Life Expectancy Wirral

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					  Life Expectancy Wirral
  December 2010 Newsletter

                           Dear Friends,
                           The current crisis in public spending and the Government's call for a 'Big Society' seems to
                           me to make the ministry of Life Expectancy Wirral more relevant to our national and local
                           situation than ever. We are in this for the long haul and in seeking to build relationships will
                           be able to offer real service, changing the culture around us and giving glory to God.
                           I am so glad that we have more churches pairing together across the Wirral and, as we
                           learn in this second phase of Life Expectancy Wirral, I believe God will show us how to
                           develop Christian communities in such a way that they will have real blessing to the wider
                           community. That is our calling and though the task and numbers may be great and our
                           resources seem to be few, there is a precedent that in Christ's hands loaves and fishes can
                           do far more abundantly than we could possibly ask or imagine.

                           Thank you for your continued support and prayer. With every good wish,

Four more churches take part in pairing                                           Update on pilot project:

We are very pleased to report that four churches of                             The two churches which participated in the LEW
different denominations from across the Wirral are                              pilot project in 2009 - Church of the Good
taking part in the next stage of Life Expectancy Wirral                         Shepherd, Heswall and Christ the King,
(LEW). They will begin the programme after                                      Birkenhead – have continued working together
Christmas with each pairing being led by two                                    and have developed short, medium and long
voluntary facilitators. The churches taking part are as                         term goals. They have agreed that small steps
follows:                                                                        should be taken at first to allow development of
                                                                                relationships with each other and with the local
       St. Bridgets, West Kirby                                                community around Christ the King. So far, they
       St. Oswalds, Bidston                                                    have achieved the following:
       Laird Street Baptist
       St. Mary’s, Upton                                                        Sharing their experiences at the Life
                                                                                  Expectancy Wirral Summit event
The church pairs will work through the recently                                  Increasing publicity of events at CTK by
completed and updated resource pack and at the end                                extending the leafleting drop at Christmas
of the programme will decide whether they wish to
remain together to tackle issues relating to life                                Planning and running an Attic Sale and
expectancy in their local communities.                                            Summer Fayre which attracted many
                                                                                  members of the local community and raised
                                                                                  funds for church activities. In addition the
                                                                                  Health Action Team attended the fayre, giving
                                                                                  advice and basic health checks to people they
                                                                                  would not otherwise have met.
       St. Mary’s Upton recorded all the
             .                                                                   Planning an upgrading of the CTK church
       speeches made at the Summit this year                                      kitchen to be able to provide cooking courses
       and posted them on the church website.                                     to young people to address concerns around
       There has been a fantastic response to                                     healthy eating and budgeting.
       this with an average of 158 people
       listening to each of the talks and 322                                   Group members have also attended events and
       people accessing the photograph and                                      services at each other‟s churches.
       general information page

       Chester Diocesan Board of Finance, a company limited by guarantee registered in England (no 7826) and a registered charity (no 248968)
       Registered office Church House, Lower Lane, Aldford, Chester CH3 6HP
    Life Expectancy Wirral
    December 2010 Newsletter

  New document on the Language and Nature                                    The broader strategy for LEW is to work in
  of Poverty:                                                                partnership with churches, statutory and voluntary
                                                                             organisations to reduce the gap in life expectancy on
                                                                             the Wirral and in order to do this we need to keep
 During the development of LEW, we have been                                 abreast of Government initiatives such as „Big
 challenged by the task of considering the language we                       Society‟.
 use and the attitudes we hold when thinking about
 people who are experiencing poverty.                                        The Big Society initiative focuses on Public Service
                                                                             reform, designed to empower communities to come
 Feedback from various participants who have taken                           together to address local issues. It proposes to “bring
 part in evaluations of the programme include                                about a lasting culture change to support the work of
 comments about not just referring to financial poverty,                     neighbourhood groups, charities and social
 the inappropriate use of judgment statements and the                        enterprises”. Key policies have been identified in
 use of patronising language.                                                order to achieve the above and the three main aims
                                                                             listed below are taken from „Big Society, Not Big
 In response to this feedback, we consulted with                             Government‟, a document produced by the
 Church Action on Poverty and referenced a booklet                           Conservatives.
 produced by the Media Trust, the Society of Editors
 and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for use by                               i) Strengthen and support social enterprises to help
 journalists, to create a four page document which                           deliver public service reforms
 contains information, activities and discussion points                      ii) Stimulate the creation and development of
 and is entitled „Understanding the Language and                             neighbourhood groups in every area
 Nature of Poverty‟.
                                                                             iii) Encourage mass engagement in neighbourhood
 The document would be more effective if used in a                           groups and social action projects
 group so that people can discuss the issues.                                We believe SLA may help to meet the aims of Big
                                                                             Society and fits in well with the overall aim of LEW of
 Sustainable Living Approach and the ‘Big                                    enabling Christian communities to actively respond to
 Society’:                                                                   the     issues       surrounding    the    unacceptable
                                                                             differentiation in life expectancy.
During the consultation mentioned above, we were
made aware of the „Sustainable Livelihoods                                   Communication…
Approach‟ (SLA) by Church Action on Poverty (CAP).
This is a framework to understand the assets that                            One of the next steps of LEW is to develop
people experiencing poverty have i.e. human, social,                         relationships with organisations and churches which
physical, financial and public assets – and how they                         were represented at the Summit and/or meeting with
cope. It suggests a different approach to helping people                     councillors held earlier this year. The aims of this are
overcome poverty, encouraging them to identify and                           to make certain future proposals for LEW are relevant
utilise the resources they do have at their disposal,                        and useful to local churches and their communities,
rather than focus on those they don't. SLA also                              to ensure that all activities relating to tackling poverty
explores how processes and organisations (public and                         are included in our ongoing audit and to offer the
private) operating locally and nationally impact on                          opportunity to be involved in the next Life Expectancy
households and communities. The aim is to plan and                           programme either as a participating church or as a
prioritise actions to bring about positive change in                         facilitator. If you have not already been contacted by
people‟s lives.                                                              Wendy Robertson, you may hear from her shortly.

CAP has pioneered the use of this approach in the UK                         For more information please contact:-
with Oxfam. This focus on positive, constructive skills                       Wendy Robertson (E-Mail or Tel: 07799267066)
can lead to a celebration of how people experiencing
poverty survive on so little, as opposed to common                            Janice Mason (Tel: 01244 681973 ext 235 -
assumptions of reliance on the state, etc. We are                              Church House, Lower Lane, Aldford, CH3 6HP)
looking into SLA to assess whether it is something we
should develop as part of LEW.                                                                                                             2
      Chester Diocesan Board of Finance, a company limited by guarantee registered in England (no 7826) and a registered charity (no 248968)
      Registered office Church House, Lower Lane, Aldford, Chester CH3 6HP