Lynn churches hear of hope from 13 local projects
On Wednesday evening members of different churches from across King’s Lynn gathered to hear about the vision, news and developments of 13 Christian community projects serving the town in a myriad of different ways each bringing hope, love and the Kingdom of God. Jenny Seal reports.
On Wednesday, September 21 at 7pm, Churches Together in King’s Lynn met to hold their AGM at the London Road Methodist Church. Following the brief business of the meeting chaired by Moderator Rev Catherine Dixon and supported by Secretary Peter Coates (pictured right), representatives of 13 local Christian community groups were each invited to speak for five minutes to convey something of the heart of their project.
The meeting of around 70 people, gathered from a host of different churches, heard about the activities and vision of recently established initiatives such as the Job Club, CAP Debt Centre, KLimate Concern, Read, Write, Click and Celebrate King’s Lynn which are already making a difference to the lives of the people they serve.
It also heard from more established projects including the King’s Lynn Foodbank which along with emergency food provision is also running a FISH club, an Eat Well Spend Less course and is launching a Fuel Bank this Autumn. Representatives from Open the Book, Methodist Knit & Chat Group, the North Lynn Methodist Church Ecumenical Partnership and the CROWNS Trust talked with enthusiasm and passion about how they are continuing to serve and develop their provision.
The 13 representatives related news, developments and stories of hope from their projects, which between them provided support with jobs skills, debt help, literacy, befriending, emergency food, eco-awareness, fun, schools outreach and creative ways to encounter the Gospel.
Emily Hart, the Manager of the CAP Debt Centre said: “It’s really good to see how different organisations working together with that Christian heart can impact people in the community here. It’s really exciting to hear about the different projects here tonight from different areas because people are being reached in King’s Lynn”.
During the updates Alison Hill from Celebrate King’s Lynn announced that a Christmas Celebrate will take place on Saturday, December 10 in the Bandstand of the Walks and plans are afoot for the second Celebrate in King's Lynn on Saturday, June 3 with the option of adding an evening youth event to the programme.
Talking about the event that happened for the first time in June, Alison said: “I think the best comment I heard was "it was like heaven on earth". And when I asked the person why she felt that, she said: “because this is what heaven will be like – all the churches joining together.”"
Alison asked churches to nominate a representative to join the team for their first planning meeting on Tuesday, September 27 at 7.30pm at King's Lynn Baptist Church. A plea for volunteers also came from Mike Ikwuagwu (pictured right) for the Job Club, which offers an 8 week course for jobseekers to develop skills needed to get into employment, running every Tuesday, 10am-4pm at 99c High Street.
Rev John Belfield, a Deacon of Our Lady of the Annunciation in King’s Lynn and a Chaplain in HMP Whitemoor shared developments from the Purfleet Trust seeking to increase its support of homeless people within the town, as well as his personal vision to start a Community Chaplaincy Project.
He said: “I would like us to establish here in West Norfolk a Community Prison Chaplaincy because we have a lot of people coming from Norwich prisons and Peterborough prisons into King’s Lynn and there are lots of horror stories. So watch this space. If you are interested in joining me let me know. I haven’t started; I don’t know how to start except I’ve started here tonight.”
Andrew Frere-Smith also talked about his role as the Imagine Norfolk Together Development Worker funded by Norwich Diocese and the Church Urban Fund supporting churches in King’s Lynn to get involved in social action. He said: “I’m here as a resource and I’d love to help you if there is anything that you’d like to do in your community”.
Rev Catherine Dixon ended the meeting by encouraging everyone to pray for the projects that had been represented. She said: “I don’t think any of us quite realised how many exciting things were happening in King’s Lynn. We can so often think, especially if we are in small churches that aren’t doing exciting projects, that the church is failing and we can think ‘where is the Kingdom of God?’ But actually tonight I think we have seen the Kingdom of God is here in the midst of us in King’s Lynn and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing”.
Network Norfolk will feature more articles about some of these projects over the coming weeks.
Main Photo: Clockwise from top left: Alison Hill, Andrew Frere-Smith, Emily Hart and Rev John Belfield
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