Chaplaincy in the City
City Chaplaincy steering group
A City Chaplaincy steering group has been meeting regularly, seeking to ensure that this emerging area of ministry is properly supported with adequate training and under-pinned with prayer. It is amazing just how much chaplaincy is already happening.
‘There are ever increasing opportunities to bring chaplains into all sorts of situations. One of things that the steering group had realised was the lack of awareness across the city of what chaplaincy is and the openings that are there and so we are keen to identify, train and support people to fulfil this work’. - Chris Davis MBE, Southampton City Missioner
Chaplains get together events
One of the ways that we support those involved in chaplaincy in all its forms is to bring them together once a term to support each other, to share, to pray and to learn from each other. It has been great to connect chaplains from the hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, those working with older people, or on the streets, in massage parlours and in the workplace.
City Chaplain, Commissioning Service
On Wednesday 10th January, St James' by the Park, Shirley, hosted a Chaplaincy Commissioning Service. The Bishop of Southampton commissioned Anna Chaplains, (working with older people), Amber Chaplains, (offering emotional support and prayer for women working in the sex industry), an Oasis Academy Chaplain and Workplace Chaplains.
We are hoping to run a basic training course in chaplaincy early this year. If this is something you might be interested in exploring, please contact us. No dates or venue have been agreed yet, but an expression of interest would be helpful. Contact details are below.
Beds, Begging and Business
Conference on Homelessness over 19-20 January.
Love Southampton has initiated a cross-sector conference around the issues of homelessness and street-begging. Paul Woodman said, ‘‘Southampton, like many cities, has people sleeping and begging on the street but sometimes those begging on the street are not homeless and those that are homeless are not on the street. We wanted to draw together churches, businesses, charities as well as the council, universities and police to come up with some creative solutions to these issues. We have called the conference ‘Beds, Begging and Business’ to separate out the issues of homelessness, street-begging and anti-social behaviour. There are divergent views on what approach should be taken to people who are living and begging on the streets. We want to bring all perspectives together so that we can listen, learn and innovate for the common good.’’
Love Southampton has invited City to City to help facilitate the conference; City to City is a network of people who bring their experience, ideas and hopes to develop connection, innovation and transformation in the place where they live.
Your Schools Southampton is a project led by Chris Davis and Sammy Jordan as part of Southampton City Mission. The aim is to make meaningful links between local churches and local schools, avoiding duplication between churches. The network supports, equips and encourages churches to be involved in their school community.
This is a long-term strategy to provide quality schools work and spiritual support, which builds relationships between schools and churches in Southampton.
At the moment, there are 141 links between churches/organisations like SCM and schools across the city. These links might consist of assemblies, chaplaincy input, RE lessons, visits or more practical support. Nine schools still have no local links and the network is working to establish quality and trusted relationships in these places.
As part of the new Anna Chaplain Southampton East’s role, Marion Hitchin and Faith Kenny have been helping out with a new and growing group for the older community at Monty’s.
Monty’s is a creative hub at the heart of the Montague Avenue area in the Sholing/Thornhill neighbourhood of Southampton. Monty’s is a community-rooted place where people can meet up, share life, get active, make new friends, learn new skills, improve job prospects, or get help and advice.
Since completing their building refurbishment in April 2017, they have started a number of new gatherings for our older community. A social group, Monty’s Majors, has seen steady growth and is developing into a cohesive group as they meet weekly over hot drinks, sweet treats and good conversation, accompanied by various knitting projects, games and activities.
CLEAR & EU Welcome
This year voluntary agencies in the City have been facing funding issues due to reduced grants, and the challenge of applying and receiving grants from charitable sources. EU Welcome too has been affected and faced the possibility of having to cease operating. EU Welcome not only provides a much needed service in the City, it is also highly respected among the voluntary and statutory bodies, as well as the City Council and others. So we are delighted to announce that we will be able to continue into 2018 and hopefully beyond!
Since its beginnings in 2004 EU W has been a project of the Southampton City Centre Catholic Parish. They and the Portsmouth Catholic Diocese have provided background support and guidance. As of January, EU Welcome has merged with CLEAR to maximise the service that we, as a city, provide for EU citizens, emigrants and refugees.