Churches join day of volunteering to celebrate King's coronation

Churches have been using the Monday Bank Holiday to get stuck in with volunteering projects around their communities as part of the Big Help Out in celebration of the King's coronation at the weekend.

The Big Help Out was organised by a coalition of charities to mark the King's coronation by inviting people across the country to help out in their local communities.

The initiative is supported by Christian and other faith leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who led Saturday's coronation, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army.

Thousands of volunteers were expected to take part across the country in activities like litter-picking, community gardening, lunches, and charity shop taster sessions.

Churches were also participating in creative ways.

St Helen's Abingdon ran information sessions about church bellringing, organ playing and singing in the choir, as well as offering coffee, cake, craft activities for children, and tours of the church.

In Lancaster, Hope Church and Church on the Marsh teamed up to clean the streets in their neighbourhood with equipment provided by Lancaster City Council. They also rolled up their sleeves to do some painting and repairs, and trim hedges in the local area.

The Grade I listed All Saints Church, Alburgh, in the Diocese of Norwich, welcomed in volunteers to clean and repair its churchyard furnishings.

Derby Cathedral has been running taster sessions for locals to come in and find out what it is like to volunteer there.

The Big Help Out was inspired by the theme of the King's coronation - 'called to serve'.

Archbishop Justin Welby said that helping others was a "key theme" of the coronation weekend.

"As we celebrate the coronation, I joyfully encourage everyone to help out in all kinds of creative ways," he said.

"I pray we take this opportunity to come together, support those around us and unite our communities. Let's build a legacy of love for one another."

Cardinal Nichols said that the Big Help Out was a "chance to give something back" after the festivities.

"Volunteering is so important and I encourage everyone to take part," he said.

"Jesus himself came to the world, not to be served but to serve.

"If we all lend a hand – at a local project, with a national charity – the effect will be wonderful. Together, we can make a real change for the better."