‘We’re not alone’ – sharing faith and hope through music

09 JUL 2020

Growing Lives funding from Allchurches Trust is helping iSingPOP to connect with young people online, keeping spirits high and teaching valuable lessons from home.

iSingPOP is a project led by the Innervation Trust, engaging with young people in schools, teaching them fun and exciting songs whilst spreading the word of God and helping children to explore their spirituality.
 
They typically work with every year group in a school, teaching them pop songs and dance routines for several days before bringing in professional equipment to record their CD and then holding a concert for their family and friends in the local church.
 
Prior to lockdown, the charity’s work had gone from strength to strength – they were building a new website, focussing on social media and had just started trialling a Church Resource Pack, so that churches could host iSingPOP interactive sessions and in turn engage more effectively with young people. 
 
The trial had been a huge success, with one sleepy Worcestershire village church (with no young people in their congregation) welcoming 40 people to their first iSingPOP session, including 24 children!
 
Then lockdown hit hard, and all classroom and church work had to be put on hold immediately. But iSingPOP decided to hit the ground running and get a YouTube channel , which had been in the pipeline for over a year, launched.
 
The channel went live as part of The Church of England’s Faith at Home initiative – building on faith work carried out within schools to continue the development and pastoral care of young people and their families from home.
 
The first show premiered on 24th April, and a new video is released every Friday, based around a specific topic and all that it means, with songs, dancing and educational content. 
 
So far, the episodes have been focused around the themes of joy, fear, hope, thanks, unity, love, patience, equality, kindness, resilience and reconciliation.
 
Kath Sperry, Acting Deputy of Charles Williams Primary School, said: “I cannot begin to tell you what a vital role ISP has played during lockdown for us. Honestly, they have been our 'go to' for everything.”
 
The hard work doesn’t stop there, iSingPOP’s involvement with the Faith at Home initiative has resulted in a partnership with the Church of England to script write and present the Oak National Academy’s online assemblies.
 
The £10,000 funding from Allchurches Trust has been a lifeline for iSingPOP to expand their Faith at Home work, which is likely to evolve into a tour of schools when the charity is allowed to return, focusing on the song ‘We’re not alone’ – which will resonate with children who have missed their friends and a sense of ‘normality’ in lockdown.
 
Miz Porter, Director of iSingPOP, said: “We had the rug pulled out from under us overnight and we really couldn’t have adapted our model to serve the needs of young people in lockdown without Allchurches Trust funding. The grant has kept us spreading the Gospel, bringing fun and hope to young people and families, and we’re excited for the future.”
 
The grant has also enabled the charity to focus on their brand new resource, Classroom Worship, which offers teachers a template to run 12 to 15 minute worship sessions with their class online. The resource speaks into COVID, exploring concepts around courage and how to cope in difficult times. 
 
The resource is designed to bring church and school closer together while physical church buildings are closed, including an easy guide on how to film a YouTube video, so teachers can share the act of worship with children in the classroom and those at home.
 
Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “iSingPOP’s energy and resilience throughout the COVID pandemic has been inspiring, especially as their whole model of work focusses on interacting with children in schools and this has had to be put on hold. We are proud to have supported their Faith at Home work throughout lockdown, which will have been a ray of light for many children and families struggling with a lack of connectivity between themselves, schools and churches.”
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