Week 9 - House plants, creativity and an invitation to Try Church

In East London, Christ Church Spitafields, a local church passionate to welcome students into their community organised a house plant giveaway. Aware of students' desire for connection in the busyness of London, Katie, the student worker and the student team invited students to pick up a free house plant, stay for a creative workshop and try church. The initiative ran for four weeks on a Sunday before the evening service and the entire congregation were invited to participate through prayer and by donating house plants. 

These potted plants served as a unique attraction for students, offering a touch of nature to their university accommodations. However, the initiative went beyond the free gift with the creative afternoons. These sessions included candle painting inspired by TikTok, friendship bracelet making inspired by Taylor Swift, and lino printing inspired by the creative talents within the church community. The events were strategically scheduled before the evening church service, providing a relaxed atmosphere for students to experience a sense of community with other students and an opportunity to explore church too. 

Students who had never considered stepping inside a church found themselves attending these events, drawn by the appeal of free plants and the opportunity to engage in creativity. Two students from the Queen Mary’s freshers fair went to every event and one of them signed up to explore the story of Jesus at Alpha! Students asked why the church was doing this and members of the church shared their love for students and their passion to welcome them. 

At the core of this initiative was a genuine desire to give students the gift of community. The church's welcoming approach created a safe space for students to connect, foster new friendships with others and explore faith, all through the power of a house plant, creativity and an invitation to try church.

Every week of the academic year, we are sharing a story of student mission. If you have a story to share, let us know.

Funmi Akinola

Student Mission Coach

Funmi is passionate about churches growing and planting. She loves connecting with a diverse breadth of churches and seeing them thrive in creatively loving, welcoming and discipling students.