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Annual Report for Petersfield Town Chaplaincy

How can we, as Christians in Petersfield, be good news to our Town?

Jesus seems to make it clear that we should ‘GO!’ When we read his demonstration of kingdom living again we realise he was always ‘going’. The idea hit us, ‘let’s go where people are living and working’ and so Chaplaincy was born. Town Chaplaincy began with several like-minded people, who individually held a vision and when this particular vision was shared at the PACT annual general meeting January 2011 the threads came together to birth this project. Our particular thanks go to Anderson Marsh and Dominic Clark whose encouragement for this project was so motivating! During our initial ‘set up’ phase we visited other Chaplaincy projects and were particularly inspired by Richard Chewter, the leader of Watford Town Chaplaincy.

Our patrons Bishop Christopher and Rear Admiral Paul Hoddinott have proved to be great sounding boards. We are so grateful to Paul, for his passion to see things happen on the ground and to +Christopher for helping us tackle the difficult administrative and structural questions.

Over the next six months we met weekly to pray this organisation into being, meeting at different locations, Life Church Centre, Unity Bookshop, Winton House ‘Pop in’ and the Salvation Army Hall. John Arnold produced a brilliant leaflet and we then focused on training our volunteers

John Swindell and Trisha Ide produced three inspiring evenings, encouraging all 24 trainees that they would make a difference wherever they went, just by listening and caring and that God’s love would impact those they went to. Trisha was particularly helpful teaching us vital listening skills. John with his background in Street Pastors gave us confidence that this part could be played by anyone, whenever and wherever they were at work or out in our community.

Early in 2012 Chaplains were out in the Town Centre speaking to individual businesses and getting to know lone traders and small businesses in Rams walk, the High Street, the Square and Chapel Street. Larger employers such as Waitrose, Tesco’s, EHDC and TPS are still in negotiation, as we explore how we can best serve their staff.

During our first operational year we have served as Marshalls at the Town’s Remembrance Day service and also worked with EHDC when the Olympic torch relay came through Petersfield.

As we come to the end of the year we are recruiting new Chaplains, booking up further training courses and looking forward to expanding our service.

We wish to specially acknowledge the generous donations of the PCC and from members of St. Mary Magdalen Church and Life Church.

John Callaghan Chair November 2012

Some of the Chaplaincy Team with MP Damian Hinds

Contact John Callaghan - chaplaincy@pact.org.uk - 07933 479701

To be informed of the activities of Petersfield Town Chaplaincy subscribe to the Chaplaincy email group

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