Reports, Agendas & Minutes

Rough sleepers. Rick Hill said that there were about 4 entrenched rough sleepers in the town. Some of them hang out in the Friary car park. They had had assistance from LDC, but seem to be unable to take the help. An estate agency in the town had had ‘Soctober’, producing warm socks, gloves and hats. A group has been formed; 40 people and 2 LDC housing officers came to the initial meeting. Rick Hill and Ann, his wife, have been engaging directly with the rough sleepers. One is now on methadone. They have been invited to the casserole evening at Wade Street, but on the whole they don’t come as it is a good time to beg as commuters are returning from work. The main message from the training from a man from Derby City Mission which has the contract for addressing the rough sleepers’ needs is ‘Do not give them money’. The Friary car-park will soon be out-of-bounds and Roger Baker asked where will the rough sleepers go then?

Refugee Support. Anthony Wilson from the Lichfield Society of Friends reported on this.

He said that the people needing support came under three headings

There are 2 Syrian families in Lichfield currently; they thought they were going to Coventry. The families found their way to the Muslim Cultural Centre. The big issue is language; much communication is done via Google translate. There is one Arabic speaking child in a class at The Willows.

An Eritrean woman came from Birmingham after a domestic incident. She has 2 young children, was 8 months pregnant and was placed at the Travelodge. Daily visits were made by 2 people taking life’s necessities. She returned to Birmingham, but sadly lost the baby.

Asylum seekers. The Hope Support Group is assisting them with some emergency items and issues, and also some ongoing support. CTiL does not need to take the initiative, the Lichfield Quaker group will draw up a list of people ready to be called upon; they are working on an ad hoc basis at the moment. Michele Gerard said that Paula Knight had circulated an urgent request for a man’s bicycle and a bike suitable for a 10-year-old. Lichfield Re:Cycle was suggested.

 

Annual General Meeting of Churches Together in Lichfield

The minutes of the 2017 AGM were agreed as a correct record

The treasurer’s report, having already been accepted by the enabling group, was received and Brain Maguire thanked for the work he had done.

Written reports had been received from various organisations.

Warren Bardsley commented on Michael Hawkes’s Fair Trade report. Warren quoted Donald English who suggested that God’s mission is like a 3-legged table; the elements were personal, practical compassion and speaking truth to power. This last tended to be the weakest ‘leg’. He asked how a radical Christian witness to the community could be recovered. Some people are getting together to form action group which Linda Collins also mentioned. A theological approach would be taken. Ted Green said that there used to be a Global Justice Group. Lilas Rawling observed that the minutes of this AGM would not be read until late May in 2019 so Hazel Rendle suggested that Michael Hawkes writes something to circulate to the churches.

Lichfield Interfaith Forum mentioned that the Muslim Cultural Centre in Stowe Street and the Buddhist Temple in Kings Bromley were keen to offer hospitality. The question was asked ‘Perhaps CTiL should take up these invitations?’

Keswick in Lichfield. Sadly Michael Jefferson had died, but left a marvellous legacy. A letter of condolence had already been sent from CTiL to Mrs Jefferson

The Schools’ Work Trust report was received

Foodbank. David Clarke, Chair of the Foodbank, thanked everyone for their physical, financial and moral support. In answer to a question, he said that the foodbank was effectively a ‘franchisee’ from the Trussell Trust. Roger Hartley commented that the LDC was trying to assist now that Universal Credit has been rolled out in Lichfield

The Places of Welcome report was received