GATHERED FOR GROWTH SEMINAR Growing within the local community: making local networks work Caroline Pinchbeck and Archdeacon Stephen Taylor
Introduction and Outcomes: • To recognise the power of networks and partnerships to enable to build stronger communities and relationships. • To have some tools to recognise what a church is already doing, to identify where new links could be made, and what could be done together. • To think through where there are new possibilities.
Example of how things develop • Café Eden, Deal – Set up in February 2011: • Café runs 2 mornings a week (Mon & Fri) with a range of food and drinks • A community café run by church volunteers (4 started it.. no new ones coming forward from Benefice but getting help from other churches & community) • Non profit • Has established significant links with individuals and community groups • St. Richard’s was a fading and aging church with no presence in community and is now clearly on the map • As many as 70 users in one day • Café now includes monthly District Councillors’ surgery and Citizens Advice Bureau sessions • Members of local community now sell produce/products… food, greetings cards, confectionery • Craft activity group • Church has provided computer and broadband for CAB and also lessons in IT skills • Further development is Eden Tots (Tuesday mornings), a mums & tots group since Feb.2012.. up to 20 tots with parents/grandparents/carers • Prayer and Christian conversation available.. limited number of church volunteers is limiting interaction • About to begin a Start Course for Christian enquirers • Plans afoot for a Food Bank subject to funding and wider support base (Nov 2012) ..now well on way as ecumenical project
Recognising what is going on: • Reflection – Looking at this diagram answer these questions. • Who do I know? • Who is in our church? • Who is in our community? • Who else is there? • In answering all of the above questions, now ask • Where are there common interests or activities? • How might we make lighter work of what we do? • What do we dream of doing, but never find the time, people or motivation?
Who is our neighbour? There are many organisations who have the same aims, activities and dreams and are not aware that you exist, or that you are willing to help. More importantly, that by working together you will achieve what you both want to do without competition. These are: • Schools • Parish Councils • District/Borough Councils • County Council • Youth Club /Uniformed organisations • Village organisations and societies • County charities and organisations • National organisations.