AGM given much to celebrate

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of Churches Together in Harborough (CTH), which was followed immediately by the May Forum meeting, heard that there is much to celebrate and to pray about, especially for the three charities supported by Churches Together.

The Bower House, “supporting people going through emotional challenges and providing a safe place to heal” celebrated its 20th anniversary in May. It has some 250 referrals a year, with 110 clients receiving counselling at any one time. With 40 support workers and 50 trained counsellors, it needs more of both. Almost all its clients are from the Harborough District, and it is currently developing its work with children and young people.

Street Pastors also celebrate their (10th) anniversary this year and there is a special thanksgiving service at the Methodist Church on Friday 13 September. They need a paid administrator (10 hours a week), more prayer supporters and especially more people to train as Street Pastors. The group sometimes struggles to maintain the vital work they do in supporting vulnerable people on Friday or Saturday nights due to lack of personnel.

The Cube youth centre is to welcome a new full-time youth work manager, Charlotte Cooper, starting in August. A new part time administrator is already in post, Julie Dunne (from the Community Church). It continues to seek youth work apprentices. A special concern is that it receives more approaches from groups working with disability than can be accommodated.

The meeting also heard that there continues to be plenty of ecumenical activity in the town. This includes the annual united service, Lent lunchtime services, the bi-annual Lent home groups, the Good Friday open air event, Christian Aid collections, the Food Bank, the Peace and Justice group (currently actively involved in issues surrounding the proposed Naseby Square development, and care failures at St Andrew’s Healthcare), and the Eco Church group.

The meeting included several annual “business” matters. Officers serve on an annual basis and Rose Williams (Treasurer and Christian Aid Co-ordinator), Derek Williams (Communications), and Angela Zemlak (Minutes Secretary) were re-elected. There is a vacancy for a Secretary.

There was some debate concerning the accounts. Each member church pays a subscription which is used to underwrite various joint activities (including distributing a Scripture Union booklet to children leaving our primary schools, and events such as the Good Friday open air event). Debate revolved around an acceptable balance of funds and how any surplus is distributed, and this was referred to the Executive Committee to clarify.

The full minutes of the AGM and Forum meeting are available here.