Minutes of the Churches Together around Hampton annual general meeting held at Hampton Methodist Church on 25 September 2016
Attendance, apologies, prayer and minutes
Rev Vicci Davidson chaired the meeting with Paul Danon minuting. Also attending were Margaret Bestley (All Saints’), Mark Davidson (Teddington Circuit), Pat Felstead (St Mary's), Catherine Gash (St James’), Mark Gilks (Methodists), Martin Jordan and S Jordan (St James'), John and Rachel Latham (URC), Anne Starkie (St Francis de Sales'), Tessa Trapmore (St Mary's), Anne Walker (All Saints’), and Rev Gareth Wardell (All Saints’). Apologies had been received from Ann Peterken, Rev Steve Jenkins and Rev Jenny Snashall. The meeting began with prayer for local ecumenical work. The minutes of the 2015 AGM had been circulated; John Latham proposed their adoption and Vicci signed them.
The year had been busy. There had been pulpit-swaps during unity week, a songs of praise service with more than 50 people, and hot cross buns on the Tuesday before Easter (where all were distributed unlike last year). We had debated problems with how Christian Aid was received by the public but agreed to continue with it. We raised more than £9,000, which was good but slightly down on last year. Churches had been asked to mention the week from the pulpit at the start of the week.
Refugees had been a main issue at forums, with some very good speakers, including Marie Christine Nibagwire and Angela Afzal, the Church of England's London diocesan refugee coordinator. The forum had written to Hampton's MP about the plight of Christian refugees. The New Life Church were going to organise a film show at the White House maybe in November, as a fundraiser for refugee action; the forum would help with catering. Also discussed was volunteering with refugees, and the setting up of food boxes for babies and young children.
John Latham's report for 15/11/15 till 25/9/16 was gratefully received. The balance had increased from £205.79 to £269.22. Ann Peterken had conveyed a proposal (seconded by John Latham) that CTaH should continue to support the Jubilee Debt Campaign, and the meeting agreed to this. John suggested a continued subscription of £60 per annum. Although there was a surplus, this could be needed if support for refugees was to be increased.
Vicci was happy to continue with the second year of her term as chairman. Ann Starkie had agreed to be vice chairman; Vicci proposed her and Anne Walker seconded her. Paul had to retire as secretary but there had been no proposal for a successor. The ministers’ meeting would consider this need. Members were asked to return to their churches and ask for volunteers for the role, which might suit someone new to the area. [An indication of the extent of the secretary's work can be found on the 2016 meeting-schedule. In a typical year, the secretary convenes and minutes four ministers' meetings and four forums (including the AGM), as well as producing routine correspondence. Running CTaH's webspace is optional but familiarity with email is essential.] The meeting agreed that whoever came forward would be deemed elected secretary. John Latham agreed to continue as treasurer.
It was agreed that refugees should continue as a focus, not least because the problem persists. The chaplain to a detention centre could speak. Forum meetings could also be used to fellowship more. Another songs of praise around unity week would be a good way to bring in people. All Saints’ were prepared to host that. At the food bank, between two and six people per week were being served. The YMCA is advertising for a 10-hour-per-week manager, with the closing date for applications on 17 October. The food bank would welcome food from harvest services. Other churches can join with URC and Methodists in becoming dementia-friendly. Two ways of being that are choosing well known and traditional hymns, and running a memory café.
The following day's ministers' meeting would discuss the forthcoming year's programme. The 2017 AGM would be on Sunday 24 September. Anne Starkie would try to arrange for the AGM to be held at St Francis de Sales'. The meeting closed with prayer and was due to be followed by worship.