Join us on the third Tuesday of each month from February 2023 for a series of online ‘lunch and learns’ on themes related to the cost of living crisis.

These sessions, hosted by the Compassionate Communities Team, are aimed at church communities in the Diocese of London.

You can find the provisional schedule below, and can sign up for any of the first three sessions.

LUNCH AND LEARN 1: Funding for churches responding to the Cost of Living Crisis

Tuesday 21st February, 13:00-14:00, online

This session provided a simple guide to grants available to churches in relation to the cost of living crisis, including for warm spaces. It highlighted resources available, and suggested top tips when making grants applications. Ending with an opportunity for Q&A.


  • Emma Brooker, Interim Fundraising Administrator, Diocese of London
  • Revd Sally Baily, Vicar of Holy Trinity Hounslow

Resources from this session below:

LUNCH AND LEARN 2: The Future of Foodbanks

Tuesday 21st March, 13:00-14:00, online

According to The Trussell Trust, the need for foodbanks has risen by 81% in the last five years. Many churches run foodbanks, food pantries, community meals and other food distribution services and we are often asked:

  • Are foodbanks a sustainable, long-term response?
  • Are they dignified?
  • Are there alternatives?

This session explored these issues and discussed community building in addition to immediate relief.


  • Bill Miller, runs a weekly community meal at St Paul’s Marylebone through Foodcycle but previously worked at Trussell Trust. He is passionate that the church responds to food insecurity.
  • Jackie Barnes, from St Mary’s Hornsey Rise Foodbank

LUNCH AND LEARN 3: Resources to tackle hygiene poverty in our city

Tuesday 18th April, 13:00-14:00, online

Hygiene poverty is not new, but it has made the headlines recently as increasing numbers of people are unable to afford essential hygiene products.

Holy Sepulchre London partner with The Hygiene Bank, a national charity focused on bringing an end to hygiene poverty.

This session:

  • Explored what hygiene poverty is, the scale and impact of hygiene poverty
  • Introduced us to their partnership with The Hygiene Bank, and how it works in practise
  • Helped us understand how other church and school communities can get involved in helping to bring an end to hygiene poverty in our city

Ending with an opportunity for Q&A..

Speaker: The Revd Nick Mottershead, Priest in Charge, Holy Sepulchre London.

Resources from the session below:

LUNCH AND LEARN 4: Spotting the signs of modern slavery in foodbanks and warm spaces

Tuesday 16th May, 13:00-14:00, online

This session seeks to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking. We will break down what modern slavery is and what it looks like. We will explore how to detect signs of modern slavery, specifically in foodbanks and warm spaces, and what to do if you suspect someone is at risk. Ending with an opportunity for Q&A.

Speaker: Dr Julia Tomas, Anti-Slavery Coordinator, The Passage

LUNCH AND LEARN 5: Accessing fast financial help for those in hardship - through Acts 435

Tuesday 20th June, 13:00-14:00, online

Discovering how churches can access small financial grants for those in hardship through the Acts 435 charity.


  • Katie Greene, Communications Director for Acts 435 and a local church Acts 435 Advocate
  • Alison Harvey, A local church Acts 435 Advocate

LUNCH AND LEARN 6: Community Sponsorship

Tuesday 11th July, 13:00-14:00, online

Community Sponsorship is a way for a community group (such as a church community) to support the resettlement of a refugee family to the UK.


  • Amina Khanom, Programmes Manager, Reset Communities for Refugees
  • Domenica Pecoraro, Church of England National Community Sponsorship Representative
  • Rev Diane Peters, Lead Sponsor for CAMINO Guildford, and Diocesan Advisor for Refugees (Diocese of Guildford)

This session provides a short introduction to Community Sponsorship - what it is, how it works, the support and resources available, and next steps for a church community if they are interested in exploring Community Sponsorship further.

It also provides insights from a church community who will share their experience of welcoming a family from Syria through Community Sponsorship.

LUNCH AND LEARN 7: The Changing Face of Volunteering Post-Pandemic

Tuesday 19th September, 13:00-14:00, online

Social action in churches is reliant on those who generously give up their time to run our foodbanks, toddler groups, youth drop ins, mental health cafes and night shelters.

September’s Lunch & Learn looked at the topic of volunteering: how do we build our bank of volunteers at a time when finances are stretched and many people have taken a step back from previous long standing voluntary roles?


  • Hannah Rich (Senior Researcher, Theos Think Tank)
  • Revd Donna Williams (All Saints Hampton)

The session includes:

  • Findings from Hannah’s recent research with Housing Justice on how the pandemic has affected church social action related volunteering
  • Sharing stories of good practice
  • Discussing how we support and develop our volunteers, and promote discipleship through volunteering
  • The opportunity for Q&A

If there is a topic related to the cost of living crisis which we have not included and interests you, do email us as we consider topics for the remainder of the year.