The Grand Scheme is back

by Dave on January 25, 2015


Running a church like St Luke’s is an expensive business – it costs around £2,500 a week to keep things going, and that’s without special projects such as repair work to the building, running our winter night shelter for homeless people, and the charities we support. Raising money can be a tiresome business, so here at St Luke’s, we try to combine it with having some fun, trying out new experiences, and getting to know each other better.

That’s where the Grand Scheme comes in. Throughout February and March, lots of members of the church will be putting on events – at home, at the church, and out and about – with the aim of raising a ‘grand’ for St Luke’s. Events in the past have ranged from film shows to roast dinners; bird watching walks to crochet lessons; and beer ‘n’ hymns to silent meditation sessions. And here’s the twist – when tickets go on sale, no one knows who is running each event, so it’s a great opportunity to get to know new people. (Of course, if you’re feeling shy, you can always book to go with a friend.)

If you come up with an event you think others might enjoy, chat to Susie or Bernadette about it as soon as possible (or email them at Once the details are confirmed, you can get organising, while Susie and Bernadette start selling tickets for your event. (If you need to use the church building, check availability with Lucy on – there’s no booking fee for Grand Scheme events).

If you’re not running an event yourself – and even if you are – keep an eye on the events list and start buying tickets. Why not invite non-church friends along, too? Events are appearing in the weekly church email and are flagged up at services. You can buy your tickets after Sunday morning worship.

So get ready to have some fun, make new friends – and raise a grand for St Luke’s!


Many St Lukers have charities that are particularly close to their hearts, and we’re always keen to facilitate and support their efforts to make the world a better place. On 21 January, Denyse Whillier is hosting a screening of the film Half The Sky, based on the book that challenged and inspired her to take action.

“Half The Sky: How To Change The World by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn stunned and captivated me,” says Denyse. “It describes how families and states systemically fail to provide education and healthcare for girls and women – and shows why empowering women in the developing world to realise their full potential is so important, not only for themselves, but so we can all benefit from their contributions to our global society.

“The book played a major role in crystallising my own thinking around development, education and the economic empowerment of women. Through stories of the power and resilience of women, it shows how each of us can meet one of the great humanitarian challenges of our times. As a result, I became an ambassador for the Half The Sky Movement ( ).”

Denyse’s first action as an ambassador is to host this event at St Luke’s, when we’ll have a chance to see the documentary based on the book, followed by a panel discussion led by the CEO of The Hunger Project (one of the charities highlighted by Half The Sky). The event is on Wednesday 21 January, at 7.30pm, here at St Luke’s, and proceeds from the evening will go to The Hunger Project.

You can reserve your tickets at . People who attend are asked to make a £10 donation, either on the door or on Denyse’s Just Giving page at (and of course, if you can’t make the event, you can still donate). It promises to be an informative and inspiring event – we hope to see you there!

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