Churches Together in King’s Lynn
Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday 20th September 2017.
Attendance: About 25 people from different Christian denominations attended the AGM which was chaired by Pastor Kevan Crane.
Opening prayer: Kevan opened the meeting with one of his favourite readings from the Bible; 1 Peter 1; 3-4: ‘Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into a heritage that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you who are kept safe by God’s power through faith until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the final point of time’.
Welcome and introductions: Kevan introduced Revd Augustine Baah who is the new minister in charge of the Church of the Nazarene and Steven Harrington who has come to speak about the North Lynn Ecumenical partnership. Revd Karlene Kerr is the new Vicar at St Faith’s but was unable to attend this meeting due to work commitments.
Review of the past year: Kevan thanked God for all the work which has been done by clergy, staff and volunteers throughout the past year and he went through the review of the year which is below, copies of which were on the chairs at the meeting:
Review of the year’s activities October 2016-September 2017.
These are some of the activities in which Churches Together was involved over the past year:
In September the Gateway Church partnered with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) to run a CAP Job Club in Kings Lynn. The CAP Job Club is a friendly place for job seekers to come along and receive practical help to enter into employment. The Job Club takes place at our office, 99c High Street, Kings Lynn, on Tuesdays from 10am (except school holidays). Please call 01553 774881 or 0800 3280006 to book into the Job Club or for more information. Alternatively you can email Mike at email@example.com.
In October Nell Steele spoke to the committee as a Trustee of KLARS (King’s Lynn Area Resettlement Support) which is now called ACCESS and was founded with Churches Together. ACCESS is a charity which is supported by the lottery and managed by Emma Humphrey. ACCESS supports ethnic minority groups in the area of King’s Lynn, delivering free multi-lingual information, advice and guidance. The contact details for ACCESS are: Sarah Parker, Operations Administrator, ACCESS –Supporting Migrants in East Anglia: 41 Old Hospital Mews, Hospital Walk, King’s Lynn, PE30 5RU, (01553) 773905 firstname.lastname@example.org
In early November the ‘Eat well; spend less’ course was started at Fairstead by Foodbank which also subsequently ran the ‘Food in School Holidays’ (FISH) events.
Andrew Frere-Smith joined the executive committee as an observer in November. Andrew is the development worker for ‘Imagine Norfolk Together’ a joint venture between the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund. There are currently 18 such development workers throughout the UK. With money from the ‘Board of Dreams and Visions,’ Andrew is able to financially support local churches who wish to start new social projects. For example, Fr Peter Rolling at the Catholic Church, in November, started a soup kitchen for the homeless on Saturdays 12.30-3pm. Andrew’s long term vision is to provide a night shelter.
On Sunday 22nd January the London Road Methodist Church was full for a service led by Revd Catherine Dixon as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Preacher was Rt. Revd Alan S Hopes B.D. A.K.C. RC Bishop of East Anglia. Hannah Cooper and Jacquie Wrout from the charity ‘One to One’, (www.onetooneproject.com 01553 770770), spoke about ‘Mental Health: What can I do?’ on Wednesday 1st February. The One to One charity has been helping adults in this area who have mental health problems for 33 years.
St John’s Church has just celebrated their first birthday at Welcome Inn, their open church each Tuesday morning with free tea, coffee and cakes. It has been wonderful to see a very regular group of people come along for friendship and chat. A wide range of people come, many of whom are vulnerable and many who have no other connections with church. It is a highlight of the week for us!
In March a talk was given by Maurice Wren, the CEO of the Refugee Council (020 7346 6700) who highlighted the difficulties for migrants and what could be done to help them. The previous week and exhibition including a Lampedusa Cross had been displayed in the Minster by Revd. Laura Baker.
In April Lucy Faulkner arranged for Margaret Goodyear and Alan Camina from the Norwich Credit Union to talk at a meeting to investigate whether an NCU service point should be set up in King’s Lynn.
In May Revd Heather Berry co-ordinated volunteers who collected for Christian Aid Week.
On 3rd June hundreds of people enjoyed the free second annual Celebrate King’s Lynn event on the Walks when local churches have the opportunity to show the public what they do.
On 28th June, Andrew Frere-Smith organised for 4 speakers to address a public meeting on homelessness and as a result a sub-committee was formed to plan for the opening of a winter night shelter at the Purfleet Trust in October. The sub-committee members are: Kelly Bowen (the parish administrator from the Minster), Ken Hubbard (treasurer of CAP), Pastor Kevan Crane (Chairman), Revd Rebecca Rogers (St Johns) and Paula Hall the CEO of the Purfleet Trust. The project will need about 60 volunteers.
In July Bill Vyse kindly took over the role of treasurer of Churches Together to sort out the finances following the sad illness and death of Mike Brown earlier in the year. As well as being a lovely person, Mike was treasurer of Churches Together for many years and we all owe him a great debt of thanks for the work he did.
The report to the July meeting of the executive committee about the CAP Debt Centre was very encouraging. The Centre was started last year and is run by Emily Hart. Emily now has 5 people who were in debt but are now totally debt free, and 4 clients have become regular church attenders. Emily would like to recruit some more female volunteers who could act as client befrienders. There would be no paperwork involved for volunteers as this is all handled by Emily or CAP head office. There is a café for clients at St Johns Church on different dates. October 15th is the official CAP Sunday. Emily is happy to talk at churches if invited. There was recently a CAP fundraising sponsored walk at Sandringham.
There is currently no resolution to the problem of finding new premises for Foodbank since the Red Cross announced that they are selling the current Austin Fields site. The Council has offered a shop in New Conduit St. King’s Lynn, at a reduced rent but it is too small. Foodbank could do with a van for transportation of food.
Our thanks to Andy Moyle, (Gateway Church), who continues to maintain the website and co-ordinate the ‘Thought for the Week’ in the Lynn News. The Gateway Church is 10 years old on Sat 2nd Sept. Started in 2007 with a dozen people, it’s now gathering 120 from over 20 nations most Sundays! Just before the June General Election a hustings meeting was organised by Andy Moyle and Revd Catherine Dixon in conjunction with the Lynn News.
Future meetings which are being organised by Churches Together include:
Kings Lynn Together (Access for Migrants) are organising a ‘Round the World in 80 dishes’ event on Sunday 24th September 2017 at 12 noon in Tuesday Market Place.
Peter Stanford will talk about his new book on Martin Luther on Friday 10th November 2017 at 7.30pm in the London Rd Methodist Church. This date would be Martin Luther’s birthday.
On Wednesday 7th February 2018, Julian Bryant will talk about ‘Eco-Church’ at 7.30pm at the London Rd Methodist Church.
We are hoping to organise a talk on Universal Credit at the end of April 2018. Universal Credit will take over from current benefits in October and will affect all the less well-off people in the area.
Congratulations to all the church workers and volunteers and parishioners who made the churches and these projects run during the year.
Mike Brown: It was with great sadness that Kevan recalled the death this year of Mike Brown. He has died but Kevan and all of us felt sure that he has been promoted to glory following a life of faithful commitment to his own church and to Churches Together which he served as treasurer for many years. There were so many people at Mike’s memorial service celebrating his work with young people and the ways in which he had helped to build the Kingdom of God. We pray for his widow Diane and his family.
Election of officers: The current list of committee members was on the back of the agenda sheets on the chairs as follows:
Membership of CTKL Executive committee September 2017.
Revd. Catherine Dixon – Moderator (2016-17) – London Rd Methodist.
Revd. Rebecca Rogers – Deputy Moderator – St John’s C of E (New Moderator 2017-18).
Revd. Heather Berry. – C of E – Christian Aid co-ordinator.
Pastor Kevan Crane – Baptist (New Deputy Moderator 2017-18).
Revd Laura Baker. – Minster C of E
Major Barbara Jeffrey – Salvation Army.
Liz Housden – C of E the Churches in the Woottons.
Valerie Brown – Minster C of E
Rachel Vyse – London Rd Methodist.
William Vyse – Treasurer- C of E the Churches in the Woottons.
Chris Lindley – RC retiring from committee. (We have asked Oladapo Adegoke from the RCCG Church of the King’s Glory, Fairstead if he would like to join).
Peter Coates – Secretary- RC Walsingham parish.
The following changes were agreed by seconding and voting:
Revd. Rebecca Rogers – Moderator.
Pastor Kevan Crane – Deputy Moderator.
William Vyse – Treasurer.
Finance: Due to Mike’s illness the past year’s accounts were confusing and Bill has had to make up the balance sheet from past bank statements. Bill has sent out letters to each church. The usual income for the year, considering that each church pays £20 subscription, would be £600. At the end of the year we had £250.36 as income and most of this has been spent on debts which were not previously paid due to Mike illness. We now only have a £60 long standing debt to the Norfolk and Waveney Churches Together group and Bill has spoken on the phone to them and they are happy that we pay when we can. Most of the Christian Aid collection was paid directly into the Christian Aid account and Bill will send the rest in. Joyce Stevens has audited and agreed the accounts for the year ending 30th June 2017 and these were circulated at the meeting and are copied on the next page.
Revd Canon Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian, Norwich Centre for Christian Learning (NCCL), 65 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH. NCCL@cathedral.org.uk email email@example.com Tel: 01603 218443 (Tuesdays 10am – 12 noon, Thursdays 2-4pm).
The Library at Norwich Cathedral is a study area and resource for all, where people can undertake study and research. The library offers book borrowing and general guidance in relation to historic and modern collections and is open 9.30am-4.30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 12.30-2.30pm on the first Saturday of the month.
In 2010 the Norwich Centre for Christian Learning (NCCL) was launched so that people could engage in learning and take advantage of the skills of Norwich tutors combined with the resources of the library. The NCCL runs a series of lectures and courses which are relevant to the modern world and include theological and spiritual topics and church history. The project is ecumenical and a wide range of churches are involved so that people from different churches can learn together. Because many people travel long distances to attend the events, the NCCL is now exploring whether churches outside Norwich would like to host courses in 2017-18. If required tutors would come to King’s Lynn.
If your church would like to host a lecture or course on a Saturday please get in touch or visit the library at Norwich which is free to use and is next to the Cathedral refectory. If you wish to borrow a book you will have to pay an annual subscription of £12.
It can be lonely studying on your own. A new initiative to provide fellowship for those who are studying for a further degree will start on 20th October. This will be a fortnightly meeting which will start with morning prayers, followed by a period of study and will close with prayer. It is hoped that this will build into a community of researchers who find fellowship in prayer.
Natalie Garrard, who is a trustee of the charity ACCESS – Supporting Migrants in East Anglia, spoke about the work of this local charity. Several members of Churches Together in King’s Lynn were involved in setting up KLARS (King’s Lynn Asylum and Resettlement Support) in the year 2000 to help asylum seekers. The name of the charity has now been changed to ACCESS. The contact details for ACCESS – Supporting Migrants in East Anglia are: 41 Old Hospital Mews, Hospital Walk, King’s Lynn, PE30 5RU, (01553) 773905 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.accessmigrantsupport.org.uk/
The charity is supported by the Alan Lane Foundation and the Lottery and works with community groups. The service is multilingual and a drop in service is provided at 41 Old Hospital Mews on Tuesday 10:00 – 13:00, Wednesday 16:00 – 19:00 and at The Queen Mary Centre, Queens Road,
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 2PE Monday 16:00 – 19:00 Friday 10:00 – 13:00. Project workers speak Lithuanian, Latvian, Russian, Polish and English and can give practical support for migrants who are trying to overcome the language barrier. Advice and education is also provided in the following areas:
•UK Rights and Responsibilities
•Health e.g. registering with a doctor or dentist
•Understanding what the Police can help you with
•Education e.g. where to find English classes, registering your child at a school
•Assistance with completing forms
•Understanding utility bills (water/gas/electricity)
Volunteers have had to pass an examination to ensure that they are properly trained and their work helps to counteract hate crime and the current uncertainties about Brexit. The charity works with local organisations including the Freebridge Housing Association, the Police, the Gang Master’s Licencing Authority, the NHS and children’s services. Kings Lynn Together (Access for Migrants) are organising a ‘Round the World in 80 dishes’ event on Sunday 24th September 2017 at 12 noon in Tuesday Market Place.
Christopher Lindley spoke about his years of work with Churches Together in King’s Lynn which was established in 1993, taking the place of the King’s Lynn Council of Churches.
An Act of Commitment was signed by the 12 Member Churches on January 23, 1994, committing themselves:
• to come together from time to time in acts of public worship and witness
• to pray regularly for each other and for the unity of Christ’s Church
• to search for appropriate avenues for service and mission
To the glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
These commitments are expanded in the Constitution (revised in 2012)
• to seek a deepening of our communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is His body; and
• to fulfil our mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I became a member of the Executive of CTKL during 1993 and Deputy Moderator from May 1997 until the AGM in 2006.
What were the activities of CTKL in those early years?
1. The week of prayer for Christian Unity was celebrated from January 18th to 25th each year with two services on a Sunday and Wednesday.
2. The Good Friday Procession of Witness from St Faith’s Church to St Margaret’s and then round the town took place annually.
3. Four quarterly meetings of CTKL were held annually.
4. The Christian Aid collection in the town and district each May was co-ordinated by a member of the Executive..
5. Details of Lent courses by member Churches were circulated and people encouraged to attend them.
6. An Ecumenical Justice and Peace Group was formed during 1998, and met monthly
7. Taize services in various Churches and Quiet Evenings at Massingham took place regularly.
8. Days of Prayer were held regularly, for example a Day of Prayer for Peace during One World Week on October 24th 2002 at St Margaret’s Church starting at noon and ending with Compline at 5.30pm – 11. Churches took responsibility for each half hour.
9. A Prayer rota between the 1st Sunday in Advent and Easter Sunday or Pentecost was drawn up in which a member Church was prayed for each Sunday – this started in 2003 and continued until 2005/6.
10. Husting meetings were arranged prior to the General Elections of 1997, 2001 and
11. A leaflet for visitors to King’s Lynn listing member Churches Sunday Worship was issued and revived annually – the last being in January 2015.
The Millennium was celebrated in style by Churches Together in King’s Lynn. A Committee consisting of representatives of 10 member Churches, started work in January 1999. Ian Whittle was Chair and I was Secretary. 22,500 cards were printed and distributed throughout Kings Lynn and neighbouring villages.
The message on the front read:
May we treasure the past with thanksgiving
May we embrace the future with hope
May we journey ahead with confidence
In your love and in your power now and always
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord
Pentecost 2000 was celebrated on Saturday June 10th in Sandringham Park with a Parade and a United Service and on Sunday 11th in Tuesday Market Place at 3pm with Songs of Praise.
KLARS (King’s Lynn Asylum and Refugee Support and later KL Area Resettlement Support) came into being in Canon Bill Hurdman’s house in March 2000 under the auspices of CTKL. Initially it was set up to help many Russian speaking asylum seekers in the area sent here by the Home Office. A few years later when migrant workers from EU countries were coming to West Norfolk, KLARS moved to help them. It became a charity in 2003, necessitating a split from CTKL but many of the Trustees and volunteers were from member Churches. KLARS got funding and was able to hire a project manager and staff who could speak various languages. It has helped thousands of people in West Norfolk over the years and is still going strong under the new name of Access, which you will hear about from Natalie Garrard this evening.
In 2010, the BNP put up 2 candidates in the election of Borough Councillors for North Lynn with a vitriolic campaign against migrant workers. I edited a leaflet published in April under the auspices of CTKL answering their myths and lies.
The Citizen’s Thought for the Week. The Editor asked CTKL to take over writing the Thought and our first one was on October 13 2004. Each Church took responsibility for a specific month and I coordinated them later handing over to Tony Kendall. It continues in the Lynn News under Andy Moyle.
My own faith has been enriched by my contacts with people from many Churches in King’s Lynn but it’s time for me, at 91, to step down from the Executive. I leave with great gratitude to many of you here with the prayer that I say every morning;
Lord God, I thank you for calling me into the company
of those who trust in Christ and seek to obey His will.
May your Spirit guide and strengthen us in mission and service to your world:
For we are strangers no longer, but pilgrims together on the way to your kingdom.
Revd Heather Berry then spoke about her work as Christian Aid co-ordinator. Although Heather has supported Christian Aid for many years it was only last year that she took on the role of co-ordinator for the churches in King’s Lynn. One of Heather’s goals is to identify a link person for each of the churches in the group and some churches do not yet have a link person. In the spring, Heather organised a free quiz to promote Christian Aid, and the London Rd Methodist Church Hall was packed with people, both church and non-church. £300 was donated but this was not the primary aim of the event which was to raise awareness and recruit help for the Christian Aid Week in May. As a result of this event St John’s Church held a Big Brekkie event to raise money. Heather is planning to organise the same sort of event in February 2018. If each person who came last year could bring along one other person the support for Christian Aid would grow and this would enable their work of projects and campaigning for the poor of the world to increase. This year during Christian Aid Week there were house to house and Supermarket collections and Terrington St Clement came on board for the first time. The street collection raised £2313 and the total was between £3-4000. This sum is still way down on previous years, partially because the Church in the Woottons collectors were unable to join in this year. Heather thanked all the volunteers, link people and Bill Vyse (treasurer) for their help.
Maarten Klem spoke about Celebrate King’s Lynn. There have now been two annual public Celebrate events which have been held on the Walks in King’s Lynn in June. The events are free to the public and are fairs which give the churches a chance to show the public what they can do. The first event in 2016 was brilliant but this year’s event was better, with more people attending, a better layout and smoother running. Alison Hill, who was one of the founder members, has now moved to Chester, so Maarten and Olivia plan to recruit 5 or 6 people to form a board which can oversee and guide the project in future. The date for the Celebrate event next year will be the 9th June 2018. Some churches have already come back to say that they want to be included. There will also be a pre-Christmas Carol Service in the Walks but the date for this has not yet been agreed. Maarten thanked all the churches who have contributed in the past and he hoped that more churches would join. We hope that this free event will demonstrate God’s love for his people in King’s Lynn.
Stephen Harrington spoke about the North Lynn Ecumenical Project: After several years of planning involving the Methodist Church locally and the Minster, the funding is now in place to provide a long term working union between the two churches on the North Lynn Estate. There are monthly prayers on the estate and a Thursday evening community meal. The project was originally run with the help of lay workers but since Revd Rebecca Rogers, the Vicar of St Johns’, was appointed, she has brought further blessings to the project. The hope is that Rebecca and her husband Tim will move onto the estate once the vicarage has been built. Currently architects have been appointed to design the formal building. Next Wednesday a course called ‘Start’, which will educate people in Christianity, will begin on the North Lynn estate.
Maarten Klem spoke about Foodbank: One of the main problems currently facing Foodbank is that they operate out of a building owned by the Red Cross, and the Red Cross announced some time ago that they plan to sell the building soon. A definitive decision is awaited and may be made next week. Two people have made bids to buy the building at Austin Fields in King’s Lynn, and both of these potential owners are sympathetic to Foodbank.
The vision for the future is to house the Foodbank and the CAP Debt Centre in the same building.
The other main problem with the Foodbank is that food is going out faster than it is coming in. This is in spite of permanent collection points in supermarkets and regular collection days at Tescos, the next of these being 30th November to 1st December 2017. Last year 4.5 tons of food was donated. The Foodbank also organise ‘Food In School Holidays’ (FISH) events when families, who are trying to exist on low budgets, are fed during school holidays. The work of Foodbank has stimulated some people to ask about Christ and there are testimonials of people who have joined the church through Foodbank; we know of 2-3 in the past year. However there have also been 2 suicides by people who have attended Foodbank and some of the clients have mental health problems.
Maarten thanked everyone for their support and asked that you continue to support this important service.
Revd Susan Hollins, the lead Chaplain at the Hospital, spoke about Grief Recovery. Susan’s experience over the past 12 months at the hospital has led her to realise the need for more resources for the bereaved. There are so many causes of bereavement which can cause a person to suffer, including death, divorce or relationship breakdown, job loss, pet death, moving house or loss of health. Susan plans to use the Grief Recovery Method www.griefrecoverymethod.co.uk to take clients through a system for dealing with grief which has been developed and refined over the past 30 years. This method debunks commonly held myths about being strong, keeping busy or replacing your lost relationship because time does not heal bereavement on its own. Susan will be happy to see people singly or to lead sessions in your church. Susan can be contacted on 07918 671476.
Pastor Kevan Crane talked about the proposal to start a Winter Night Shelter for the Homeless: A group has been set up, has met twice, and is being chaired by Kevan. Paula Hall, who is CEO of the Purfleet Trust, the charity for the homeless in King’s Lynn, is a member of the group. The overall hope is that we can provide a safe and warm, high quality place for homeless people who can be referred or can self-refer. The Shelter will be open over winter week-ends and will be staffed by one paid co-ordinator and about 60 volunteers. We hope to open the project in December. Volunteers will work in 2 shifts, a night shift 6.30pm to 7.30am and a breakfast shift of volunteers who come on to make breakfast at 7.30am. There will be an article in the Lynn News this week about the project.
Mark Willetts talked about the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre: Mark is the Chairman of the Trustees of the CAP Debt Centre and Emily Hart is the Centre Manager. The Centre first opened in 2016 and has managed 38 clients to date. 6 of these clients are now debt free and the service is currently fully booked. 5 clients attended a discovery week-end organised by CAP and a Christmas party was held in conjunction with Foodbank and the CAP Job Club. In July there was a sponsored walk in Sandringham, in conjunction with the Hunstanton CAP Debt Centre, to raise funds for the projects and this will now be an annual event. Addiction can be an associated problem so CAP are now running release groups based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and it is hoped, in the future, that these courses will be available in King’s Lynn. More volunteers are needed to support the clients through their difficult journey out of debt and Mark asks all churches to speak to their congregations to recruit more volunteers. Mark thanked everyone for their support.
Jim Smith spoke about the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP): The SVP was started in 1833 by a student and 5 companions in Paris. The patron saint after which the group is named was a priest in Paris in the early 17th Century. The organisation is universal, spiritual and supportive of those in need and the work is motivated by the love of God for the poor. Members visit people in their homes to combat the loneliness of those who live alone, to chat, perform small household chores or be generous with their time. There is a twinning system, and the King’s Lynn group are twinned with India. The work is rewarding and everything you give is given back 100%. SVP members help to support a Christmas Day lunch at the Purfleet charity for the homeless and a soup kitchen at the Catholic Church which opened last October. Members help to bring love and attention to the unloved, those who feel worthless, friendless or who have mental health problems. The essence of the philosophy is that of St Theresa of Calcutta who said that we can do small things with great love.
Kevan thanked everyone for their contributions and closed the meeting.
Peter Coates 23/09/2017.