Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
Churches Together in Harborough Forum
7.30pm Thursday 22 May 2008 - Methodist Church
The chair, Steve Pointer welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Worship and Prayer
The worship and prayer was led by Steve Pointer
3. Credit Union Progress Report
Speaker – George Puszczynski, General Manager, Clockwise Credit Union
The original Credit Union had been the inspiration of Churches Together.
Government research indicated that people who had £300 in savings had access
to finances and would not be prayed upon by loan sharks and door step lenders.
The object of the Credit Union was to break the link to these, often going back
generations in a family. They give small value loans and encourage people to
save £3 - £5 per week for unexpected bills and improve their personal situation.
The challenge was to get to people who need the service.
The Credit Union also offer a Mini Cash ISA at commercial rates and savings
accounts. Paul asked that everyone spread the word about the Credit Union both
for lending and saving. He also asked for volunteers to help as it is owned and
run by members and is dependent on volunteers. The commitment was 2 hours
per month during the daytime. Currently this was at the CAB offices in
Harborough on a Friday between 10.00 and 12.00 but they were looking for
Anyone wanting any further information should contact Donald.
4. Minutes of the AGM held on the 24 May 2007
Approval of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting was proposed by Philip
Danks and seconded by John Farnsworth.
5. Matters arising not otherwise on the agenda
Donald and Doreen Clinton Smith had been awarded a Citizenship Cup in
recognition of their Christian work in the town for many, many years. The Forum
heartily congratulated them for a very well deserved award.
Apologies were received from Owen O’Neill, Lindy Kendall, Jo Shrigley, Suzanne
Knockles, Nick Cook and John Pearse.
Nick’s wife is in hospital and everyone was asked to include her in their prayers.
7. Questions on the Circulated Reports:
Steve reported that it had been a privilege to chair Churches Together
during the past year. Collaborative work between Christians in the Market
Harborough area has become the norm and is continuing to grow.
In September the harvest was celebrated with an outdoor Thanksgiving
Service in St Mary’s Place and the Forum had a presentation from the Rev
Nick Cook on a profile of Harborough drawn from published statistics. A
website had been created via the Harborough On Line Community
webpages. Sue Otter had reported on the impact of international migration
nationally and locally.
Steve was pleased to have been able to create a Churches Together choir
to rehearse and present Psalms Alive on 3 November and 25 January.
The Christmas period saw Churches opening their doors and porches for
Christmas shopping night and we helped to facilitate venues for Sing
Christmas together. In January the Forum considered initiatives for Hope
08 and we held our annual joint service for the Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity. In March the Forum heard about the problem of Homelessness
following a consultation run by the District Council on a new strategy to deal
with this issue and will be represented in future in response to this issue.
The Good Friday service was again very special and was said to be one of
the best held. Steve said he was thrilled how it all happens so smoothly
with the involvement of so many who simply turn up and share on the day –
truly a mark of CTH working well together under God.
Steve represents CTH at the Annual Civic Service, the Bower House
Governing Body and on the Harborough Citizenship Cup Panel.
He ended his report by saying he was looking forward to our developing
work and the blessings God will give in 2008/09.
Pauline presented her written report. The bank accounts show a surplus of
£569.19 in the current account and £2488.87 in the business premium
account. There was £1867.61 in unallocated budget for 2008/2009.
It was agreed that in future the Good Friday money for Christian Aid would
go directly into the Churches Together Christian Aid account. Proposed by
Sylvia Saunders, seconded by June Sperry.
The adverts for the Harborough Mail can be changed once a year. The
deadline for amendments is 16 June either to Pauline or the new Treasurer,
Pauline was retiring as Treasurer and the Forum welcomed the new
Treasurer Jenny Porthouse. Steve thanked Pauline on behalf of the Forum
for her dedication and commitment over the past 8 years.
c) Christian Aid
There was no report from the Christian Aid representatives.
d) Bower House
A report was circulated and it was confirmed that currently Bower House
was meeting its costs on a monthly basis.
e) Action for Justice and Peace
After discussion Donald Clinton-Smith was asked to recommend to the
Justice and Peace group that the One World Week service be held mid-
week. There would be other activities throughout the week of 19-26
October. The Christmas Peace Vigil would be held a week later this year.
f) Hope 2008
Steve updated the meeting on the schedule of initiatives which had been
included in the minutes of the Forum dated 13 March 2008.
A cheque had been raised to pay for a sign for the flower bed in
Had anyone taken forward the Prayer Points? No date had been
fixed but it was hoped it would be during June
There was no update from the Community Team
A Holiday at Home Week was being organised by the Methodist
Church for the 1-5 September probably mornings only except for
one day when there would be a visit to the Zoo. There would be all
kinds of activities for those unable to get away. A second planning
meeting was scheduled for 10 am on 4 June at the Methodist
Church. It was hoped that the Harborough Mail would help with
Back to Church Sunday, 28 September: This was a Church of
England initiative but other churches had been involved. We were
encouraged to invite back to church those who hadn’t been for a
The Christmas meal still had to be organised.
Street Pastors would be added.
a) Chairman: Steve Pointer, proposed by Brian Kennard, seconded by
b) Vice Chair: Nick Cook, proposed by Donald Clinton Smith and
seconded by Sylvia Saunders
c) Secretary: Carole Baldam, proposed by John Farnsworth and seconded
by June Sperry
d) Treasurer: Jenny Porthouse, proposed by Pauline Cameron,
seconded by Maureen Douglas
e) Publicity Officer: Vacancy – although Jeff Bonsor promised to consider
f) Auditor: approval of R L Perkins, proposed by Pauline Cameron
seconded by Sylvia Saunders
g) Christian Aid representatives: Carolyn Windsor and Elizabeth MacLean.
The appointment of Elizabeth MacLean as Treasurer for “Churches in
Harborough Christian Aid” was confirmed.
h) Bower House representatives: Stephen is part of the Governing Body
on behalf of CTH, other reps would be Wendy Osborne and Christine
Reed, proposed by Maureen Douglas and seconded by Erica Hall.
9. Budget plans for 2008-2009
It was agreed that Richard Brand should explore the need for Public Liability
Insurance and report back to the next meeting.
Ideas put forward included:
Outside Harvest Festival Thanksgiving service
Something at Pentecost, possibly in the park
Participation in the Carnival parade
Outdoors praise and worship service
Something around publicity for Back to Church Sunday
10. Subscription Rates:
It was proposed by John Farnsworth, seconded by Barry Osborne and agreed by
all to leave the subscription rates at the same level i.e.
Over 50 members £100
Less than 50 members £50
11. Confirmation of Church Representatives (& Gt Bowden)
Member churches are represented by their church leader(s) and in addition for
up to 50 members, 3 lay representatives
up to 100 members, 5 lay representatives
and thereafter for every 50 members 1 additional representative
Each associate member shall be represented by two members, who may attend
meetings of the Forum and contribute to the discussion, but shall not be entitled
There may be not more than six co-opted individual members.
12. Street Pastors (Rev Jonnie Parkin) and Youth Work
Jonnie Parkin outlined his work as a Street Pastor and his hopes of the scheme
being implemented in Market Harborough. He works alongside young people, not
to preach or increase church membership but to listen and draw alongside,
showing that someone does care and is willing to listen to their concerns. He
asked that we support the Street Pastors in their work and encourage people to
train with them, pray for them and consider financial support. Volunteers are
needed for the scheme in Market Harborough. The criteria for Street Pastors are
that you have to be a member of a church and over 18 years of age. There is a
12 week training programme and they go out in pairs with the support of the
Donald Clinton Smith and Sue Courthold encouraged CTH to give its full support.
Lorna gave her report on the Cube. She still needs volunteers if it is to remain
open after her contract ends in 8 weeks time. 3 volunteers have come forward
after an article appeared in the ‘Harborough Mail’ but another 3 were still needed.
She will write a summary paragraph to be circulated in Church magazines.
The proposal from the South Leicester College for the old Kwik Save Site was
discussed. It was agreed that CHT would be involved and supportive.
13. Possible speaker topics for Forum meetings
a) Street Pastors
b) Dealing with the Media
c) Eco Town
d) Mission Aviation Fellowship – giving a World wide perspective.
e) Domestic Abuse Forum
f) Churches Together in Leicestershire
g) Gartree Prison
14. Diary Dates
Thursday, 11 September Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church Hall.
Saturday, 20 September Harvest Festival, St. Mary’s Place
Saturday, 27 September Justice & Peace Group Peace Vigil
Thursday, 23 October One World Week Service
Monday, 10 November Forum
Saturday, 29 November New Songs Workshop, Methodist Church
Friday, 5 December Late Night Shopping
Week after Christmas Peace Vigil
Thursday, 15 January Forum
? Prayer and Share
Monday, 9 March Forum
Friday, 10 April Good Friday Outdoor
Christian Aid Sunday
Thursday, 21 May AGM
15. Appreciations and thanks
Thanks were given to Jonnie Parkin for a different, powerful and wonderful
Prayer and Share event.
Richard Brand thanked Steve for his chairmanship during the year and a vote of
thanks was given to Pauline who had served Churches Together Treasurer for 8