The service of Induction for new CTH president, Richard Dean.
Minutes of the 2005 Annual General Meeting, available on the night, and Matters Arising from the minutes
Hon President's report
Hon Treasurer's report
Hon Secretary's report
Area Reports (Bilton; Starbeck & Woodlands; Town Centre; South West; Pannal; Lower Dale)
Election of Officers:
* Hon President: Richard Dean
* Hon President elect: Fr Lawrie Hulme
* Hon Secretary: Humph Baker
* Hon Treasurer: Kath Plant
* Exec Committee: ... members of Area Groups
* Past President: Rev Brian Hunt
Election of Auditor - Bob Sayles
* Constitution: Approval of revisions; nominations of Area Group representatives onto the CTH Executive
* Chutch House Trust: AGM (report and grants issued)
Meeting dates for 2006/7:
* Executive Committee: Wednesday 13 September 2006, venue to follow
* Annual Assembly: to follow; see Events pages
Presiding over CTH for the year 2005/6 has been a wonderful experience and privilege. One of the treats is to attend the annual mayor-making ceremony, which comes only days after having been inducted as President at our AGM. It is very much to the credit of Harrogate Borough Council that even in these secular days the President of CTH is still invited to share in this important day in Harrogate 's civic life.
We were grateful to Ashville College for allowing us on 13 October to hold our Annual Assembly (‘Wydale II') on their superb premises. The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, graciously gave up valuable time to lead us on from the new relationships and insights gained at the Wydale Conference of 22-23 November, 2004 (‘Wydale I'). He helped us to keep up the momentum as we grow closer to each other as Christians, and we were inspired by the opening worship provided by the praise band from St John Fisher's and St Aidan's Schools.
This year we missed the Lent Lunches hosted by the Friends' Meeting House and organised by Mr Ron Evans to whom we owe an enormous debt for providing fellowship and spiritual nourishment over the years. We were, however, able to join St Peter's Church at their Lent Lunches.
During the past year the CTH Executive has been engaged in making our Constitution more effective. It has been proposed to strengthen the Executive by bringing on board the local Area Groups. The hope is that by absorbing the Steering Committee into the Executive Committee local groups will be brought nearer to each other and the cross-town fellowship restored. In our meetings the role of CTH as enabler rather than as provider has also become clearer. We were delighted by the decision of Mayfield Community Church to join Churches Together as full subscribing members this year.
The year ended with the annual Good Friday Act of Witness at the Cenotaph. The weather was kind, and the large crowd heartily sang the old Easter hymns ably accompanied by Knaresborough Silver Band whose first appearance with us was most welcome. The Gospel account of Christ's life-giving sacrifice was read by two new church leaders to the area, the Revd Dr Roberta Topham and the Revd Jo Logan, and by our new President of CTH, Mr Richard Dean, whom God has called to lead us in 2006/7.
Copies of the Receipts and Payments Accounts and Balances sheet were distributed.
The accounts are drawn up on the simple method of receipts and payments. The top part shows shat has been received during the year and what has been paid out during the year. The bottom part shows the state of our bank accounts.
You will remember that this time last year we had recognised the need for a computer and as a result of an appeal made to Churches, had received £385 towards the cost.. At the last AGM you had agreed also to cancel unclaimed rebates to Area Councils for earlier years and not to vote any rebate for the year to 31 March 2006. The position for future years to be reviewed annually. These monies were therefore sitting in our bank account. As you see from the accounts, the cost of the computer was £1,048.62 of which £385 came from the appeal, £580 from unclaimed/cancelled rebates up to 31 March 2005 and the balance of £33 was largely from a returned rebate already paid.
The printer £747.65 was purchased with the help of a grant from CHT totalling £947.65, the balance of £200 is for some other equipment which the secretary is arranging.
Stripping away the computer and printer costs from the account we are left with the actual income and running costs of the year. If you add the subscriptions donation and bank interest you get a total of £821.52. On the other side if you add the Good Friday payments, the Public Liability insurance, affiliation fees and general administration expenses you get a total of £800.97. So we have a surplus for the year of £20.55.
Looking at these items:
Subscriptions: we have 29 paid up member church each paying £25
Donations are donations from generous churches for general purposes
Good Fridays: as Lent frequently straddles the end of one financial year and the beginning of the next we get bits of two years' expenditure in the accounts. There were bills for 2006 to be paid at the accounting date.
Group Public Liability Insurance: As you know we have taken out our Public Liability Insurance for our Good Friday service at the Cenotaph (Harrogate Borough Council check the indemnity cover arranged). We thought it advisable to cover ourselves for other organised CT activities whether undertaken by the Executive or the Area Councils. Rev Shaun Swithenbank kindly negotiated this for us. If any Area Councils contemplate arranging any activities perhaps they would contact the Executive to ensure that the event would be covered by the Policy.
Affiliation fees: these are the usual amounts to WYEC and the Harrogate CVS
General Administration expenses: these consist of postage, photocopying and stationery and IT running costs.
Balance Sheet: you will note that the loan of £190 which appeared on the last few Balance Sheets has been written off as was agreed at the last AGM.
I would like to record a word of thanks to Mr Bob Sayles who has examined the books for me and who has confirmed his willingness to continue as Examiner.
Approval for the accounts, a subscription of £25 per church for the year to 31 March 2007 and no rebate for the year 31 March 2007 was sought.
The constitutional meetings (Steering Councils, AGM and the Annual Assembly) had been published and held, except for the Spring Steering Council.
Promoting wider church activities: the Christmas and Easter brochures (chronological list of services and map), were distributed to most hotels, TIC and other locations.
The CTH website continues to grow and has won accolades for its user friendliness and the way it answers the browser's questions. Postal Mailing dates have now been published for two years within the website Communications page. The website includes links across North and West Yorkshire; indeed, some church websites link directly to specific pages (eg the map of Yorkshire, Ripon Churches Together). Harrogate CT Area Group logos are downloadable from the website.
In addition to the CTH-owned Toshiba Equium notebook, the CTH inventory includes a colour laser printer. The equipment is used to run the ecumenical websites, other ecuemnical group accounts and administrative tasks. As well as the CTH website, the United Gigs, HYPeR and Youth for Christ websites and various church web-pages are maintained on this one computer.
The work of administering, marketing and communicating CTH with the wider community continues to grow and especially the CTH website - and News page - being used by more than ever. With daily – or hourly website updates – and on-call answering of telephone and other requests, the role of the secretary in promoting what God is doing through his Church is developing into the work of a small office.
Following Wydale I and Wydale II , the progress being made within various ecumenical and single church projects has highlighted the desire to provide two key aspects to help reach out to the community and meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs: our place on the ‘High Street' and wiser ways of sharing administrative and organisational burdens. As well as seeking to create improved worship centres, meeting place, conference and events venues, there is a growing vision to provide a ‘ shop front ' to the community, open when ‘the community is open' (midweek, daytime hours). There has been a call to support smaller churches with areas such as their administration and websites; it has been suggested that the wider church in Harrogate considers options and solutions to meet these needs.
As we draw on the experiences of those who have investigated options over recent years and learn from their research, pains and visions, my prayer is that we, as a wider church, present the town of Harrogate with a welcoming, available, contemporary and vibrant expression of God's presence and work amongst us. May our decisions be based and surrounded by the Father's love as we seek to be part of his kingdom here together
St Joseph's welcomed Rev Fr Neil Byrne to Harrogate on 24 November 2005 and Rev Dr Roberta Topham to Bar on 4 September 2005. Bilton youth cells continue to thrive with trips to Greenbelt and youth services as highlights; a recent grant from Church House Trust will provide some feature lighting for special services. Our prayers continue for Bilton Grange URC, now two years without an appointed minister, and for the future of our work together in Bilton. Church leaders in Bilton now meet together on the third Monday of each month at 10.30am for prayer. This includes the clergy from St Wilfrid's - Bilton Churches Together is moving towards being North [West] Harrogate Churches Together.
Leeds Road :
After a stalled 2005, the group has met and welcomed new clergy, organised services together and prayed especially for substantial local changes.St Mary's now worship at Harrogate Grammar school with their last service in the now-redundant church on 8 January 2006. All Saints meet atHarlow Hill at 9am with monthly joint communion services; the old caretaker's cottage opposite St Mary's church has been refurbished and serves as a resource centre.
Decisions have been taken to close Oatlands church on 16 July 2006; prayers for their congregation continue. Rev Tom Stuckey , president of the Methodist Conference, spoke in February, with the combined choir of St Mark's and the home church choir at Trinity; a summary of his address was published on the CTH website straight after the service.
Starbeck & Woodlands:
While representatives of the churches meet regularly, the only special united event this year was the Good Friday Walk of Witness. All five churches are large and busy, so it is essential not to overload the schedule, or risk creating a “sixth church” with its own separate programme for ecumenical enthusiasts. The emphasis has shifted to ensuring that ecumenical partners are aware of, and invited to, special events in the individual churches. These included Pentecost evening at St. Andrew's, Starbeck Gala, Ash Wednesday at St. Aelred's, a Lenten day led by Kathy Galloway of the Iona Community and an all-night vigil into Good Friday at Starbeck Methodist Church . Pulpit exchanges, including the Hospital Chaplaincy, took place during the Week of Prayer. Christ Church and Woodlands have united evening services quarterly. The group has supported “Wellspring”, a Christian Counselling service based in Starbeck
We have met together five times in the last year and each meeting has been a good opportunity to share concerns and news between our churches. The group has grown to include nine churches in and around the town centre and the newest addition is the Life Destiny church which meets at the Odeon cinema. The Victoria Avenue churches have been in conversations about possible sharing of resources as the Baptist Church is engaged in a feasibility study concerning possible development of its building for community use. Wesley Chapel is also looking to develop its premises as a resource for all the churches in the town as it bears Christian witness and service, alongside St Peter's, to the many who live, work, shop and relax in our town centre business, tourism and civic centre. Meetings have sought to share our common visions for the town centre and explore possibilities of closer working and shared development.
Each of the churches in our group have much going on. Here are just a few examples of the sort of work which is taking place:-
St Peter's ‘ Rock ConneXion ' events have attracted many to a new style of worship and exploration – looking at ‘God on Film' and more recently the issues raised by the ‘Da Vinci Code' media circus – and have a new breakfast club. Wesley Chapel are holding a ‘Time to talk of God' event, alongside their monthly lunchtime ‘Spotlight' events, to encourage conversations about faith and contemporary issues: These two churches continue to work closely together, running Alpha courses, youth group and prayer and study groups. The Baptist church will be holding their usual Holiday Club in August and West Park URC are planning a repeat of their successful Summer Festival : West Park continue to provide the Child Contact Centre in their location opposite the courts and are still without a Minister. St Paul 's are installing multimedia resources in their worship area: They are currently running an Alpha course and a ‘Living Faith' series. The Religious Society of Friends shared with us their work in prisons and St Robert's held a series of Lent talks to support an orphanage in Kampala . Mayfield Community Church are exploring the possibility of a new venture on the Nidd Vale Motors site
The group also supports the work of our Town Centre Chaplain , Deacon Keith Gough, and hears reports of chaplaincy work with the police, the Air Cadets, the police convalescent home, the Army Foundation College, the Police Training College, prison and hospital: All carried out by individuals or groups within our town centre group of churches. We were delighted to hear that the next Mayor of Harrogate will be Councillor Geoff Webber, a member of Wesley Chapel, who will we are sure continue to be an vital Christian link to the civic aspect of the life of our town.
Posters with details of our churches special services at Christmas and Easter were delivered around all the town centre hotels and businesses again this year. We shared in prayers in each other's churches during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity . We discussed the need for ahomeless shelter , alongside the work of the homeless hostel , and looked at some of the material provided by the RUN (Reaching the Unchurched) group. We continue to support HYPeR and take a keen interest in the developing work there.
If any of the churches in Harrogate feel that there are issues concerning our town centre communities which we might address, or have ideas for new ways of engaging with the visitors to our town, we would welcome your thoughts and your presence at our meetings.
Youth for Christ Report
The last couple of years have been a difficult time for Harrogate & District Youth for Christ, and for all those who are and have been involved. The fall in levels of funding, and the resultant need to make staff redundant, caused issues for all concerned as we sought to ascertain the Lord's will for the Centre going forward. Over the last year the vision for YFC Harrogate seems to have been clarified around establishing a town-wide central resource, and 'enabling' facility , to try and focus the comparatively low levels of funded youth work into collaborative initiatives and activities that would bear fruit and as a result encourage a greater level of involvement and financial support from the Christian community. We have also been involved in supporting United Gigs in bringing national Christian rock bands to Harrogate and also seeking to help schools' Christian Unions by offering modest termly grants for materials.
Colleen Scruton continues as our administrator and to also work part-time for HYPeR and we are grateful for the opportunity to base our office there as well. Different groups pooling and sharing resources has got to be good news! In a similar vein, YFC, with the help of Church House Trust, has begun to assemble a collection of equipment resources for use by local Churches and United Gigs starting with a full gig/concert lighting equipment. Call Colleen for more info and availability for events (507527).
As those who have read our Easter letter will know, we have been prayerfully considering the appointment of a new Centre Director . The process has begun to recruit a highly experienced and talented director to address the needs to support youth evangelism and discipleship; adverts will appear over the summer. Your support is now all the more urgently needed as we seek the right person to start work later this year.
chair of the YfC Trustees.
HYPeR Report 2006
What an excellent year we have had in terms of the growing numbers of teenagers coming to HYPeR. We regularly see between 120 and 140 of them every Friday. Young bands continue to entertain us every fortnight and we have club nights on the intervening Fridays. We are currently opening after school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 3.30 to 5.30 and we try to open throughout the school holidays during the day time. Some of our young people now consider HYPeR to be their second home!
Needless to say these teenagers are not without their problems - broken families, merged families and parents with busy lives weaken their support structure and they come to rely more and more on their peers for constancy and emotional help. They can meet up with their friends at HYPeR and often spend time talking to our volunteer staff. We help where we can with encouragement and advice and offer up prayers in our own time for their safekeeping and solutions.
The increase in rent (from £6000 to £9000 per year) means that we will have to secure a generous amount of funding to employ another manager as Alex Walker left in February to take up a teaching post in Leeds; his relaxed manner was appreciated by the young people.
To meet the administration needs, Colleen Scruton has increased her own workload and responsibilities and we are grateful to her and YfC for the hours Colleen puts in. Thank you Colleen.
HYPeR sends an enormous 'thank you for your support' to all the members of Churches Together and individual supporters. We now have a 'thank you board' in the centre so that the young people are aware of just who is providing their 'shelter'. Thank you to all the volunteers - that small band - who do an amazing, sterling job for these youngsters; also to the steering and executive committees for all time spent overseeing the management of HYPeR - but mostly to God for blessing our work at HYPeR . Jo Nevett, Temporary Volunteer Manager, HYPeR
Harrogate and Knaresborough Jubilee Debt Campaign
H&KJDC continues to be involved in Make Poverty History until it finished at the end of January, 2006.
We estimate that there were about 100 people from the Harrogate and Knaresborough area at the MPH day in Edinburgh on 2 July 2005. They travelled by reserved coach or train and independently. One family cycled the last leg, arriving in Edinburgh on tandems! Peter and Erica Miller & friends made a short video of their day's experiences. Beryl attended further meetings at JDC Scotland re anti-corruption action in Nigeria etc.
We erected an MPH display in Harrogate Library, late July – early August.
Beryl, Jenny and her boys, took part in Oxfam's White Band around Almscliff Crag in September.
Beryl helped staff the JDC stall at Greenbelt in August.
Over the year many, many hundreds of Wipe Out Debt cards were signed and sent off by members of our various churches and others on our mailing list as well as on campaign days. Quite a number of folks wrote to the Chancellor, Prime Minister, Tony Benn or to Phil Willis MP during the year. We have recently heard that our campaigning has resulted in Zambian debt cancellation, setting free funds being used, to employ 4,500 teachers, a school building programme, more healthcare staff and an expanded HIV/AIDS programme! Well done!
Our AGM in October reflected the variety of groups with whom we shared justice issues in 2005 in Make Poverty History, inviting guests from Oxfam, C. Aid and CAFOD to back brilliant keynote speaker Dr. David Golding from JDC N. East to consider “Is there life after Bob Geldorf?” The 36 people present saw Peter and Erica's video and were led in prayer by our HCT President.
There was a presence on the Knaresborough CT stand at an event in December
Since January our main focus has been on two issues and will remain so:
(a)An international agreement to cancel 60% of Nigeria's debt, included arrangements for Nigeria to make an up-front repayment of the remaining 40%. The UK has been receiving its share of this, amounting to £1.7 billion, twice as much as the UK gives in Aid to the whole of Africa and from a country where two-thirds of the population exist on less than 60p a day! We have been requesting through letter and e-mail that the money be returned. Beryl attended a Budget Day protest outside Downing Street . (photo)
‘ Cut The Strings' – Conditions demanded before debt cancellation is granted include liberalisation of trade and privatisation of utilities. These have proved to be damaging to fragile economies. This is acknowledged by Hilary Benn with regard to British Aid, but conditions are still being applied to debt relief.(Accountability is necessary, but by governments to their people.) This year's campaign will focus on demanding that damaging conditions be stopped – We demand that our government ‘Cut The Strings' and encourage other countries to do the same.
7. Plans for Spring/Summer 2006 ;-
Ongoing – ‘Cut The Strings –Petition Sheets and Cards already distributed around churches and others. Please either return Petition Sheets to me or send them straight on to JDC
16 May 2006: World Debt Day – Prayers in Harrogate , maybe Knaresborough too – details of venues etc. to be announced.
3 June 2006: ‘ Cut The Strings ' Colourful campaigning outside St. Peter's Church – child and family friendly. It will attended by Phil Willis MP and local dignitaries. Help needed also ideas. There will be drinks and tasty food inside to raise money.
There will be a presence at other events inc. Bilton Gala and Knaresborough Fayre. Beryl Tierney (Co-ordinator)
Harrogate and District Christian Ecology Link
Two Open Meetings were held at St Paul 's URC: John Margham speaking on “What Landscape Means to Me” at the AGM in April, and Rev'd Shaun Swithenbank on “The End of Creation?” in November. Both events were well attended and very well received, and thanks are due to both the speakers and to St Paul 's for the use of their facilities. A short summer walk around Pannal and along the Stone Rings Beck was also well supported and greatly enjoyed, despite ending in a downpour!
In keeping with its twin objectives of spreading “… ecological insights among Christian people and churches” and “… Christian insights into the Green movement” the group has continued to be involved in national, regional and local initiatives, Among these are:
(1) CTBI's environmental project (the group is happy to congratulate St Mark's on becoming the first church in the district to qualify for the Eco-congregation Award), and
(2) Action for the Environment (part of the District Council's Local Agenda 21 effort) where CEL members have regularly participated in the bi-monthly meetings
The group has continued to support Christian Ecology Link's national campaigns and projects.
Between meetings, communication with members has been maintained by regular newsletters, and a “Members and Friends” e-mail list.
Sadly during the year John Margham, our Chairman and newsletter editor of many years standing has been obliged to resign due to personal and family reasons. We wish him and his family well.
Over the year, an increased awareness of the concerns for which we stand has been observable with major sermons, speeches and policy statements from many church and political leaders. An appeal for new members has been launched, and the outcome of this will determine the extent to which HDCEL is able to rise to the to the challenges and opportunities of the next twelve months. More info from George Dent.
No further report for 2006.
Harrogate Homeless Project
The last twelve months has been a busy time for the Project bed occupancy rates have been consistently high throughout the year, generally above 95%. The Drop-In has also seen high number of users and we have been able to organise more activities and provision for the Drop-In.
We have had funding for a substance misuse support worker, which has increased the amount of support work we are able to do with our residents and users of the Drop-In. We have also devoted much time and energy raising our profile in the local community and improving relationships with other agencies. We sent out our first publicity newsletter to local businesses and organisations. Our relations with other agencies have greatly improved and we are now doing much more joined up work with other agencies.
We conducted a head count of rough sleepers in the district in March, we didn't actually find any rough sleepers but the experience was a good one for both the staff and volunteers involved. We will do another head count in the summer and a report of our findings will be shared with the council.
We are currently refurbishing the Project, the budget for which has come from generous donations from local organisations. Work has started in the office and the kitchen and will continue throughout the whole Project. We're very much looking forward to when it is completed and order is restored! More info from the Homeless Project
Thursday Evening Meals for the Homeless and Needy
A wide selection of Lent courses across Harrogate were advertised within the Lent and Easter together leaflet as well as on the CTH website. The excellent talk given by Jeff King, Anglican Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, is also available on the CTH website
Local Strategic Partnership
The CTH website includes reports up to and including March 2006