Notes from the Forum meeting on 20th October 2020 held by Zoom.

Present: Rick Hill, Pat Maguire, (joint Chairs), David Mason (Secretary) Liz Ridler (Treasurer), Michele Gerard, Anne Westoboy, Brenda Liptrot, Roger Hartley, David Clarke, Warren Bardsley (Methodist), Ian Hayter (URC), Rod Clark (Anglican), Anthony Narain (speaker), Julie Smith, Roger Baker (Methodist), Robert Mountford (CLASP), Ted Green, Richard Henshaw, Brian Maguire, Diana Pearson, Hazel

Apologies: Helen Barton (St. John’s), Jan Waterfield (Christ Church)

The meeting opened at 7.35

Pat Maguire announced that the Revd. Paul Brothwell who had been the vicar at Whittington, Weeford and Hints some time ago had died on the 6th August.

Rick Hill then opened with prayer, remembering Paul and also Ken Knowles, the City town Crier

At the Churches Together AGM in June, Black Lives Matter was raised, so Anthony Narain who had been the youth worker at Wade Street, spoke about being a black person living in Lichfield, a predominantly white community. He supports respect and equality, but had been stopped in his car by the police several times, stopped once while in the queue outside a bank and taken in for a tough interview, not being asked for any ID which would have immediately confirmed who he was until the end of the interview. He realises that most people do not mean to offend, but it happens, sometimes being called offensive names, even if it is meant in a friendly fashion. The barber said that he had never cut ‘this type of hair’. Skin coloured plasters – whose skin?

Anthony asked what CTiL would be doing for Black History Month. He quoted John Amashe who ancouraged people not just to say ‘I am not racist,’ but to say ‘I’m antiracist’. He encouraged those present that if they heard anything inappropriate to challenge it.

Anthony was thanked by the Chair. Ted Green asked if Anthony thought that younger people had a better attitude? Anthony replied that young people were more exposed to colour.

Warren Bardsley said that Palestinian lives mattered too. Christmas will be a very difficult time in Bethlehem with no tourists and a sense of abandonment by the world. Warren encouraged members to sign the Cry for Hope letter, mentioned a vigil in the Cathedral on December 8th, to respond to a call for decisive action and to pray for Palestine. He encouraged people to contact him to be put on the circulation list for the Sabeel Kairos newsletter. There had been a strong appeal from a wood carver sating that the situation is a threat to the very existence of the Christian community in Palestine. Brain Maguire asked when the petition has been signed, where is it going? Warren answered that it would go to the WCC meeting in May/June 2021 and it’s hoped it will be adopted as policy.

Warren was thanked and information would be sent out by CtiL about the vigil on 8th December.


The minutes of the meeting of February 4th 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

There were no matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

Treasurer’s report. Liz Ridler said that most of the financial activity between January and March had involved Lichfield Emergency Night Shelter. It had had to close a couple of weeks early, so there was some unspent grant from LDC. The enabling group had agreed that £6,000 should be returned to LDC.

CTiL had carried forward £4835 from 2019

Income, including £15k to £16k for LENS £24912

Expenditure £22865

So £6882 carried forward, represented by £3295 in the current account

£3587 in the deposit account

Lichfield Christian Schools Work Trust. Rick hill gave the report. Due to Covid-19 some activities were not going on. The Shepherds Crook puppet company were doing a show to be recorded on YouTube which will be used during Schools’ week in December. Bridgebuilders were in abeyance at the present moment, activity depending on the educational establishments. The mentoring in various schools continues. Tina Cadwallader has recruited and trained a further 10 mentors, so there are now over 30 trained, with more to come. Thanks to the £30,000 grant from the URC, LCST’s future is secured for the next 3 years.

LENS. Rick Hill gave the report. He said that although there were entrenched rough sleepers, 5 were housed at the start of Covid-19 almost immediately and a woman realised that she wanted to change her life. A couple have accommodation outside Lichfield and had managed to hold on to it. There were about 150 volunteers wanting to help with LENS

Good Neighbour Scheme. Rick Hill showed a leaflet which was to be distributed to about 5,000 houses in North Lichfield. The scheme would be getting off the ground at the end of October; the scheme was linking with other community groups. LDC was looking for an organisation that people could be referred to. Rick would be intouch with the organiser of the Helping Each Other organisation. Michele Gerard observed that the delivery of goods and services was still limited and asked what had happened about vouchers and credit. There are still people begging in the town. The underlying message is still – do not give money to the beggars. LDC was setting up a scheme.

Reflection on the past months. Thy Kingdom Come. Ted Green observed that the Zoom breakout rooms, allowing discussion and prayer in smaller groups, were very helpful. Robert Mountford had copied our format in various other areas.

Future Events

David Mason said that the proposed harvest walk wasn’t happening – it was difficult to think of a safe way to do it.

Interfaith week 15th November. The hospitality theme last year had been very successful and it had been hoped to continue it this year but the lockdown precluded this.

Christian Aid, the Mystery Plays. No current plans for either of these organisations

Nativity Trail. Diana Pearson raised the possibility of a Nativity Trail. Anne Westoboy from the Methodist had suggested that 24 shops had a Christmas character in the window, a leaflet could be produced and the trail would finish at The Cathedral. CTiL could fund a little booklet to give at the end*****. Discussion followed.

Combined churches Christmas service. Rod Clark had shared an invitation with other clergy in the town the idea of producing a really good carol service which could be transmitted by all the churches, showing the churches acted together at a major Christian festival. Society needs an act of witness at the present time. Ian Hayter commented that everyone would get the same message from a service put together by the Christian community– the Good News of Jesus. A meeting date would be fixed so contributions could be made. Michele Gerard commented that the essence of Christmas doesn’t change and it is a god opportunity to say ‘You needn’t be fearful’. Action: Clergy

Christmas Day Together. Liz Ridler and Rick Hill had spoken to the organisers who want it to go ahead in some form. It would still be feasible to offer a takeaway service and have teams of volunteers taking out festive cheer of some kind.

Action: Get information of the proposals out to everyone

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Lilas Rawling said that St. Chad’s had been booked for Friday 22nd January 2022 from 7pm. If restriction were still in place, then the maximum number would be about 50. Robert Mountford gave details of the material from It is called Abiding in Christ.

Action: Material to be ordered by who ?

Good Friday. Ian Hayter will coordinate the worship in the City as part of the Walk of Witness, if that is allowed to go ahead. Roger Baker said that, depending on the rules at the time, perhaps we could sing outside the Methodist Church, or possibly on the cleared area where the police station had been in Frog Lane.

Bower Day. Roger Baker said that it was impossible to plan anything at the moment; perhaps wait until after the Bower Committee has met in January to decide whether it would be going ahead at all? One suggestion was that Christians could be there in HiViz jackets litter picking and doing other community actions to assist. Jackets are available. People were asked to think of other ideas for Bower Day. Action: All


Elections. It had been noticed that the elections for Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer had not been agreed at the AGM. It was formally proposed that those currently in office, all of whom had indicated their willingness to stand again, were elected. All present in the Zoom voted unanimously. Lilas Rawling gave a vote of thanks to the officers, and all endorsed it.

AOB. Diana Pearson was very willing to help with the Nativity Trail but wanted someone to coordinate it. Sue and Anne had the ideas. Roger Baker said that Hazel had some experience and Ian Hayter said that Clare Taylor-Dedman, the children’s worker at Wade Street has some of this experience. All would be put in touch with each other via David Mason.****

Next Forum Meeting. The next meeting would be on Tuesday February 9th with the AGM

on Wednesday June 16th .


The meeting closed at 8.55 with all saying the Grace.


****(Note: these proposals were made before the national lockdown – perhaps they should be held over until next Christmas?)



Page last updated: 18th January 2021 7:17 PM