From the Rectory
July 2008

Churches Together in Shirley (CTiS) held its Annual General Meeting on 19th. June. It was not attended by all of the Churches in the group, which is normal, but rather disappointing. I did appeal last year for someone from the congregation to join me, but no one ever has, so I appeal again. I cannot always get there myself, and it would be good if we were at least represented. The next meeting is on Thursday 17th. September at 7.30 p.m (venue to be confirmed.)

David Hazelwood from Shirley Parish was elected as Chairman and Major Alun Hill, from the Salvation Army, vice-chairman. Evelyn Adams was elected as Treasurer and an appeal has gone out for a Secretary - any offers?

The Christmas and Easter gatherings in Shirley Precinct were thought to be well attended and well received, however the evening joint services (there are only four each year) have been so badly attended that their viability was questioned, the last one planned for 29th. June was cancelled through lack of support. Not from us I might add, I did cancel our own evening service so that at least Christ Church, Freemantle could lend its support. The format of these services is being looked at so that perhaps if it is changed in some way more people will feel able to attend in the future. The next joint service will be during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity on 25th. January 2009.

Communicare also had its Annual General Meeting and reported that its finances are on a sound footing this year following some successful grant applications, and that a new part-time manager has been appointed, Annie Clewlow.

Communicare has regular contact with almost 250 clients in the area covered by CTiS and currently has 120 volunteers, but they always need more! Some of our own congregation benefit from the work of Communicare.

A presentation was given to CTiS members present, there were only twelve of us, by Jade Watson, Church Army Chaplain with Winchester Prison. She works in close harmony with The Revd.Terry Lane. She explained the new initiative in the prison called SORI 'Supporting Offenders through Restorative Justice'. Winchester is the first such initiative in England. SORI helps offenders to confront their crimes and realise just how many people are affected when a crime is committed. It is having some considerable success in preventing offenders re-offending when released.

Yours for Christ's sake.