Churches Together in Poole
The Annual Meeting Notes will shortly be posted
26 February 2019
Present: - Christ Strain, St Luke’s (Chair)
- Steve Robinson (PRAMA)
- Anne and John Ainsowrth SML and Poole Town Pastors
- Peter Homden COGS (Church of the Good Shepherd)
- Katya Babei CTiD
- Andy Mason, PACE and Poole New Monasticism
- John Good, Love Hamworthy
- Camilla Harley, Safe Families
- Alistair Doxar-Purser, Faithworks
- Mark Phillips, Poole URC/BoP Chaplaincy
- Andrew Williams - St. Mary’s RC Church
- Janet Matterfall, Longfleet Baptists
- Alix Digby-West - Powerhouse Poole, The Well Foundation
- Hilda Beddard, Poole Methodists at the Spire
- Anita Dalkin, Refugee Coordinator for CTiP
- Lynn Bowerman, St Clement’s Church
- Penny Draper, St George’s, Oakdale
- Michael Camp, St Peter’s, Parkstone
- Nigel Ford, Canford Heat Baptist Church
- Nick Johnson, St Mary’s RC Church (Note taker)
1. Welcome, Introductions and Prayer
Chris Strain as Chair for the day, welcomed everyone. Each person introduced themselves
Chris did a reflection on the day’s readings (Jeraboam and Rehaboam) and the inclination to be divided despite God’s desire that we should be one. Acknowledged the work done up to now and prayer for our ongoing work.
2. Good Friday Gathering - work seems to be underway with St James by Deacon Sarah at the Spire. Arrangements are being made to host walkers at The Spire after the service. More to follow
3. Minutes received and confirmed as correct record
4. New Monastic Communities (Andy)
Monthly event (4pm this coming Sunday) for families. Also starting to think about Lent before Lent begins. Centring prayer every Thursday is attracting a mix of people, some of whom are not people of faith. Contemplation and conversation with monthly trip to Hillfield.
Suggested googling the phrase to understand more.
5. Safer families (Camilla)
Safe families is a national Christian Organisation that have been in UK for about six years and try to avoid children going into care since many who are need not be. Contracted by Southampton and Bournemouth - have been contracted to assist in helping the local authority to avoid admission to care. They meet families to help stabilise their situation, link with churches for support - 70-80% of the people helped have not re-entered the system again.
Team of volunteers, social workers gather to provide coordination - contract for the new authority likely to begin in July but has no financial cost and only requires church communities to offer support and cooperation.
Example given of Mum who was at risk of losing family six months ago is now a ‘closed case’, the family is more secure and she has recently become engaged indicating progress to independence.
Supported by family friends with weekly meetings, host children with respite care volunteers, prayers are a great help in moving the minds of councils. Churches may have skills or resources to help with some aspect of life. Can provide respite outside regulation for up to 28 days but most stays are weekend or up to five days e.g., if parent admitted to hospital.
The link to their website is below for further information.
6. Refuge Project (Anita, fr Michael)
ICN partnership set up after media highlighted the rise in refugees from middle East (Syria). Desire to make Poole a welcoming place and example of one house in Merley was made available, supported by ICN and volunteers from a range fo places.
Desire to provide teams of volunteers to provide cultural assistance in the simple things of life - e.g., using the bus. Employed a coordinator one day a week. There is an oversight and management group
Anita joined in March 2017 - two families were arriving and partnership with ICN was set up to welcome families into Poole. Sought to develop church champions - currently have about ten but would like to have a champion in every church. The two families have settled very well because pf the help of people in the local churches. The father of one family has now acquired a job in the skills he already had in Syria. Amazing to watch growth and improvement in language and skills. Third family have taken longer owing to lack of suitable accommodation. Council have said they will only take two more families. Penny has been visiting a family located in Oakdale. The challenge is to help them understand cultural points.
A group is meeting for women to chat and comprehend ‘life in Britain’ how to adjust and fit in. It has been an honour and privilege to be with them as they have gone through the process.
What is needed is a house. Would there be a house that might be available at a lower than market rent? There is a conflict between this need and the needs of local homeless people. When people do get to know each other, there is a reduced risk of rejection or bad behaviour. There is also an issue of a desire to help Christian families but there is a belief that Christian refugees may be avoiding refugee camps as oppression goes on, even there.
Funding is still needed - grant received from Seed Bed and local churches have covered the other half. Current resources will cover work until the autumn. There is an oversight and management group representing several groups. At the last CT meeting, need for clear ToR and task list - it is a work of CTiP but there is not a firm structure to which the project can relate.This has been done and circulated.
Can CTiP be the organisation to which that group can look to? Employment arrangements are currently covered by St Peter’s PCC. Hope that CTiP feel some ownership (spiritually) and can endorse the work.
Funding - request that those who helped fund the project do so again early in the new financial year (April) to relieve the burden of fund raising.
Michale retiring soon fromSt Peter’s and was thanked for all his work.
7. Future of CTiP
Question - what is nature of CTiP for the future? It should be an organisation that pulls it all together.
Why do we want to be and what do we want to do? - a Council that meets and a smaller executive group that does things.
Richard Langmead (Chief Executive of Urban Saints) keen to help us with a different way of working in the future. Suggested a smaller group meet Richard but seek opinions from all participants who have a view that can become a paper for consideration at the AGM
8. Poole Conversation (Safe space, communication, listening)
Young people wanted to find more safe space to meet. Needs to be local so that it does not necessitate going to different (strange) parts fo the town. If they go to community stuff like litter picking, could they have points towards paying for some good and exciting stuff.
Young people did not put church buildings high on their list of places to meet. The idea is to have a ‘mini’ local conversation to acknowledge great stuff going on and identify work to be done. Pilot project at Rossmore/Newtown will inform this. Desire to also support intergenerational progress - +ve and -ve references to family feature strongly
9. Powerhouse aims to work with community organisations including churches - relationship based activity. Still have no building but are based at Hamworthy Community Centre. Leaflet shared and now seeking a treasurer.
Young people wanted town centre and out of town options available - smaller relational units are preferred over big. Alix shared leaflets about the work.
10. Hope in the Community
Had a worker then did not have a worker. Prama working with older people and many communities are doing really good work.
Council still has a loneliness and isolation project. Churches can be involved in coordinating and sharing information about what they are doing and when. Can we do a lot of things or should we be focusing on a few things and doing them well? Connection with statutory services are helpful in introducing churches to people who are not faith connected but are isolated all the same.
What came through was a request to befriend people at home who could /would not engage with the (church) community.
11. Poole Social Prescribing
Has been very successful with 30 referrals coming through per week. This may change at the end of March with the coming of the new council.
12. Christian Aid
Papers were distributed from Joan (who has had an operation, so unable to be present) - Christian Aid week due in May and asked people to encourage support
13. Mental Wellbeing in the Church Conference 23rd May
To be held at the Barrington Centre, Ferndown
Addiction, Depression, Grief and Anxiety will be theme of the day with national speakers.
More information will be circulated in the next week
14. Refugee Week 17-23rd June
You, me and those who came before is the theme of the week. More to follow
15. Dementia Friendly Churches
World Class programme on dementia friendly churches available from Prama Life
16. Prama Travel
Holidays booked through Prama Travel will attract 10% of commission paid to churches
17. Poole Town Pastors
The work is being promoted at Spire this weekend. There is also a Facebook page which has had about 620 hits and 37 likes
18. Dorset CTiD - quiet day in the autumn, probably ay Holten Lea. The scheduled June one is to be led by Bishop Karen at Crossways in Dorchester. Newsletter will be sent out in the next few days containing further details . Next Lives Cut short event will be the 9th June
Date of next meeting
AGM meeting to be held at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Wimborne Road on 21st May at 12:30