The meeting was held at St Anne’s; we were welcomed by Revd. Peter Budgell, who led a short act of worship.
There was a presentation by Jane Malcolm of the Level Trust who support families in poverty in Luton with the provision of school uniform especially shoes. Luton has an approx. 1 in 4 children at risk of child poverty; up to 60% in some wards in families both working and not. Supporting 21 of 74 schools. Churches can link with schools, collect stationery items and second hand uniform.http://leveltrust.org/
Peter Adams spoke on behalf of the Food Bank, who are giving out approx. 600 food parcels amonth – being just 3 days supply and not allowing long-term dependency, but signposting to other agencies if ongoing need. Volunteers always needed for distribution, warehouse, drivers, fundraising and supermarket collections. Extra bags for Christmas – appeal now out.
Treasurer reported we were awaiting 5 churches’ payments, and therefore hadn’t paid out money to Wenlock School. Budget for 2015 very similar to 2014 was approved. Subscriptions will be as 2014.
General Synod report: measure enabling women in Episcopacy moving to enactment, with first appointments likely in new year. C of E covenant relationship with Methodists is the next major item to be addressed with both sides needing to remove barriers to recognise the authority of the other.
Diocesan Synod report had been circulated and will be copied onto the Deanery website.
Next steps for Deanery Review 2015: “Parish Snapshot” questions for clergy to complete in January; then further engagement and consideration by PCC in spring to discern what is important for Deanery Mission Action Plan.
Interfaith report: Peter Adams gave thanks for presence of a good number of Christians from many churches on 22ndNov alongside the EDL and counter-marches. Asking for prayers about conversations between people of faith and EDL members.