About Cheerfully Given
We support Christian artists, designers and makers as they pursue their creative calling, and equip the wider Church to share Jesus through creativity.
Our Christian marketplace is a community of sellers made up of artists, designers, and makers who love Jesus wholeheartedly and want to provide a platform for customers to buy quality design-led products that celebrate the life found in Jesus.
There are over 240 Sellers who make up our community, each with their own shop and product range, selling Christian homeware, stationery, and gifts.
Our events include our annual Creative Christianity Summit, and creative days exploring what it means to follow and share Jesus with creativity, as well as professional support and development days and events for Christian creatives and business owners.
Our community broadly includes two groups of people:
- Christian artists, designers, and makers who are running their own businesses.
- Christians who want to gift beautiful products that share the life of Jesus, support small businesses, decorate their homes with words of truth, explore creativity through the lens of knowing Jesus, and make Him known in their homes, communities, and churches.
Our resources and events are usually designed with one or both of these groups in mind, but we welcome anyone who wants to join in, including those with questions about who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him.
Our resources include a mix of free and paid resources encouraging you to keep Jesus at the centre of everything you do. We have free resources including blog posts, PDF downloads, and videos for small groups, family, and church life, and paid resources including our monthly business membership, The Tent Peg Collective.
We do it because Jesus is the Centre of all reality
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17, NIV
We want Jesus to be the centre of everything we do, we want our hearts & minds to be focused on Him, and we want to use our lives to share His life.
We do it because all of creation and creativity is about Jesus
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1, NIV
All of creation declare the LORD Jesus Christ. Creativity and the creative arts have been central to Church life since the Tabernacle was constructed. Creativity and creation points us to Christ, and can share Him in unique and breath-taking ways.
We do it because we are Christ's body on earth, and we are called to serve one another
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10, NIV
Each of us has been uniquely gifted as part of Christ's Body on earth, and the Cheerfully Given business model is intentionally designed as an act of service to support artists and designers, so that we can all work faithfully in the gifts the Living God has given to us.
We do it as worship for an audience of One
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Colossians 3:23, NIV
We are single-mindedly working for the Lord, and not for human masters. We are committed to excellence, as faithful stewards of the resources we have been given.
We do it to make Jesus known in the world
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" Romans 10:14, NIV
As followers of Jesus, we are called to share Him with the people around us. We do that using creativity and the creative arts, and we want to encourage you to do it, too.
Cheerfully Given first launched its beta platform in June 2016, inspired by the words of 1 Peter 4:10 "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."
Our founder, Menekse, had a vision for sharing Jesus through creativity, and wanted to create a space of support for professional artists & designers to promote their faith-based work.
By the end of 2016, we had outgrown our beta website, and in early 2017 our community raised £15,500 on Kickstarter to fund a new website.
Since then, we have grown to over 240 artists and designers on our marketplace, served tens of thousands of customers through our marketplace, we have run workshops and events all over the UK, and since 2020 we have served thousands of people around the world with our virtual events and resources.
Our platform is designed to serve local businesses and local people in local churches. It's designed to serve you.
(it's pronounced meh-neck-sheh)
Thank you so much for stopping by to find out more about Cheerfully Given - it's great to have you here.
I wanted to share a bit more about me and why I started Cheerfully Given - written from a more personal perspective than the above.
There are a few key factors:
- Because we can share Jesus through creativity and the visual arts when words are not possible or available
- Because I love design and craft, and high quality craft has been integral to the Church for thousands of years
- Because we are called to serve one another with the gifts God has given us, and when we work together collaboratively with a shared vision of Jesus, we can change the world
The first question I usually get asked is: "Where is your name from?"
And the answer is that it's Turkish. I am from a Turkish background, and grew up with most of my family being Muslim or atheist - my mum and I are the only Christians - and this has hugely shaped my faith in Jesus and my heart for sharing Him.
High quality design and craft
Having home decor and visual signs of my faith in Jesus is an important part of sharing Him to the people around me who don't yet know Him - and enjoying the creative gifts of professional practitioners is a delight for the eyes and the heart.
Creativity creates opportunities for connection and conversation in a unique way, and we can enjoy that as part of Church life.
Serving one another
The marketplace model and community around Cheerfully Given has been intentionally cultivated to highlight and value the unique gifts we have each been given, and to create space for us to honour and serve one another with them.
I serve the community with my own gifts and skills, which happen to be marketing.
My journey as a follower of Jesus
After attending Bible college for 2 years, I met my husband, Andrew, who is now a theologian and Church of England vicar.
Over the last number of years, I have spent a lot of time understanding what it means for the Lord Jesus Christ to be central to every part of our lives as His followers, and I am grateful to have been mentored by Rev Dr Paul Blackham for the last 10 years.
I take local church accountability particularly seriously because of the nature of working virtually and the lack of accountability that can often be demonstrated in the online space.
Currently, I am part of St Crispin's Church, but Andrew will soon be installed as the vicar of St Gabriel's Church so we will be moving in the summer of 2021.
Rev Dr Paul Blackham provides additional accountability because of Andrew being both my church leader and my husband.
My professional background
I am a professional marketing nerd, and have spent the last number of years freelancing as a Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) for thought leadership start-ups and brands.
I teach marketing strategy for senior marketing teams and start-ups, including as a sessional lecturer for University of the Arts London and ELLE Education, and act as a marketing consultant, trustee, or advisor for a variety of organisations.
I speak at events on a regular basis in both "secular" and Christian spaces, including...
- Good marketing, including training, workshops, interviews, and keynotes
- Being a Christian business leader
- Creativity and evangelism, including why and how
- Creativity as a Christian
- Mindset as a Christian creative and business owner
If you've got an event coming up or are interested in booking me to speak, you can get in touch here.
My prayer for you
My prayer for you is that your heart and mind will be fixed on Jesus, and that you will know the joy of following Him in every part of your life.
That you will see His beauty, and be inspired to share Him with everyone around you.
That you will be filled with boldness, courage, and energy by His Spirit to step out in faith every day, knowing you are safe in His hands, and with the eternal perspective of life with Christ to guide your footsteps.
If Cheerfully Given can encourage or equip you in any part of that, then praise Jesus, and all glory be to Him.