Annual General Meeting
Thursday 12th July 2018
The Salvation Army Hall, Thomas Street
Chairman’s Report – to be delivered verbally.
Thought for the Week
The weekly column in the Wilts & Glos Standard, written by members of Churches Together, continues to be read by a surprising number of people in our community. Despite continued changes at the paper, our contributors have kept on and have faithfully submitted their copy each week. People regularly comment to us about the column. Thanks go to all our writers – keep it up.
Syrian Refugees Language Classes
We continue to hold our weekly classes at The Bothy. We decided to divide our learners into different groups according to their ability, with one or two teachers for each group which seems to be working well. We now have two families from Oaksey joining us as well but because each couple has a baby either the husband or wife attend each week with a volunteer who follows the lesson and then ‘cascades’ this down to the partner who was unable to attend the class. Apparently they enjoy coming to Cirencester as it makes them feel less isolated. They have their own funding source so CtiC funds are not used for meeting their needs.
Our own Cirencester families progress slowly but cheerfully as we continue to work at the language. It is a sign of success that the first family to arrive in Cirencester has managed to establish a small catering business, so they can no longer come to our classes at The Bothy, but a volunteer visits them at home and teaches them there. Our other two families also attend an English course at Cirencester College and we liaise with the tutors there. Of course their progress is affected by their situation, which necessitates doctors’ appointments etc. and other reasons why attendance is not always consistent. But we feel that we play an important part in their lives in Cirencester, not just by helping them with the language but also by our befriending role – the two are inextricably linked. Finally, we are extremely grateful to Churches Together for all their financial support; it has made a great difference to the quality of the teaching that we provide.
All good wishes
We ran a Course last autumn at the Baptist Church because it is no longer possible to hold it at Jesse’s Bistro. The numbers were small, with 8 guests & 4 hosts, but it went very well. The group became close & all the guests came closer to God.
The speaker at the Saturday day away was the vicar of Bussage who was excellent. We have also met several times since the Course to study the Bible & answer questions.
We have decided not to hold a Course this autumn but to have one starting in January 2019. The plan is to concentrate this autumn on preparing the Church to invite friends so hopefully we have more people. We will give all the Churches details nearer the time with flyers & invitation cards.If anyone from any of the Churches would like to be involved do please let me know.
CTiC Prayer Meeting Report
“Lord teach us to pray”. That might be a cry from the heart of Cirencester particularly in these uncertain and troubled times that we are living through. Once a month there is an opportunity to gather together at Barclay Court and pray collectively for local, national and international issues. There are many empty seats and we would welcome others coming to join with us to intercede
for our town, our nation and our world.
“Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations…. So even when we die our prayers don’t.” Mark Batterson – Draw the Circle (2012)
We meet on the first Monday of the month at 7:30pm (or the following Monday if a Bank Holiday) for about 1 hour and take it in turns to facilitate our time together remembering the word’s of Jesus “can you not watch and pray with me for one hour?.
Our next gathering will be Monday 3rd September – do come and join us.
Open the Book
This year I have again continued to honour my commitment to David Williams in supporting his schools. In practice this has meant drawing up termly planners and supplying acting scripts for Chesterton & Watermoor primary schools.
Towards the end of term 5, I visited these schools to offer the Year 6 leavers a choice of two Bibles, the Lion Graphics Bible or the International Children’s New Testament. Also included in the order for these Bibles are Siddington and Paternoster schools. In addition, it was suggested that CTiC should supply Bibles to Cirencester Primary School even though they do not currently have
an OtB team.
Bob Morris kindly offered to order all of the Bibles and arrange distribution. The Bibles are presented to the Leavers at the end of Term 6.
Other schools in Cirencester manage their own approach but it may be good practice to perhaps bring all of the schools together under one co-ordinator who could arrange for the individual teams to meet, share resources and experiences and develop this worthwhile ministry further.
All of David’s scripts are available on a USB stick and could easily be copied to those who would like these as a resource to work with.
I would be very pleased to liaise with someone who might wish to take on a wider co-ordinator’s role and to pass on David’s work.
Cirencester Street Pastors Coordinator’s Report
Following the tragic death of Tim Jennings in 2009 and a desire for a collective response by the churches in Cirencester the first tranche of Street Pastors started to train in 2010. Subsequently 17 volunteers were commissioned in February 2011 and there are currently 26 active Street Pastors who regularly patrol the streets of Cirencester over Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning.
For the seven & a half years that we have been operating we have built up a reputation for being there to Listen, care & Help. Every week we can reliably guarantee that we will be met with enthusiastic appreciation for just being there and frequently those we have helped in previous weeks will come up to us to thank us for our assistance.
Some weeks are busier than others and very occasionally extreme weather or lack of availability may prevent us from fulfilling the role. But, whether quiet or busy we simply take the love of Jesus to a community that for the most part will not be getting up to go to church on Sunday morning.
During 2017 we gave away 63 pairs of flip-flops; 88 bottles of water; talked to over 850 people of which 250 needed help, care or simply a listening ear. In total we provided nearly 1000 hours of voluntary service.
If you are interested in this ministry or know someone who is we recommend that it is best to come out with us as an Observer for one night staying with us for as long as you like. For further details, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07563 390954.
Coordinator Cirencester Street Pastors