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Notes on PACT Social Concerns Meeting Friday 27th January 2012

Present: Joyce Perry (chair), Sue Bone, Judith Peake, Christine Tully, Hilary Bonney, Brian Edwards, Rev Anderson Marsh, Rev Jeanette Richardson, Rev Will Hughes

Apologies: Linda Read, Pippa Collingwood

Joyce welcomed us all particularly Jeanette and Will and Anderson. She commented on the phrase ‘Only connect’ from the novel ‘Howards End’. Making connections with God and with those around us is what we are about. A reading from John 17 exemplified this.

Will was concerned to know how we met the people who needed our help. What were the contact points? Anderson noted that he met three homeless people just by walking about in town. People approach Brian when he is in uniform in Rams Walk. Joyce noted that involvement in voluntary groups gave her many opportunities to learn what needs were and to meet them. Initially about 80% of the volunteers in Winton House were church people. The chaplains are out and about in town and will also drop into Winton House from time to time. We needed resources to help the people we find. Anderson was in the process of compiling information for the Chaplaincy. This was handed to Will, who could add to it. We noted that information about the homeless hostels in Portsmouth needed to be put on the PACT web site.

Cards The Christmas card distribution went well. Members of Messy Church had designed the Easter card. The major updating of the distribution lists would take place once per year before Christmas, but Christine would contact all the church reps to see if anything needed urgent attention before Easter.

Report to PACT AGM Joyce would email this to Christine so that members could be sent a copy with the notes on this meeting.

Unity Book Shop This would continue to operate for the time being owing to a good response to the plea for help.

Winton house All the flats were now let, at a commercial rent.

Town Chaplaincy The trustees meet each Friday. They do not have a permanent base yet. 21 chaplains have been trained; when in town they stay in touch with Anderson by text so that it is always known who on duty. The police are supportive, the more so because of the closure of Petersfield Police Station! Anderson has been invited to join the Community Safety Partnership Team of EHDC, which discusses how the churches would respond in an emergency eg the snow, terror attack etc! Durford Road residents have organised themselves to have a litter pick in February. They feel somewhat out on a limb.

Christmas Lunch This went well, with only some minor problems. However it was noted that someone from the URC should be present so helpers would know what was where in the kitchen and how to operate appliances. The main organisers, the Rushtons and the Gunnings, would not be available next year. We agreed that it was important to find out which key roles were filled and which ones were vacant so that recruiting of key organisers could begin early. Sue Bone to discuss this with Christine Rushton ASAP, and to report to our next meeting. We would then get information out to the churches. Perhaps some of last year’s helpers would be willing to take on a greater responsibility at Christmas this year.

Food Bank In addition to food donations, cash donations had continued to be received, totalling £219.45 since the last report. £215.38 had been spent on various food items. Cash in hand was now £346.99. This would be very useful to purchase items to supplement the food donations. One church member had also begun to contribute through the PACT account. There were 46 food issues, helping 78 adults and 55 children. These issues were initiated by: Drum/Radian 20; C.A.B. 3; Sure Start 11; Salvation Army 5; Tree Tops 2; Home Start 3; Winton House and URC 1 each. There were some repeat issues to the same family/person at intervals.

Future of the Group The last meeting Joyce would attend would be Mon 26 March. Anderson wanted to become a member, representing the chaplaincy.

Digital Switchover Brian reported that some elderly people did not fully understand that the analogue signal was to be switched off. We should put anyone needing help in touch with Brian.

Christine closed the meeting with prayer.

Date of Next Meeting: Mon 26th March, 10am, 30 Oaklands Road.

 

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