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Community Drop-in
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chris orange


Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010
Post: #1
20-05-2010 04:41 PM

Hello there!

The church that I lead are planning to open a community drop-in on Dartmouth Road. We want to help promote community living within the area and provide support for the lonely, elderly and vulnerable as well as put on computer courses, parenting courses, provide a debt counselling service and much more. It will be a place for people from the community from all backgrounds to come and have a cup of coffee and meet new people.

We are also hoping that it will encourage more people to come to Dartmouth Road and shop there as local business really needs a boost at this time.

I was wondering what you all thought about the idea?

Chris.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #2
21-05-2010 05:31 PM

Great if you are providing services - although my political instincts are that the state should be doing this sort of work, to keep it in the secular sphere, I accept that the current psycho-sociopolitical and economic atmosphere make this unlikely, and someone has to do it.

However, I would be a little concerned. While it is obviously your right to publicise the fact that you are a church group, you're talking about serving the whole community in ways that would entail a wider responsibility to be tolerant and respectful. I am sure you intend to be so, but would be reassured if you are able make any promises to avoid evangelising to those who use your drop in, not to plaster the walls with overtly religious posters/messages, and to keep the focus on doing good works for your own salvation, rather than conversion of those using the services?

Nothing personal, I'm sure you have the best intentions. I hope you can understand my position.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #3
21-05-2010 08:31 PM

What church is this, Chris?

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Novels


Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #4
22-05-2010 12:26 PM

As I am no longer a religious person, despite having been for a very long time of my life, I would not want to come along; therefore, this part of the community would be left out.
On the other hand, I feel very involved with my local area, and I love the library and what it represents.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #5
24-05-2010 03:43 PM

Roz, this is one place that's guaranteed to have loads of stuff for kids. Got to get them young, after all.

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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
24-05-2010 04:12 PM

I heard a bit more about this and wanted to suggest that we might be being a little quick to judge the motives of this long established Forest Hill church. But I agree that an overtly religious nature to such an endeavour would deter as many people as it would attract.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
24-05-2010 05:10 PM

I'm still interested to know what this 'long established Forest Hill church' is. Are you in a position to reveal this, Michael?

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
24-05-2010 11:21 PM

It sounds very much like the Church of Latter Day Forest Hill Librarians as everything suggested, bar the coffee, is provided at our local library, soon to be the 'hub' of the community once more when the pool is open. Including loads of things for kids, of course.

Baboonery, interesting how I manage to get sarky comments on a thread I've never been on. Until now.

Seriously, I'm an atheist, but I think we are all being a little bit ungrateful/unwelcoming to this idea; the more low -cost/free things for people to do the better and yes there are lots of spanking new coffee shops around now but not everyone can afford them so anywhere that offers a decent cuppa and a chat for less than 1 has to be a good thing.
I grew up in a place where religion was all around and I was from an early age a committed non believer but if it wasn't for local church youth clubs, discos,fairs, trips to the seaside etc, I'd never have got out of the house.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
24-05-2010 11:23 PM

PS A great many of local childrens things including some excellent playgroups are already hosted in and by local churches and run by committed volunteers and are a lifeline for many local kids and their parents.

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chris orange


Posts: 2
Joined: May 2010
Post: #10
25-05-2010 10:41 AM

Hi Roz,

I've been following the threads on the forum about our plans for a community drop-in and I thought I'd introduce myself and our church.

My name is Chris Orange, and together with my wife Jennie, I lead a church in Forest HIll called Ichthus. The Church was started in Forest HIll in 1974 and has a long history of community outreach such as drug recovery programmes, befriending the elderly projects, parenting courses, youth and children's work etc etc. At the moment we lease the Bonhoeffer Church on Dacres Road for our Sunday services and have a training house for our volunteers on Perry Vale.

In these days it's clear to see that the need before us is greater than the provision the state can provide, and so we want to start a Community Drop-in that will be a place for people to meet for coffee, and where we can serve the residents of Forest Hill with various social inclusion projects to help the elderly with gardening and shopping, train people wishing to develop their computer skills, provide parenting courses and a professional debt counselling service etc etc.

As a church we have signed up to something called the Faithworks Charter which you can view through the following web link:

http://www.faithworks.info/Standard.asp?id=7432

If you have any questions or concerns please do contact me.

Thanks!

Chris.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #11
25-05-2010 08:27 PM

From the Faithworks charter:

"We will provide an inclusive service to our community by:

1. Serving and respecting all people regardless of their gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or physical and mental capability.

2. Acknowledging the freedom of people of all faiths or none both to hold and to express their beliefs and convictions respectfully and freely, within the limits of the UK law.

3. Never imposing our Christian faith or belief on others.

4. Developing partnerships with other churches, voluntary groups, statutory agencies and local government wherever appropriate in order to create an effective, integrated service for our clients avoiding unnecessary duplication of resources.

5. Providing and publicising regular consultation and reporting forums to client groups and the wider community regarding the effective development and delivery of our work and our responsiveness to their actual needs."
(emph added)

That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Thanks. And good luck! Smile

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
25-05-2010 09:12 PM

Chris, you haven't mentioned your garage next to Dalmain School- where I had several of my cars serviced for many years!

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