The ministers met on Wednesday 9 March. Present were Vicci Davidson (chairing), Steve Jenkins, Jenny Snashall, Gareth Wardell, Derek Winterburn and Paul Danon (minuting). Pat Felstead, Craig Holmes, Krzysztof Olejnik, John Latham and Duncan Macpherson had sent apologies for absence. Gareth led an opening reflection and the meeting considered the notes from the January meeting.
Christian Aid week was from 15 to 21 May and the April forum would decide on whether there would be an opening service. Sunday-afternoon prayers at Marling Court weren't always well-attended but it was thought that the practice of providing them was worthwhile; service-leaders could usefully telephone the home to remind staff that they were coming. Derek would brief Pat on the situation. The food bank at the White House had plenty of food but few clients. We needed to continue to encourage local organisations to apply for vouchers; the voucher distributors' handbook includes an application form. An employed, part-time manager may be needed. Derek would ask Bob Kimmerling of the Richmond food bank about how he saw things going.
The April forum would take place at 19:30 at St Mary's hall on Wednesday 27 April. Paul sought background information for CTaH's letter to the government about how Christian refugees from the middle east were less likely to be in camps and, thus, less likely to get to the UK. Lord Carey may well have raised the issue, as had Rev Nadim Nassar of Awareness Foundation. Richmond was offering landlords support in housing refugees and member-churches could publicise this through newsletters and pew-sheets.
We had been emailed by Claire Crowley of Churches Together in South London, who wrote that we in CTaH: "are really welcome to attend gatherings that we organise if they are of interest to your work as CT or as individual churches. CTSL gathers twice a year in central London in May and November, around a theme that churches seem to want more info/discussion/sharing on and are already energised around. The dates for this year are:
Social advocacy had come up at the February forum and was the main topic of the April forum. There were campaign sites such as change.org and 38degrees. Linden Hall was offering 50 free lunches on the 21st of the month and Vicci distributed invitations which were aimed at people where were disadvantaged through age, disability and/or poverty. It was agreed to invite Tim and Sandra from the New Life Church to future ministers' meetings. Vicci would circulate a notice about packing and distributing 600 hot cross buns (and St Mary's list of churches' Easter services) in holy week. The Queen had written the foreword The Servant Queen and member-churches might consider distributing copies of this modestly-priced book; this was on the agenda for the April forum. Paul would ask Duncan about the proposed June barbecue.
The next ministers' meeting will be on Monday 9 May at 10:30 at St Mary's vicarage. Jenny closed with prayer.