MINUTES FOR FORUM MEETING 26TH FEBRUARY 2019

Notes from the

Forum Meeting of Churches Together in Lichfield

held on 26th February 2019 at Holy Cross RC church at 7.30pm

 

Rick Hill chaired the meeting, which was opened with prayer by Pat Maguire at 7.35pm

 

Present:-

Darryll Adams

Holy Cross

 

Brenda Liptrot

St. Michael’s

Gillian Adams

Holy Cross

 

David Mason (Hon Sec)

Cathedral

Lee Cadwallader-Allan

Quakers

 

Diana Pearson

Methodists

Liz Fitzgerald

Holy Cross

 

Lilas Rawling (Minutes)

St. Chad’s

Steve Fitzgerald

Holy Cross

 

Liz Ridler (Treasurer)

Wade Street

Michele Gerard

Quakers

 

David Shaw

Methodists

Diane Harrison

St. Chad’s

 

Stephen Wilkinson

St. Chad’s

Ian Hayter

Wade Street

 

 

 

Richard Henshaw

Holy Cross

 

 

 

Rob Hilyer

St. Giles

 

 

 

Margaret Israel

Methodists

 

 

 

 

Apologies:- Roger Baker, Methodists: Warren Bardsley, Methodist: Rod Clark, St. Chad’s: David Clarke, St. Giles: Roger Hartley, Wade Street: Janet Heeley, St. Chad’s: Anne Hill, Wade Street: Brian Maguire, Cathedral: Robert Mountford, BCCE/CLASP.

 

The main address was given by David Barnes, a Dementia Friends Champion from the Alzheimer’s Society. He said that he has run several Dementia Friends sessions locally and is looking to promote the 2 hour course in the city so that Lichfield will become a dementia friendly place. Home Instead, the Garrick theatre and the Alzheimer Society had got together to think through a course of action. All the staff at Boots have undertaken the training and the Society is looking to get schools signed up to do the training. Whittington School is signed up and the intention is that at the Cathedral School the Lower 6th do a Dementia Friends session then learn how to cascade it to the lower years students. Wade Street Church is to have a session. It has been agreed that taxi drivers will need to do a session before their licences can be renewed. David finished by asking that groups and churches contact him if they would like to have a session run.

His contact details are:-

 

Green Issues. Churches were asked to bring news of what is happening as a result of Luke Olley’s address at the last forum, or more generally how green issues are being promulgated within the congregations.

Brenda Liptrot from St Michael’s gave a report, on behalf of Ray Allen the lead, on the major programme they are undertaking on their closed churchyard. A survey was carried out on people coming through the churchyard; the main opinion was that they didn’t want it to be like a formal park, but to keep it’s rather wild nature, but slightly more managed. A management plan was formed using ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ as a resource and £10,000 was received from the HLF. Lots of brambles have been cleared and there are new compost bays made from recycled plastic. Lawn rakes have been bought so that grass cuttings can be removed to reduce fertility to allow wild flowers to flourish. Methodist Brownies made bird boxes and many other groups are involved eg Lichfield City Council, Staffs Wildlife Trust, the Community Fund. There will be better paths and new interpretation boards.

David Shaw, on behalf of the Methodists, reported that John Polhill, who was the diocesan environmental officer, and his wife Christine, were invited to a session. There were about 35 people there. There was a questionnaire on ‘green issues’, with theology and biblical teaching following this. A meeting has been arranged in March to spread the message.

Rick Hill said that he would feed back this information to Luke Olley.

 

Formal Forum Business

Minutes. The minutes of the Forum of 17th October 2018 were agreed as accurate and there were no matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

 

Treasurer’s report. Liz Ridler gave the figures as at 31/12/18.

In the general account £4859.12

In the restricted account £875.31

The expenses of Christmas Day Together were £675.31 and £200 had been given towards the night shelter. Total assets were £5,734.43, an increase of £700 on 2017.

There are 15 churches in Lichfield Churches together, which brings in £1216. There was £7,108.78 at the end of February, but there are the Night Shelter salaries and sundry expenses for the Shelter to come out of that.

There was a loss of about £85 on Christmas Day Together 2018.

 

Christmas Day Together. Lee Cawallader-Allen as CDT organiser gave the report. There were 50 guests, 20 drivers, 35 hosts and kitchen team all involved. Tesco Lichfield made a contribution, Waitrose gave £500, Lee’s NHS colleagues made donations for the gift bags for each guest, and local bakers gave the Christmas cakes. There was a 3 course meal, watching the Queen’s Speech at 3 and finishing with the video of Merry Christmas, Mr Bean.

Lee was warmly thanked by the Forum for coordinating CDT on behalf of CTiL. He said that he was unable to take on the role for 2019.

Michele Gerard volunteered to store the CDT box in her garage until required.

 

Lichfield Schools Work Trust. Rick Hill gave the report. He said that the Trust continues to run the 3 projects:-

Lichfield Community Mentoring. Tina Cadwallader runs this scheme with about 20 volunteers. It works with about 100 students a year, supporting them through difficult life events, anxieties and those who generally find life difficult for whatever reason.

Shepherd’s Crook puppets , which goes into all the primary schools and holds 2 Schools Weeks held at Wade Street church, one before Christmas and another before Easter when primary schools come for story-telling and Christian activities. It is known that not only the children, but also the staff, appreciate these weeks and are affected by the Christian story.

Bridge Builders. This scheme, coordinated by Rick, offers employability skills to students of secondary school age. About 12 sessions a year are held, with about 70 volunteers in total on the potential list, of which about 40 are active.

The Schools Work Trust probably impacts around 2,000 students a year, but currently there is no Chair or Treasurer of the Trust, and there are not enough Trustees. It has been put to the leadership team at Wade Street that perhaps it could take on this role. Wade Street Church was thanked specifically by Pat Maguire for stepping up.

 

Lichfield Emergency Night Shelter LENS. Rick Hill gave the report. Lichfield District Council had approached CTiL to coordinate the rough sleeper initiative. £5,000 had been provided by them and a further £5,000 grant received. It had been running from the beginning of February and would continue until the end of March. It was agreed that LENS would be prepared for up to 8 people a night. There have been 4 or 5 each night; one person has had accommodation found and others are being assisted with life’s formalities. 5 different churches are involved, offering shelter 7 nights a week. The organisers have been overwhelmed by the number of volunteers and offers of donations of sleeping bags, quilts etc. which have had to be refused as there is no storage for them.

Although CTiL agreed to coordinate it, there has been a wonderful community response. On Monday nights, the Eastern Eye restaurant provides a meal, and on Thursday nights the chip

shop on the Dimbles provides supper. Lichfield City Council is dealing with the payroll for the paid staff.

 

Recent events

Lichfield Mysteries performed various plays in pubs, the cathedral and other venues before Christmas.

InterFaith Week’s events went well, culminating in the meal hosted by the Quakers in Martin Heath Hall.

The service held at St. Michael’s to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was appreciated.

 

Lent and Easter

Lent House Groups. Pat Maguire reported that 98 people are involved in the groups including 20 belonging to a Methodist group, using The Bible Rediscovered. 16 people are involved in leading and hosting and 2 existing home groups have opened their group up to other people. New people have been involved this year.

Good Friday. The Walk of Witness, starting at Whittington at 8.15 will follow the usual route. Rob Hilyer was thanked for coordinating this. Ian Hayter will coordinate the worship at stations through the City and it will finish with a service and hospitality at the Methodists. The Cathedral has been booked for the evening; the worship will be led by Roger Baker this year.

The Bower. The marquee is booked and all the arrangements are in hand. Pat Maguire said that she had now withdrawn from this group and she was thanked for her contribution.

Thy Kingdom Come (which runs from Ascension Day to Pentecost (9/6/19)). Ian Hayter, Rod Clark, Steve Speight and Roger Baker are planning the launch of this year’s TKC for the evening of Ascension Day at Wade Street.

 

AOB. On Saturday 2nd March, the interfaith Forum had arranged a morning at Boley Park at 10 30 a.m to consider Lichfield becoming a City of Sanctuary. Prof Inderjit Bhogal had been invited.

 

The next Forum meeting would be the AGM of Churches Together in Lichfield

on Tuesday June 18th 2019 at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church.