2016/05

The ministers met at St Mary’s vicarage on 9 May 2016. Present were Vicci Davidson, chairing, Tim and Sandra Bowyer of the New Life Church, Pat Felstead, Steve Jenkins, Duncan Macpherson (part-time), Derek Winterburn (hosting), and Paul Danon (minuting). Apologies had been received from Jenny, Craig and Fr Krzysztof. Steve began the meeting with devotions about work and education.

The minutes from the March ministers’ meeting were considered. Churches could promote Christian Aid week (15 to 21 May); Christian Aid has an order of service on its website; although there was some doorstep opposition to the collection, it still raised a worthwhile sum. CTaH had thanked Dr Mathias for opposing a motion to exclude 3,000 child-refugees; we had also asked her to tell us about the implication of the government’s commitment to taking “many more” Christian refugees.

Tim and Sandra were welcomed and could nominate two lay reps for the forum. The previous week’s forum had considered CTaH’s future and participants looked at a list of the ideas that came from the forum. Main activities remained hot cross buns and joint services, including at Easter. CTaH could hold another songs of praise for the unity octave; during that week, each church could hold a service.

Ms Angela Afzal, London diocesan refugee response coordinator, will address a CTaH forum at the Methodist church starting at 20:00 on Wednesday 13 July. It was expected that those attending would like to know more about what was happening with refugees, what to pray for, what to do and how to lobby. It would also be helpful to address people’s concerns about the influx of refugees, many of whom are Muslim. Derek would develop publicity for the meeting, involving Louise at the Methodists’.

The Bowyers are in touch with Canon Andrew White, vicar-emeritus of St George’s, Baghdad, and the White House have offered their venue free-of-charge for anything to do with refugees. Canon White could be asked to address a follow-up meeting to the July forum, and the public could be invited. Tim would kindly ask Canon White about the idea in principle.

Steve agreed to organise a Get In the Picture tableau vivant display at the pre-Christmas events in Hampton Hill High Street and in Station Road, Hampton. This involves a temporary set, costumes and photography. Vicci will organise some music. Tim’s church has a three-metre rear-projection screen and big loudspeakers.

St Mary’s had been given an A Rocha UK Eco-Church bronze award for its environmental responsibility. The church was also doing evangelisation, with dads’ and kids’ events and messy church. St Mary’s Friday-night youth-club needed new premises and hoped to be able to use the caretaker’s bungalow at the school. Pat was organising a Tuesday-to-Thursday break in Worthing for older folk, at which all churches would be welcome. The New Life Church holds many social events, Christian film-shows and outings which bring Christians together and enable them to invite others. The White House can host 220 for a film show; there can’t be a charge for showing Christian films but a collection can be taken.

St Theodore’s has been busy with confirmations and first communions. Bishop John Wilson, recently-appointed auxiliary in Westminster, is a good preacher. St Theodore’s might consider an ecumenical Alpha course (the Methodists are running Alpha in September). St Theodore’s has yet to finalise arrangements for its summer-barbecue, to which other churches would be invited.

The Methodists plan to run a memory-café for old folk using newspapers and photo albums. The elderly attend with their carers. At Marling Court services, people with dementia can have memories evoked by hymns and bible passages. CTaH ministers also to Laurel Dene; Steve Jenkins organises this. St James’s still seeks a mission-minded vicar.

Paul would ask Gareth if All Saints’ could kindly host the 19 July ministers’ lunch, at which Derek agreed to lead devotions. The meeting ended with shared prayer.
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