Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday 30th September 2015.
Attendance: 37 people from different Christian denominations attended the AGM which was chaired by Revd Catherine Dixon (deputy moderator) in the absence of Revd Dale Gingrich.
Review of the past year: Catherine went through the Moderator’s review of the year’s activities October 2014-September 2015:
At last year’s AGM we heard a talk by Rebecca Meyrick about end of life care in Norfolk. This was at a time when the new hospice building at Hillington was being completed. Rebecca manages the hospice at home services. Over the past year the Foodbank has continued to be a success with a move to bigger premises at the Red Cross building, the appointment of a new full time manager and the extension of services to include Food in School Holidays. The new premises allow more space and time to talk to clients, pray with them and signpost them if required. Chris Lindley did some research into the levels of poverty in the King’s Lynn area and his report was subsequently published. Up to 38% of children in North Lynn are living in poverty. In January the week of prayer for Christian unity theme was ‘The Well is Deep’. Services of worship were held at 8 separate venues on 8 separate days and were well attended. On 11th February Revd Riaz Mubarak gave a talk entitled ‘Called to serve; Ministry from Pakistan to the UK’. Annemarie and Mark Willetts continued to work towards the setting up of a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre in King’s Lynn and they formed a group which met to promote this. In March Rev Zoe Ferguson organised a quiz night for supporters of the Christian Aid collection due to take place in May. Bishop Jonathan Meyrick was the quiz master. The Good Friday Walk of Witness was held on 3rd April and ended at the Minster with about 100 participants. Teams from the Open the Book project continued to go into schools to inspire the children with readings and stories from the Bible. Andy Moyle co-ordinated a rota of authors who contributed the ‘Thought for the Week’ to the Citizen newspaper. The Citizen is due to close and the Thought slot will be increased from 250 to 400 words and included into the Lynn News. Andy also looked after the website. The Christian Aid door to door collection in May raised £5507.26 and this is a similar figure to last year. In June John Betts and Keith Morris gave a talk about ‘Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk’ and ‘Network Norwich’. Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk is an annual event in the centre of Norwich showcasing what’s on offer in churches, taking advantage of the visibility of the ‘marketplace’ to introduce non-church goers to the variety of activities in churches. Network Norwich is a church media organisation. They are keen to have an editor for church information in this area. Alison Hill from the Gateway Church in King’s Lynn is working with a group to put on a ‘Celebrate King’s Lynn’ event in the Walks on 11th June 2016. A group called Klimate Concern plans to raise awareness of climate change and follow the major charities who are lobbying the government in the run-up to the climate change summit on 30th November in Paris.
Future events: Alison Hill will hold an open meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 8th October at the London Rd Methodist Church to discuss the planning of the Celebrate King’s Lynn event to be held on the Walks on 11th June 2016. Paula Hall, CEO of the Purfleet Trust will speak at 7.30pm on Wednesday 11th November 2015 at the London Rd Methodist Church. The title of her talk will be ‘Purfleet Trust- helping to meet the needs of the homeless in our community’. Hannah Buck would be able to talk about her ministry in Southend on 18th May 2016 but it was pointed out that this is Christian Aid week so Catherine may have to reschedule this talk.
Climate Concern: Daphne Sampson said that Julian Bryant from Christian Aid would be talking about climate change at 3pm on Sunday 4th October at the Friend’s Meeting House, 38 Bridge St. PE305AB
Foodbank: Kevan presented the Foodbank report. The Foodbank has been busy with about 250 people per month being fed. Donations of food from churches and the public totalled 32750kg over the year. In May the Foodbank moved from cramped premises at the Purfleet Trust into larger premises at the Red Cross building in Austen Fields. Opening hours have changed to 12.30-1430hrs and now includes a free lunch for the clients. There is also more opportunity to talk to clients (who have amazing stories to tell) and signpost them to other services if required. Kat Taylor was appointed project co-ordinator in April and the hours were extended following successful trust fund applications. The services provided by the Foodbank have also been extended to include ‘Food in School Holidays’ which was successfully piloted in the summer holidays and provided lunches for 22 children who would otherwise go hungry when school meals were not available for them. This project will be reactivated on Tuesday 27th October to cover the half term holidays. Food vouchers for meals at ‘The Well’ café have also been given to some clients. In October 3 sessions of education for clients is planned on the theme of ‘Eat well, spend less’. Foodbank have also acquired a refrigerator and a freezer which can be used for storing bread which is donated by Greggs Bakery in King’s Lynn. People who have large donations of food should take them to the warehouse on Tuesdays between 10.30 and 12.30. The Foodbanks at Downham Market and Hunstanton are also thriving. Adam Whittle is now the chairman of the board of trustees who wish to thank everyone involved and ask for your prayers.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP): Chris Boxall, the CAP Centre development officer, addressed the meeting. Chris is originally from King’s Lynn and is full of enthusiasm for the establishment of a debt centre in King’s Lynn. In the UK CAP have saved 2500 people from debt over the past year and 800 of these have become Christians. Debt is a huge problem in the UK with 1 in 9 households in debt. 30% of those in debt have attempted suicide. Half of all Foodbank clients are in debt. The current government have indorsed the work of CAP. There have been regular meetings of a local steering group and this is supported by 4-5 churches in the King’s Lynn area. Currently 2 churches have pledged financial support and another church is needed. We also need a centre manager and some more volunteers who have the heart to share the gospels with clients. It is hoped that a centre will be established by spring 2016.
Christian Aid co-ordinator: Revd Zoe Ferguson is sadly due to leave the area and so asked the meeting whether anyone would replace her as Christian Aid co-ordinator. The job is not difficult and there is a comprehensive list of instructions which her successor could follow. The overall task is to bring people together so that the door to door collection is successfully undertaken in May. There is a pre-collection social event for the collectors followed by the need to co-ordinate and oversee the collection. Zoe leaves the area in June so would be happy to help the new person in 2016.
Financial report: Mike was not able to attend the meeting so Catherine circulated an audited financial report for the past year. There were no disagreements. The report is included on a separate page at the end of this report.
Election of officers: The officers remain within three years of election so there is no change. The current officers are: Revd Dale Gingrich (Moderator); Revd Catherine Dixon (deputy moderator); Peter Coates (secretary) and Mike Brown (treasurer).
Leaving: Catherine thanked Tony Kendall who is leaving the executive after 17 years of service and Catherine also thanked Revd Zoe for her work.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Catherine reminded the audience that the week of prayer 2016 will be on the 8 days 18-15th January and the theme will be ‘Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord; 1 Peter 2:9.
Talk by Bob Wilson: The AGM was followed by a talk by Bob Wilson entitled ‘Prison Chaplaincy, the Church and Me’. The minutes of this talk are typed on a separate page.