhere. A single act of love and generosity can easily turn into a local project that impacts individuals, communities and even nations. And a local project, with the right nurturing, can be replicated through local churches into a national (or even international) movement.

Rachel Warwick

Over 18 months, project that enter the Cinnamon Incubator will receive training and support in:

  • Strategic advice
  • Coaching
  • Confidence building
  • Funding
  • Marketing and promotion

The residential is an invaluable part of the programme, where projects can come together to not only learn invaluable skills, but also to share experiences and get the inspiration they need to take their projects to the next level.

Rachel Warwick, the Founder of MakeLunch said:

“I’ve really appreciated his insightful, understanding approach as [Cinnamon] applies business knowledge to our charity needs. On top of all that, [they] manage to do it in a way that’s fun and leaves me feeling like I’m good at my job!”