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Annual Report for Social Concerns 2012

In the absence of anyone filling the vacancy, Hilary Bonney took over the role of Chairperson for the Social Concerns Group on 21st May 2012.

An Agenda with items for discussion included the Christmas Lunch, The Food Bank, Chaplaincy and the Jubilee Festivities. Time was also given to consider a new focus for the group. Issues mentioned for our possible consideration were: the homeless/food needs: money matters, counselling; marginalised people; loneliness and isolation: more prayer time for the group.

We would start with the homeless. Captain Linda Read was in contact with Streetwatch and together they were to seek out where these people were living.

Sylvia Hawkes from Streetwatch gave us a talk at our next bi-monthly meeting.

Although it was only the 9th July the success of the Christmas Day Lunch 2011 was discussed and foremost in our minds was that we needed a Co-ordinator, Cook and a Master of Ceremonies for Christmas Day Lunch 2012.

Our committee recommended for a couple of reasons that alcoholic drinks are not served.

Sue Bone (URC) introduced Maria Kyovska the cook at The Good Intent and a member of St Laurences’ church to Hilary. It was Maria who had innovative ideas, a desire and it was her prayer to provide a wholesome meal for those alone on Christmas Day. Hilary and Maria spent time together discussing the efficacy of this and together viewed the kitchens at the URC and Methodist Church. Maria favoured the Methodist Church so during the summer a Cook and the venue was established.

In July and August all Pact churches were notified of a need for an organiser and no-one was forthcoming. Hilary advertised more widely using the Petersfield Post; and the volunteer base at Winton House and Community First.

Katie Packett from St Peters Church offered to be Organiser at our next meeting on the 20th September . She was ably supported by a small team including Tom James, Hattie Hughes and The Salvation Army. (Although details of meetings were sent to the pact churches and on the pact website there was little communication from other churches.)

A very big thank you to Maria and Katie and their families for a very successful Christmas Day Lunch for 2012. Thanks also extend to those donations of money which helped to cover costs . A donation from Waitrose green token scheme means that Christmas Day Lunch 2013 is provided for as well.

Maria, Katie and Tom have offered their services for 2013!

For the purposes of this meeting Brian Edwards (Salvation Army) has submitted a separate report on The Food Bank.

Loneliness and Isolation, a Good Neighbours Scheme and Befriending remain issues that we should have time for discussion and prayer in 2013

Hilary Bonney.

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