Thursday, 31 March 2011

Channel Islands - Jersey

Another first for John and I as we visit Jersey. We stayed with Rev Billy & Pauline Slatter who we last saw over twenty years ago when John trained as a Methodist Minister alongside Billy.
Jersey is divided for ecclesiastical and civic purposes into twelve parishes and has a resident, multi-cultural population of about 90,000. This increases in the summer months with holidaymakers.
Currently, the Circuit comprises of thirteen congregations. There are 5 full time Ministers, one part time Minister, one URC Associate Minister and a variety of churches.
Our first visit was to a Housegroup to engage in conversation over rather delicious cup cakes. We talked and prayed together discussing the specific challenges of sharing the gospel here in Jersey. It was great to hear of the Circuit being willing to reflect on their future mission and strategy together.

Retired Deaconess - Sister Ruth
Here Billy and I are with Sister Ruth Baudins at her home. It is always a treat to meet a retired deaconess and be very aware of their continued prayerful support of the Methodist Diaconal Order.

Jersey Women's Refuge
Visiting a Safe House always leaves me with mixed emotions whilst appreciating the fantastic work done, and this Project was exceptional in every way it is always incredibly sad to be aware of how many people's lives continue to be damaged through domestic violence.
The Safe House seeks to provide-
A caring and safe environment where all women suffering abuse and their children are welcome.
A place where you are encouraged to realise your strengths and take control of your life.
A relaxing positive place for you to have space away from the abuse to discuss your options.

The Refuge staff were passionate about their work and very grateful for the huge amount of support they receive from local churches including methodist churches.

Grace Trust, Jersey
All the way to Jersey to meet a man from Chester-le-Street! This is Gerry Padden, General Manager of the Grace Trust, Jersey. Established in 1999 Grace Trust is a registered Charity, embracing Christian principles and providing both practical and personal help to some of the most vulnerable and needy in the island. Every Saturday a community lunch is served for the homeless, addicted, lonely and depressed. Grocery's are distributed, furniture is supplied and regular outreach work occurs in the park where many vulnerable people regularly gather.
An inspiring project has also emerged called the Parklife Choir formed by the vulnerable men and women from the park, who meet to sing and now perform uplifting songs. It was great to discover this choir, we also have a similar Project in Newcastle called Recovery Rocks formed by men and women recovering from alcohol addiction.

Meeting Emma was good fun, she is one of the new Youth reps to Methodist Council. She is off to London soon to receive some training from Jude Levermore and will attend her first council meeting in September.

St Aubins Methodist Church Youth Club
Liz in the centre is the energy behind this Youth Club where young people meet from all over the Island to chill out together over food and games.

1 comment:

Mike Connors said...

I missed this youth club, may be next time I will be there in November, I'm a lover of drink and food but still can’t decide which pub or bars in jersey are the best ones.