Gateway Vineyard church in Norwich is planning to launch a revolution of kindness, called 1000 Hours, across the city and county to mark the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter.
Gateway is aiming for its members and supporters to rack up at least 1000 hours of voluntary work and acts of kindness towards other people during the six weeks, starting on February 14, Ash Wednesday.
There will be individual acts of kindness and larger projects bringing together groups of people.
The hours will be logged and totalled on a dedicated website www.1000hours.co.uk
Church pastor, Hannah Deal, said: “The idea of 1000 Hours originated at Causeway Coast Vineyard in Ireland as a way to engage in acts of kindness to be a blessing and make a difference in their community. They carried out 10,000 hours of kindness and voluntary hours in a week and it made a huge impact in their communities.
“We are asking our church members to think about doing simple acts such as baking a cake for a neighbour, giving your postman a bar of chocolate or cooking a meal for someone in need.
“We have already planned some larger group activities by offering our services for free to community organisations in the area. There are going to go litter picking at schools, beaches and a hospital. We will be painting a fence for a community project, visiting residential homes to engage in activities with the residents, running a baby café in Thorpe St Andrew and family activities and a kids club in Trowse.”
There are also several projects planned in conjunction with the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital to show appreciation for staff and also provide reminiscence packs for dementia patients and support for relatives of patients.
Hannah said: “There are all kinds of ways in which people can show kindness towards other and we hope that through them we will see positive changes in our community. Mother Theresa said: ‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.’
“We believe that simple acts of kindness will send ripples across our city and county. I cannot wait to begin and I hope that in big ways and small we will be able to show God’s love and kindness to people.”
Pictured above are members of Gateway Vineyard at the launch of the 1000 Hours initiative.