Updated 29 October 2019

   Linked with Pacong - South Sudan, Kutigi - Nigeria, Southern Nyanza - Kenya, Ijesha North - Nigeria, Karnataka Central - South India

Development Report for Trustees meeting

24th September 2019


Rachel Williamson Development Coordinator


I would like to start by saying that so much work has been going on both behind the scenes and out in the open its difficult to know where to begin this report.

 AFIA….. our biggest and most complex project. It covers day coach trips to Weston from across the Diocese, Holiday applications, to be given within the Diocese and the Gympanzees all inclusive Pop Up project now housed in Kingsweston School with forward thinking to possibly set up a permanent site possibly in the Filton area.

So our coach trips to Weston were very successful. Eagle coaches from Bristol were great. I believe it was Barnes from the Swindon area who were very successful too.We changed coach firm due to circumstance and we increased the number of coaches to include two from Deanery West. I have some written feedback from Kingsmeadow and Henbury/Brentry to reflect how wonderful the day was. Deanery West and Kingsglo have committed to funding 2020 coach trips and incidentals needed for the day and potentially have negotiated a deal with the Donkey man which will be shared when we know it is secure. Re selection of children….Deanery West has some huge areas of significant deprivation so we used the ‘pupil premium pupil” information to offer the days out. I know too that there are some opinions to be discussed on the selection of families for AFIA days out.

There have been two applications for holidays received by Aurea for discussion at Trustees and I know that Aurea has circulated the holiday application information. I have circulated all information about Gympanzees with consideration for funding to support transport needs for families to access the new site.

Bible Society books…..I now have an almost complete number requested but just need the last information to complete. Chris Pope is liaising with the printers to try and secure a good price and find a better way of receiving them. On reading all information I believe that Chris may be in receipt of a sample copy ?

Thankyou all for your cooperation in this matter. Your information will be held as reference for future years.

Prison involvement…As ever Barbara has been her amazingly efficient self and continues to organise the rota for Saturdays at Ashfield. I am still trying to get a team together for Sunday afternoons and hope that by 2020 this may be realised. Any names of willing volunteers will be gratefully received. Thankyou Barbara. The Christmas cards are now ready for writing and are all appropriate across both Ashfield and Horfield prisons. There are also some inappropriate Christmas cards from last year if you would like them…putting a donation in to MU funds please. All cards will be with me tomorrow for Barbara to take and for you to have. Barbara could you please remind us of the wording inside the cards for the HMP residents.

Friends For Parents…..Gill and I have been meeting to ascertain the needs of the Sanctuaries within both St. Michaels and the Childrens Hospitals. We have met with the Chaplaincy team and received a big list of wishes to improve both Sanctuaries and to create an intimate parent/chaplain/MU FFP room. After a meeting with Chris and Aurea we propose to fund 4 chairs (£192) and a coffee table(£102) for the meeting room; also a prayer tree in both Sanctuaries….we proposed real trees as in branches cut from living trees….at this time we are awaiting permission for this from the hospitals as rules and regulations are very stringent. We are also proposing to fund a storage box for the Muslim Prayer mats in one of the Sanctuaries (the other Sanctuary already is well catered for). I also left some MU prayer books with the Chaplaincy team for their consideration. There has been no feedback at this time. I had an amazing visit at the hospital too engaging with some interesting young people and staff as well as FFP volunteers. Many thanks to Gill for her continuing work. She and I are continuing to meet to address all requests in hand. I also presented some Angel Pockets to the Chaplaincy team for their consideration. St. Michaels are very keen to have these. So I have some with me for you to see should you wish.

Virtual Babies…… Ann has kindly forwarded you a report which I hope you have had an opportunity to read. Thankyou. As you can see the project is due to restart in Term 2 so it will be interesting to hear how this group of potential “parents” get on with their cyber babies.

Cathedral Welcomers…Barbara continues to inspire me with her dedication to this role. She continues to organise, sort out problems and thrive on her role as project leader at the Cathedral. I know she is highly thought of by all who meet her, especially Cathedral staff and visitors. Thank you Barbara. I believe I am right in saying that she has recently become a great grandma.. so many congratulations.

Malcolm X Centre – Refugees and Asylum seekers…

I was able to complete another much needed shop back in July spending almost £250 on items of foodstuffs and toiletries as requested but also some cooking equipment too. However within the visit I was also able to deliver collections of kitchen and tableware, bedding, slim men clothing and footwear, wheeled suitcases (inflight size) which were all greatfully received and I have a thankyou from Moira, my contact. I met a new volunteer, Andrew who was discussing the need for bus passes in order to aid travel from home to the centre for the refugees. But that request has been filled elsewhere. So I am now in conversation with Anna to see if we can support the set up of their Early Years setting. This is all very recent so Im waiting for an email to discuss a date for a meeting.

Kingsmeadow… At this time I have no up to date information apart from a report of an amazing day out at Weston. Thanks again to Janet. I have requested a report for the Council meeting 19/10.

The Rise…. Again at this time I have no up to date Information. I have requested a report for the Council meeting 19/10.

Knitting….I think the decision to discontinue the T Jumpers has been accepted and respected. I still have 154 that I have been trying to make links to send them abroad. However, no success to date. At our recent Deanery meeting tat the Ugandan Bishops and their wives may be interested in helping us to deliver these to impoverished and crisis areas.

We are now knitting……Balaclavas, finger less gloves, (Seafarers)Twiddle muffs and twiddle lap blankets, (Dementia friends) Prem baby clothes. Angel pockets, Filton are knitting gloves, hats and scarves for the local school children. Being honest if you nit it I can find a home for it….but not T Jumpers.

Overseas….I think Jane is hoping that the Ugandan Bishops visit could start a link. She has been in contact with Bishop Joseph Maker of Pacong in Southern Sudan with an email exchange. He will be visiting for the Lambeth Conference.  We need to hold this potential link in or prayers. I know Jane has been trying unreservedly with our overseas contacts and never failed to stay in communication despite receiving nothing in return. Thank you Jane.

Riversway Nursing Home prayer group…..

This is a new project that has only been in operation since the middle of August as is being run by Hanham branch. This project came about as a request from the activity leader at the nursing home. Two members went in armed with prayers and crafts. 5 ladies from the home joined them for a craft session making replicas of the `Mothers Union badge. They also talked about the history behind Mothers Union. They also had some prayerful time with a resident in her room. They felt it was very worthwhile and are planning to return. Hopefully this will be successful and therefore ongoing. Ho;d this project in your prayers too.

St. Mary Redcliffe….

I have just begun working with this branch who are threatening closure. They have a visiting speaker on Weds 9th October 2.30pm and are feeling a little embarrassed by their lack of numbers ….if you’re free and interested to join us, please let me know as the catering is fab and she would like numbers. The topic for the afternoon is Friendship.

I have organised a meeting with Rev Kat to try and find some ways forward from the church’s view. I sadly found one very negative member but the rest seem very willing and wanting to continue. I have ordered MU badges for them and am making ties/sashes. My aim is to stay with them at least while we find the way forward. I’m trying to link my branch at Filton to theirs and I have some members coming with me on the 9th.

Again this branch need our prayers.

But there is a potential that we should not dismiss. They have been left high and dry by a leader moving out of the area and a succession of bereavements which has left them very dejected.

There is potentially new project for Swindon that Aurea and I have to explore yet but it involves sewing finger puppets for missionary work abroad.

The only thing left to say is thank you all for your commitment and dedication.

Always In Step With God

Rachel Williamson

Development Coordinator