As Advent approaches our minds might be turning to Christmas and buying gifts for loved ones. This year, instead of a commercial Advent calendar which contains chocolate, tea or toys, how about trying out a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’? Instead of receiving a gift, you place something in a box to collect for a local food bank. This can be done by individuals or in churches and schools. Full instructions are included, and if you have any questions please contact Nicola Thomas. If as a church you want to promote this, for example by handing out copies at a service, but you need help to cover printing costs, please contact [email protected] to apply for a JPIC micro-grant.

Fr Steffan Mathias, Vicar at St Peter’s, Streatham, saw the Advent Calendar mentioned in the first Cost of Living Taskforce Bulletin, and is planning to use it at St Peter’s this year. He said:

‘We’re really excited at St Peter’s to be taking part in the reverse advent calendar. Everyone is aware of the pressure families are under, and it is a great way to focus on what help each of us is able to give. I know families will be excited to share the calendar with children, and it gives opportunities to think with them how our faith shapes our actions.’ 

Sally Bowes, St Margaret’s Chipstead:

“What a good idea!  This seems such a great way to involve children as well as adults, reminding them each day of the Advent season of the needs of others.  We’ll hand out the calendar in church and explain all about it – and I’m sure our local food bank will be grateful for the extra donations this Christmas.” 

Download the Reverse Advent Calendar