Unity News Hastings and St Leonards Church Together (Nearly) Spring 2013? The LIFE Exhibition is in Hastings from April 17th - 24th at Sts Peter and Paul Church, Parkstone Road enabling visitors to interact with the life and teachings of Jesus, his death and resurrection and his impact on our lives today. During each weekday the exhibition has been fully booked by Primary Schools since it is designed to fit within the curriculum of Year 5 and 6 pupils as well as for adults. The Exhibition will be open to the general public on three occasions during the week: on Thursday 18th and Tuesday 23rd of April between 7:30 and 9:00pm and on Saturday 20th between 10:00am and 12:00 noon. On these occasions anyone is welcome to browse the Exhibition. We would also welcome groups both young and old from churches. If you are intending to bring a group it would be helpful for the organisers to know in advance by phoning Roger Mitchell on Hastings 422299. Church Together and LOAF AGM will be held at Concordia Hall, Church Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6HB on Tuesday May 14 at 7pm. We are again combining the two AGM’s.Please attend and also prayerfully consider whether you should be looking at the possibility of joining either of the existing steering groups for these two ‘church Hastings’ ventures.
Unity Service Jan 2013
On Jan 22 a large number of Christians from any churches again met to celebrate our oneness in Christ at St Matthew’s church, Silverhill. Our worship was led by Mike Coe of St Matthew’s and their band. Paul Wenham, joint director of Ashburnham Place prayer and conference centre gave the address on ‘A Passion for Mission.’ Speaking from the parable of the good Samaritan, Paul reminded us that people like the traveller in Christ’s story, still walk ‘foolish roads’, still ‘fall into the hands of robbers’ and are still ‘ left beaten and half dead by life’s road.’ We may still walk past BUT can choose to be those who are prepared to ‘ stop and give’, recognizing our religious plans may get ‘messy and bloody’ but yet prepared to ‘cross our comfort zones’ and accept ‘ the cost of compassion’. Twenty three different Christian ministries in and around our town had displays of what they were doing in practically accepting ‘the cost of compassion’ and leaving ‘comfort zones’. Next years Unity service will be hosted by King’s Church on Sunday 26 January 2014. Don’t miss it!
The Snowflake Night Shelter completed its first winter in March having provided overnight shelter and associated meals to 58 homeless adults (44 males and 14 females) on at least one night over the previous 13 weeks. The average number of guests sheltered was 9.93 per night and their ages ranged from 24 to 62. In this first winter five local Christian communities made their halls available one night per week as venues for the Shelter: St Matthews Church Centre (Sundays); Salvation Army Citadel (Mondays); St Thomas of Canterbury Concordia Hall (Wednesdays); St Leonards Baptist Chapel Park Community Centre (Thursdays) and St Johns Upper St Leonards Church Hall (Fridays). The supervision was provided in three shifts per night by teams scheduled from the corps of 119 volunteers recruited from across the local Christian communities. Two volunteers steadfastly manned the vehicle which delivered and then collected the bedding next morning for onward movement to the next venue. Cooked breakfasts were provided at “His Place” café in Kings Road by arrangement with Rev Chris Sears. Plans are now being laid to operate the Shelter continuously from late November 2013 to mid March 2014. This will require two further communities providing their halls as venues (Tuesday and Saturday nights) and recruiting yet more volunteers. The overwhelming response from our volunteers as we came to the end of this first winter’s operation has been “Thank you for the opportunity to work with the homeless. It has been very rewarding – please count us in for next winter”. For further information see www.snowflake-nightshelter.org.uk.
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” CAP was started in Bradford 17 years ago by John Kirkby who was called by God to start this work as a response to the despair that faces families & individuals trying to deal with mounting debt. Since that time it has grown to over 200 CAP Centres across the UK and has Centres across Australia & New Zealand. Sidley Baptist Church opened Bexhill CAP Centre last year with Ros Thomas as Centre Manager. In response to growing need in Hastings & St Leonards, the following six churches have gone into partnership to open Hastings & St Leonards CAP Centre from May 2013 - Kings Church, The Salvation Army, Calvert Methodist, St Leonards Baptist, St Matthews (Anglican) & St Helens Ore (Anglican). The Centre will be based at St Leonards Baptist Church with a Centre Manager (2 days per week) & a Debt Coach (1 day per week). Clients are visited in their homes where their full financial details are collected and sent to CAP UK in Bradford to negotiate better terms with creditors & work out a budget. The client is then revisited with the budget and an agreement to make one payment per month to CAP to pay all creditors & bills. The differences between CAP and other debt advice agencies are important: • The client stays with CAP, if they wish, until they are debt free. • Many clients are offered an initial weekly shop. • Many clients are offered a holiday break with CAP . • All clients are offered prayer, the support of a Christian Befriender & the opportunity, if they wish, to join a local church of their choice. And not only does CAP regularly see families & individuals saved from debt, thus saving marriages & preventing homelessness, ill health & suicides, but souls are also regularly saved. At CAP UK head office in Bradford, they have a ship’s bell that they ring every time a client gives their life to Christ. The bell rings at least once every working day. If you would like to support Hastings & St Leonards CAP Centre either as a Befriender or by giving funds (one off or regular), please contact: Nick Warren – Treasurer – Hastings & St Leonards CAP – Tel 07942 880 858.
Night Church has also just reached its first birthday. We now open in Holy Trinity church on the first Saturday of each month from 10pm to the early hours. Many folk who are out in the clubs and bars in the town centre come in for warmth [ relative to outside that is], refreshments, a listening ear, prayer and a “place to be” and meet with God. We are seeing many return visitors including those who are living in the streets. Our record number of 114 visitors was on New Year’s Eve and on a ‘normal’ night we meet with around 60. Night Church has always been non-denominational and we have been pleased to have some of the young volunteers from Ashburnham join us recently giving a truly international flavour. Last time we had young ladies from France, Switzerland and Mongolia; who knows where from next time! Night Church costs about £250 per evening to run. Night Church is now a registered charity and if you’d like to support us financially you can now gift aid donations.
Greg Venables, Anglican Bishop of Argentina writes: "Many are asking me what Jorge Bergoglio, [Pope Francis ] is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centred and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written.He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted, yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary. I consider this to be an inspired appointment , not because he is a close and personal friend, but because of who he is In Christ. Pray for him."
Books & Bibles for Uganda When I look back four years ago to January 2009 the decision had been made to close Pathway Books. Whilst it was opened I used to collect many old books and Bible reading notes and store them in the basement of the bookshop and ship them to Uganda. I thought this would have to come to an end now that the bookshop was closed, but a time came when one organisation had a number of damaged books and Bibles that they could not sell and I was asked if I would like them for Uganda. A friend of mine offered the use of her garage to store all the boxes of books and Bibles, and I contacted some other organisations to see if they also had any books or Bibles that they would be glad to pass on. The result was that I have been shipping many more boxes of Bibles and Christian books in the last two years and have set up over 80 Christian Libraries in Uganda. One organisation near Tonbridge, Kent, blessed me with over 4,000 new Christian Books in 2011 which I shipped to Uganda and that was how we began to create the libraries across the nation. Richard Smart Tel 422297 or email email@example.com
Chaplaincy at Sussex Coast College Hastings (SCCH) and Brighton University in Hastings (UBH ] The last two years have very much been about building relationships and getting myself known in both the college and University - no mean feat as this involves working across five sites. I was very encouraged that both the Principal from SCCH and the Director of UBH gave thanks for the role of Chaplain at the carol service this year which once again was well supported by church members from across the town. I read recently that ‘Chaplaincy is a ministry of presence of simply being there amid things, showing God in the ordinary day to day things’. Now I feel more established I am able to take time to walk slowly and listen to God’s promptings in my day to day work and meetings with people. I think a number of you will have heard about the knitting group which runs on Thursday lunch times from 12.30 until 1.45 in the Atrium at SSCH. This group is open to members of the public and has gone from strength to strength. None of this would be possible without a group of volunteers from across the churches who sit alongside students each week and share their skills as well as getting to know something of student life. This year Pat Botley (St Helen’s) designed a pattern for a knitted Christmas tree which lots of people helped create and turned out to attract a great deal of attention. We have already had orders for next year! Last Easter I set up an ‘interactive labyrinth’ in the college atrium which again attracted a lot of attention. Although not specifically Christian it did give the opportunity to reflect on topics such as new beginnings, past mistakes, thinking beyond our own needs and an opportunity to write a prayer request for the Chaplain. There was an excellent response to the prayer request. I have since been asked to repeat the Labyrinth experience twice more and each time it was suggested that I keep the prayer request as a feature which I found very encouraging. I am trying to twin each of the toilets in the college and am especially pleased that some of the students have taken it upon themselves to raise money for this and so far we have twinned five toilets. If you do not already know about this charity please have a look at www.toilettwinning.org.
The latest project I am involved in with the Student Engagement team is the idea of having a ‘Pop up Park’ in the Atrium. The idea behind this is to create a quiet relaxing space within the college in which students can sit, have their lunch and hopefully engage in a discussion, learn a new skill or be introduced to a new idea through an activity or invited guests. The launch was last week and some of you may have seen the page article in the Hastings Observer reporting that we had a farm come to visit. Yes, real animals, including a goat and cow. This was a great success and we hope that members of the public will come and join us for future events. We aim to have the Pop up Park every Wednesday between 12.00 and 2.00 in the Atrium at Sussex Coast. Depending on when you read this you may be interested to know that on Wednesday 20th March we have a Fair Trade stall in the Park, and on the 27th we will have an Easter activity. On the 17th April the Foodbank will be in the park. The University CU continues to meet each week and recently had a pizza night which was open to all students to attend and attracted a number of visitors. As well as general involvement with a range of activities within the College and University, which is helping me to become acquainted with the day to day activities and building relations with staff and students, I have also been invited onto the Equality and Diversity working party. A member of staff and I have met and planned the introduction of a collection point for the Foodbank within the college. Thank you so much for your continued support and please feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information. Barbara Powell Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for your diary Apr 12
St Leonards’ Church (Marina). Songs of Africa and Latin America. South Waves Community Choir. 8pm (doors open at 7.45). Free Entry. Donations to their childrens’ charities very welcome. Apr 13 Church in the Wood, Vestry Room. Men’s Breakfast. Full English Breakfast. £2.50. 8 for 8.30am. Apr 13 SHADES Theatre Company: Liz Crowther Workshop at St. Luke’s URC Church Hall in Silverhill 2-5pm. Apr 13 Park Road Methodist Church. 10 – 4pm. Art Exhibition and Sale in aid of The Catherine & James Dookie Foundation which is raising awareness against Child Sexual Abuse. www.theinnocencerevolution.net. Apr 24 Tabernacle Evangelical Church (opposite ESK in the Town). Prophetic Witness Meeting – speaker Jack Moorman. ‘The End Times’. 4.30 and 6.30pm. May 4-6 May Day Walk 3 days 100km walk. Canterbury to Hastings. Registration form on the LOAF website. May 6 May Day Walks 21 miles starting Rye 8.30 am Rye-Hastings. 4 & 8 miles Westfield 1pm. (picnic 12 noon). Registration forms in Grapevine magazine or via www.loafproject.co.uk May 10 Church in the Wood. Concert by Regency Singers 7 pm. £5 admission. May 10/11 Fairtrade in East Sussex - Spring Sale. 11 Ashford Road, TN34 2HA. Each day from 10 – 8pm. Bric-a-brac, Plants, bring and buy sale for Tradecraft’s development charity. Phone 424 460727 or email Michael.email@example.com. May 12 St Leonards Parish Church 3pm. An Afternoon of Sacred Song – Gabrielle Manoukian (soprano) and Bernard Perkins (bass baritone). Followed by Cream Tea! Admission free. Donations to Church costs welcome. Enquiries to 01424422189 or 716194. May 14 Interfaith Forum. Meet at St. Michael’s Hospice. 6.30 – 9.00pm. What it means to be fully human – the global ethic. Reconciling religious differences presented by Tim Firth (author of God’s Favourite Colour is Tartan). May 14 Church Together and LOAF AGMs. Concordia Hall, Church Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6HB. 7.00pm. May 19 Hastings Community Church, Duke Road. Silverhill –Global Day of Prayer Service. 4pm. Sept 12-15 National Heritage Open Days Scheme Gives the opportunity for us as Christians to welcome visitors into our places of worship. Contact Andre Palfrey-Martin on HODS1066@gmail.com or telephone 445858. The Inter-Church Quiz was held at St. Helens on 23 March and won by Calvert Methodist Church who will be the hosts in 2014. £132.00 was raised for Christian Aid. The current Unity News can now be seen on the Church Together Website
Hastings and St Leonards Church Together www.hastingschurches.org.uk Chair: John Lyttle firstname.lastname@example.org or 07730 065680 Secretary: Marian Povey email@example.com or 07754 122507