2015

Minutes of the CTaH AGM at 17:30 on Sunday 15 November 2015 at St Mary's

Duncan Macpherson, chair, opened the meeting with prayer. Paul Danon (assistant secretary, minuting) conveyed an apology for absence from Anne Starkie. Also attending were Roger Parritt (All Saints'), Nally F (St Mary's), Mark Gilks (Methodists) Rachel and John Latham (URC), Jen Downey (St Theodore's), Pat Felstead (St Mary's), Ann Peterken (secretary, St James'), Catherine Gash (St James'), Clive and Jenny Snashall (URC), Wendy Salmon (Methodists), Cherie Wilcox ( St Mary's), Vicci Davidson (Methodists),  Anne Walker (All Saints'), Margaret Bestley (All Saints'), Nigel Francis (St Mary's), Sue (St Mary's), MB (St Mary's), Elizabeth B (St Mary's), Margaret Beirne (St Theodore's), Hilary Hart (St Mary's), C Holmes (St Richard's), Anne Gooding (St Francis de Sales), Tessa Trapmore (St Mary's), Jacky Cammidge (St James'), Derek Winterburn (St Mary's), and Tracy Moulds, YMCA White House (speaker). Minutes of the 2014 AGM had been circulated; Vicci Davidson had actually attended that meeting and, with this amendment, the minutes were approved.

The chairman reported on the past year. He thanked Ann Peterken for all her work as secretary. In unity-week, Rev Winterburn of St Mary's had preached at St Theodore's and Duncan had preached at St Mary's. There had been forums in April and September. Ms Jane Bailey of Richmond health department spoke in April about loneliness. Dr Trevor Adams spoke in September about making churches dementia-friendly. The ministers had met seven times this year and discussed such matters as election hustings, the distribution of hot cross buns at Hampton and Fulwell stations on 31 March, Richmond’s advisory council on religious education, evangelisation, the proposed food bank and other ways of addressing local poverty, the URC’s Place to Go project, remembrance Sunday and carol singing in Hampton Hill High Street (from 7pm on 27 November). Marie-Christine Nibagwire has been suggested as a forum speaker for next year. She is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who has been living in the UK since 1998, a qualified mentor and counselor of refugees, and licensed lay minister who studied at St Mellitus College. It is hoped that she will address a forum on 28 February. In the coming year, there would be an ecumenical barbecue at St Theodore's in June.

John Latham presented his treasurer's report, which had been circulated and uploaded to CTaH's website. Total spending should read as £319.32. The balance has increased from some £75 to more than £200, with nine churches paying their £50 subscriptions. Ann Peterken proposed and Paul Danon seconded a resolution that, in the year to come, CTaH should again send £60 to the Jubilee Debt Campaign.

In elections, Duncan proposed and Jenny Snashall seconded Vicci Davidson for chair. Paul proposed and Jenny seconded Duncan for vice-chair. Vicci proposed and John Latham seconded Paul Danon for secretary. Paul proposed and Duncan seconded John Latham for treasurer. There were no other candidates, so all were declared elected. John gave a vote of thanks to Duncan and Ann Peterken, the outgoing officers, and Vicci took the chair.

Collectors for Christian Aid Week sometimes encountered hostility from householders. The collection had, however, raised some £9,400. Vicci suggested that religious services (with a social aspect) at the start and end of the week could encourage collectors. Donors could be asked to deliver their contributions to churches; it was also suggested that collections could take place at railway stations. We can use the borough newsletter to warn householders about the collection.

Tracy Moulds, the meeting's guest-speaker, is the interim project manager at YMCA White House. She has been working for YMCA London South West for about 16 years, and has worked across the organisation in a variety of roles. She spoke about the new food bank. The Trussell Trust runs most of Britain's food banks, helping more than one million people a year through more than 400 outlets. Social services, churches, councillors, police and others can issue vouchers entitling clients to three days of non-perishable food, up to three times a year. Many clients need the food because their benefits have been delayed or changed. Clients can present with malnutrition. Richmond food bank, the parent bank for the new Hampton one, helps some 2,000 people annually.

There were due to be volunteers' training sessions at the White House the following Tuesday (17 November) and on Wednesday 25 November from 13:00 till 16:00. Volunteers pack and unpack food, welcome clients and offer them something to eat and assess needs The formal opening by Tania Mathias MP was planned for 11 December and the bank should be open to clients on 15 December, after which it would open on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Disclosure and Barring Service checks were not needed for volunteers; the project would welcome Sainsbury's carrier-bags for clients to use. Food banks could act as signposts to other services which could help with debt and unemployment. Churches Together could ask Twickenham's MP why it was that food banks were needed in modern Britain.

It was suggested that non-ministerial members could be kept in better touch with what CTaH was doing, and that there should be four forums a year. It was also pointed out that the British government's policy of taking refugees straight from camps might discriminate against Christians, who could not easily get into such camps. The meeting closed with the grace and vespers was celebrated soon afterwards.
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