2015/06

Duncan Macpherson chaired a meeting of CTaH ministers on Wednesday 10 June 2015 at Hampton Baptist Church. Other members attending were Bernard Boylan, Vicci Davidson, Pat Felstead, Steve Jenkins, Krzysztof Olejnik, Jenny Snashall, Derek Winterburn, and Paul Danon (minuting). Apologies for absence had been received from Craig Holmes, Ann Peterken, Peter Vannozzi and Gareth Wardell.

The minutes of the May meeting were considered. Steve would continue his investigation of a possible Age UK elderly forum for Richmond, liaising with Tina English of Embracing Age, the local Christian charity which visits care-home residents and helps churches provide activities for the elderly. Gareth had a person in mind to take over CTaH's seat on SACRE from Duncan; this committee is now run by Mr Tom Scholes-Fogg and its next meeting is at 19:00 on Monday the 29th of this month at York House, Twickenham. Subsequent meetings will be on the evening of 26 November and in February. Vicci described her Baby Basics project which, in its first year, had planned to give out some 35 Moses-baskets containing baby-supplies and had actually distributed 100; this was supplemented by the Extra Mile project which similarly helped parents of older children. Steve has enough carol-sheets for the 27 November carol-singing in Hampton Hill high street.

Mr Bob Kimmerling, trustee-chairman of the Vineyard Community Centre, Richmond, told the meeting about his food bank which is the principal food bank for the borough. There were satellite food banks in Isleworth and Barnes, and there was no dissent during this meeting from the idea of Hampton's having a satellite too. Richmond food bank had been running for three years and was associated with the Trussell Trust, Cinnamon Network, the London Network of Networks, and We Gather (one of whose partners is Churches Together in England). Richmond could help a Hampton project with seed-funding for shelving and weighing-scales.

Food banks had enhanced and expanded other aspects of churches' ministry. Richmond had no shortage of benefactors or volunteers, and food banks can act as bridges to other agencies such as Citizens' Advice. Many clients were young single parents who were initially reluctant to ask for help. Agencies (including churches) issue vouchers having assessed the client's needs, and these are redeemed for a specified weight of food, customarily in tins and packets, and therefore not requiring special handling or storage. Food banks are also given perishable food and non-food items, and these can be given away without the need for vouchers. Supermarket shoppers can donate items in the shops themselves, and both business and local government were well-disposed to such projects; it was thought that the Hampton Fuel Allotment Charity might support it. A start-up food bank needed storage of at least 100 square feet, furnished with six-foot-high shelving. There needed to be a distribution-point, though this need not be where the storage was. Although volunteers predominate, a paid coordinator is also needed. For a food bank which opened for two hours a week, the coordinator (or captain) might be paid to work for four hours a week. Such a person would need to be employed through a church's or charity's payroll.
  • participants would pray about the proposed project
  • Derek would ask Mr Richard James of the White House whether his organisation had plans to host a food bank; that building did need some attention.
  • Derek would also brief the other three Anglican rectors in Hampton.
  • Vicci would mention CTaH's plans to Tangley Park Children's Centre which presently performs some informal food bank activity.
  • Vicci and Jenny would investigate whether their churches could store food; the URC's Place to Go project might enable it to provide a distribution point.
  • In circulating these minutes, Paul would encourage an email-based discussion of this proposal prior to the next ministers' meeting (see below).
  • The 22 September forum meeting would feature (as well as Dr Trevor Adams' talk on dementia-friendliness) a presentation on the proposed Hampton food bank.
  • The 15 November AGM would include the food bank as its major item for presentation, discussion and, perhaps, agreement.
Bob Kimmerling gave participants embargoed copies of the Cinnamon Network's May 2015 faith action audit for Richmond which, incidentally, estimates that faith-groups in the borough annually provide £4m-worth of practical services. The report is to be launched at Scotland Yard on 8 July and more widely on 10 July.

The next ministers' meeting would be at 14:00 on Tuesday 15 September at Hampton Baptist Church. As well as the food bank, carol-singing will be discussed.
Comments