Notes from the Churches Together in Poole Meeting
Thursday, 22nd March, 2018, at Parkstone URC, 12.30-2pm
1) Welcome from Chair, Jackie Leswell.
Jackie reflected on how Easter was coming up, and how, in life too, there was always the unexpected: we should learn from the past but remain focussed on new opportunities- the greatest things were in store. Jesus came from a place of rest, but never took a break : we too could be a peaceful and stable presence. Jackie prayed that we, as the apostles learned, should never be astonished and should always be ready.
2) Role of Chair
Jackie shared with the group that she would be leaving Poole in July ( though she hoped to come back and visit ). Her chair-ship was due to end at this point.
Jackie asked the group if they would like to elect a new chair immediately, and for her to work alongside that person for a while, or whether that person should be elected at the next meeting in June.The group agreed that Jackie should carry on for now, as she has certain ongoing projects, such as the Youth Conversation ( which came out of the Poole Conversation ) and that Jackie would continue to approach people to fill her role. 28th June 2018 would be handover day.
3) Inviting Other Churches
Joan queried whether any other churches / denominations had been invited to join CTiP. Jackie confirmed that she had invited others to join.
4) PACE Trust
Dave Pegg from The Pace Trust ( Programme for Applied Christian Education ) spoke about the Trust’s
work. PACE had been running for 20 years. It focussed on Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, building teams from churches to help young people in schools to know Jesus. They were now trying to co-ordinate efforts, find out where the gaps were and to fill them.
Their vision was for all children to have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about Jesus from those who know Him- through Christians going into schools, bringing the topic alive.
Dave stated that schools very much want this: though some were apprehensive, PACE was earning their trust.
PACE had been working in 9 of the 15 secondary schools in Bournemouth, via assemblies, RE lessons and lunch clubs. Rev.Andy Mason had come on board again.At least one third of schools were being served by PACE.
St Peter’s Secondary, Poole : PACE had been running a Youth Alpha.
St Edward’s, Poole:This school seemed well-covered, with a chaplain in place, but PACE may go there in the future.
PACE was keen for more opportunities in the schools within Poole. Dave would love to hear about the schools that those in CTiP cared about and would like served. They were keen to recruit volunteers as part of the team.They were able to give presentations in church
5) EDAS ( Essential Drugs and Alcohol Services)
Iain Wilson and Louise Cullen spoke about EDAS ( Ashley Road, Parkstone, near the Islamic Centre and Guitar Mania shop).
It offered mentoring, qualification opportunities, psycho-social interventions and harm-minimisation.The recovery cafe -open to the public- had taken off; within the cafe, there were training opportunities.
EDAS offered a full timetable of structured support. People could self-refer.There was a counselling-service ( * Sarah said there was also one at The Spire, Poole).
Louise spoke about ACT- the Alcohol Care and Treatment Service funded by the hospital trust, where people were referred to community services.
Louise said that the system was fluid: all agencies were openly communicating and transparent. The CAB were on board too.
There was a Family Focus Group at the Children’s Centre, Green Road, for parents who have substance misuse problems and children under 5, who had a fear of stigma and approaching social services.They were referred / signposted to services. There were carers, and 1-1 work. Probation would be informed if high- risk.
There was a Youth Service- previously called YDAS ( it was all one service now within EDAS).
Louise said that Poole had more instances of alcohol misuse; Bournemouth, drugs.There was a rise in opiate use.
6) Poole Sports Ministry
Israel Douglas : leads the Bournemouth and Poole Community SportsTeam.An outreach ministry to
encourage people through sport, bridging community to the Church, exposing young people to faith.
Since May 2014, they’d had a space at The Junction ( YMCA, Poole) on a Friday night, with access to pool, bar etc.The aim was to engage youth from that area, aged 15-20. Up to 20 young people normally attended. There had been 40 before.
They had run a residential weekend at Sandyholme, Studland, and would be doing another this year.They ran Youth Quizzes, Family Quizzes, and would be running a Football Tournament on 18th June, to coincide with the World Cup ( Tunisia).
There was a volunteer team of 5 people.They are looking to do Youth Sports Camps, Bath Young Leaders Events, a Community Cup, Youth Alpha, Easter Sports Camps, Mission Trips abroad, schools work, new programmes, Dads’ Football, an Interest Group ( street evangelisation), Poole Town Centre, 2-4pm.
7) CTiP - Good Friday Walk of Witness: 9am, Parkstone URC ( meet 8.40 ).
8) Town Pastors
Jackie reported that there were 6-7: at least 20 more were needed.
Currently, they went out on a Saturday at 3.30pm for 2-3 hours. It would probably be from 4.30-7pm in the summer months.
9) Church Leaders Meetings
1st Wednesday of every month, 12.45pm at St Clement’s, for an hour. Jackie emphasised the centrality of prayer at these meetings.
10) Christian Aid
The Christian Aid in Poole Committee had virtually collapsed last year.
There would be walks on May 12th. Street collections would take place on May 19th 2018.
Songs of Light concert, Friday 27th April, 2018 at 7pm, St Edward’s School, Poole. Poster available- the group was asked to publicise the event.
11) Spirituality in Later Life Conference
18th May 2018, with Faithworks, Salvation Army and Prama, Barrington Centre, Penny’s Walk, Ferndown, 9.30-4pm.Tickets £4.There were going to be some good speakers.
12) Messy Church
Deacon Sarah Wickett wished to get Messy Church Leaders Together. People were asked to contact her if interested. Sarah was advised that there had been a Messy Church Network operating previously.
13) Churches Together in Dorset - Service of Remembrance Event
Katja highlighted the upcoming Service of Remembrance for Those Whose Lives Had Been Cut Short ( by homicide or similar) at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth Town Centre on April 14th at 11am.
14) Thanks was given to Jackie for all her work.
15) Closing Prayer ( Rev. Chris Strain)