Issue Number 31 Date: Sept 08
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Well Dear Reader the observant amongst you will be saying - "what happened to the August Newsletter". And you
would be right - there wasn't one ! But OH it was the summer and, (as you could imagine) - we were holidaying,
water skiing, walking the gentle hills of this green and pleasant land, making sand castles, fish and chips on the
prom and full English breakfasts in starchy B&Bs. Some of us were exposing our bronzed body to the suns rays
reading trashy paperbacks and drinking cools cocktails in glorious summer sun. And if you thought that was true
Dear Reader you would be very wrong. Where was that sun this year ! A tent in the North Walesh rain would be
more like it for me.
No - there was no sun for us this year - no late night barbeques and a little bit too much white wine. It was work
as usual. Let me tell you what I have been doing.
Many of you will know that a small group of us are developing a Community Organising project in MK. It will be
called citizens:mk and will be modelled on a similar and very successful project in East, West and South London -
see www.londoncitizens.org.uk. One day I will explain how this project will work. But at the moment we need to
raise £200,000 to pay for a professional organiser over three years. We have managed to raise £71,000 but we are
finding that other grant making trusts want to us to show why this project is needed.
So this last August three of us have been busy developing a Research Project. The plan is to appoint a Researcher
in November 08 who will spend 40 days in the following four months working on our research project. It will be
called the LISTENING RESEARCH PROJECT and we hope to distribute questionnaires and our Researcher will
conduct 25 face to face interviews and 10 focus groups.
All of the local councils statistics show that people in the urban areas of Milton Keynes are more likely not to vote in
local elections and not be involved in democratic and civic processes and decision making. This is particularly true
for people living in the most deprived areas of Milton Keynes. Our research will explore why people do not engage
in civic and democratic processes and decision making and to identify what are the blockages to participation.
We will then use this research not only to support our applications for more money but also shape the future work
So August has been a real rush to write 3 funding bids for a total of £18,000 and develop a Project Plan and
Researcher's Contract. The funding bids are now in - we just will have to wait and see.
Many of us now have broadband internet, some of us do shopping on-line others will book theatre and airline
tickets on-line and recently I have been rather addicted to buying pieces of art from e-bay. You may have
watched a TV programme on-line and we will have heard about social networking sites and blogs etc. Well I have
been spending August trying to catch up on all this internet business to see how we might be able to use it for our
work in the church.
In the next month or so - Dear Reader, (and I hope you will not be displeased about this) - you will receive an
invitation to join a website where you may look at photos, read and contribute to blogs, leave messages, catch up
with everything that is new and 'happening' with Mission Partnership and the MK Development Chaplain. There are
already really interesting websites for the MK Deanery, and some Deanery projects - all of this stuff, (hopefully) will
be linked so there will be an impressive network of interactive web-presences for all our work. Do watch out for
Here again is a copy of the MK Christian Environment Group newsletter from David Miller - (Chair of the Christian
Environment Group). Please note - there is a poster attached to the email for your church.
Climate Change - Truth or Swindle?
Climate changes but why? Is it down to humans or part of the natural cycle? What's the truth? How can we
know? What does a Christian worldview have to say about it? Who is swindling who? And what can we do?
These are the themes which will be covered by our speaker, the Reverend David Gregory, uniquely qualified to
talk about this subject with his meteorological knowledge gained over several years, prior to becoming a minister.
Time and place: Loughton Baptist Church on Thursday 25th September at 7.30pm.
Transport: A Journey to a Fairer Future
It is now time to book your place for this conference on November 22nd at Christ the Cornerstone. You can find
out all about the conference from the booking form which are attached to this email. We will allocate tickets on a
first-come-first-served basis and as places are limited, and as the price goes up next month, do make sure you
book your place straightaway.
The event will have been advertised in some of our local church magazines this month and features in the Religion
section of mkweb. The Mission Partnership mailing will also include publicity for the event, but if your church
doesn’t display anything promoting it, than please do let me know and I will send you a poster.
Could You Offer B&B for 1 Night ?
I mentioned this in my newsletter last month - and we have had two people volunteer accommodation ! Those
organising the Christian Environment Conference on the 22nd November would like to offer participants a limited
number of free overnight accommodation. There will be some folks coming from afar and while most will not want
to stay overnight some folks might like over night accommodation. We will be sending participants lists of local
B&B and hotels and most will use these but there might be a few would like to stay with some local Christians.
Could you offer 1 person an evening meal, a bed and a breakfast the next morning ? This could be either on Friday
evening 21st - 22nd or Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd. We are seeking 8 B&B places - could you do this ? You will
get to meet a Christians from another part of the UK.
Amber Links is an independent site, providing links to useful websites to encourage more effective personal
responses to climate change. It encourages action, sustainable lifestyles, informed choices and the sharing of useful
information. It’s far from complete!
There is a Faith Focus area which provides links to bible studies, prayers, church service ideas, etc. and also a
section called Church Policy on Climate Change which provides links to the environmental policy statements of the
Church of England, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and the United Reformed Church.
I don't know if you have had a look around the various building sites in MK - but if you have you will notice that
there is not much activity - or if there is - it is rather patchy. The credit crunch has really hit the building industry
and as we know - a goodly number within the industry have lost their jobs. So there is not much building around
MK and my counterpart in Northampton tells me it has almost ground to a halt in his county.
So I have a big question that I share with you Dear Reader and you might be able to supply an answer - or feed in
your own question.
When we were building at full capacity (not sure we ever did - but that's beside the point), we at least knew that
30% of the housing was social housing and that building was good because there was an acute housing shortage.
So my worry now is what is happening to the housing shortage - and more importantly for me - what about all this
social housing which will not be available in the next couple of years or so ? It means people who cannot afford to
buy a house (the numbers of which must be increasing) - just will not be able to have a 'shared ownership' or 'key
worker' or 'social rented' house. So before I shed tears for the building industry who have had it rather good in the
last 10 years I am more concerned about families stuck in expensive rented accommodation, or who are sharing
with family and friends or who are living in poor conditions. Forgive me because I am getting political - but the
Government must do something about the social housing crisis. The measures announced earlier this week will just
not do. Subsidising first timers buying a new house is supporting the rich building industry not the poorest in our
nation. The Government need to start buying these empty flates and homes and start putting the homeless and
poorly housed in them. (Oh I feel so much better for that…).
Here is some news from dear Clare Walton's newsletter (Development Officer for CVO).
WESTERN EXPANSION AREA (WEA)
Although just outside the Western Expansion Area the TattenhoePark primary school, Priory Rise, will open in
September. TattenhoePark is a new area being developed between Snelshall Street (V1) and Chaffron Way (H7).
It is the grid square where some of the homes have been designed with super flexible housing. This means that
one home should last the lifetime of its occupants. You may be able to move walls and ceilings to create more
space or contract it back to meet your needs. You might wish to run a business from home, or grow a family or
have other members of extended family live with you. So your house can be adaptable to accommodate people’s
changing lifestyles. The thinking is that you create strong neighbourhoods by enabling people to really commit to a
place and set down roots.
EASTERN EXPANSION AREA (EEA)
The Broughton Activity Programme is going well. There is no indoor community space so one week fell prey to the
rain. It’s astonishing that in August we found ourselves drenched wearing coats and scarves wishing for hot
chocolate. But there we are! This week we had an ice cream van dishing out a free ice cream to those folk who
came along to get involved in activities and chatting to staff about plans for the area. Interestingly by 2.30pm
there were, at a conservative estimate, about 20 people – none of whom where taking up their free ice cream as
they were all so busy with activities!
Urban Life and Faith
International Day Of Peace - Milton Keynes
In 2002 the UN General Assembly officially declared September 21st as the permanent date for the International
Day of Peace. By creating this day the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all humanity to work
in cooperation to this goal.
Charles Buckman, on behalf of the African Churches Consultative Council, wish cordially to invite you to a special
prayer and peace non -denominational service for Peace In Zimbabwe & the rest of Africa as part of the Day of
Peace Celebration globally. Various Guest Speakers and More!!
D A T E: Sunday 21st September 2008
VENUE: St Monica's Catholic School, Curriers Drive , Neath Hill, Milton Keynes MK14 6HB
TIME: 11AM - 12:NOON
A Light Refreshment will be served after the service RSVP: CHARLES J BUCKMAN 01908 606828,
This will almost certainly clash with your regular Sunday worship time. But you may be able to attend this event
after your usual worship or even (and my goodness I am going to be told off for this) - you might decide to give your
usual church a miss and attend this instead.
Interested in attending an Alpha course?
Want to find out more about it? Want to ask a friend to Alpha? Come to the AlphaMK launch event for 2008 at
Stantonbury Campus Saturday September 27th 7pm. Enjoy a meal with local band Three2Few and speaker, the
West End Actor, Jamie Hinde. Tickets available from 1st September at £5.00 each - please contact Lesley
07763316992 01908521433 email@example.com. AlphaMK c/o Kingsmead Community House, 37 Picton Street,
Kingsmead, Milton Keynes MK4 4AU
FRESH EXPRESSIONS - an important date for your diary
A small group in MK is developing some FRESH EXPRESSIONS training - it is a new Mission Partnership Project
working with others in the Anglican and Methodist church. A 'fresh expression' is a form of church for our changing
culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. A Fresh Expression
church comes into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples. It will
have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel, the marks of the Kingdom and
its cultural context. Fresh Expressions is an initiative of the Church of England and the Methodist Church. It has
been going since September 2004. It aims to help Christians of any denomination think about ways of starting and
growing fresh expressions of church in their area.
The Mission Partnership Project Group hope to co-ordinate 3 sorts of training opportunity.
A Vision Day - This is an introduction to Fresh Expression for people who would like to know more and
explore the F.Ex concept. This will happen on Saturday 15th Nov. 2008. Please make a note of this -
more details later.
Mission Shaped Introduction - this is a six week course for people who are engaged in a Fresh Expression
project. We hope to run two of these courses next year. This six week course leads to the final course
Mission Shaped Ministry - this is a year long course where participants reflect upon and develop the Fresh
Expression project they already run.
ALTERnativity is a small, church-based, organisation offering resources to help us re-think Christmas: getting away
from all the consumer pressure, recognising it is a difficult time for many, encouraging us to celebrate more
sustainability both for ourselves and the environment. There's stuff for groups, congregations and individuals ...
check out the website: http://www.alternativity.org.uk There are connections to the Christian story for each
session, but it's up to the facilitator whether and how to use them
There is a pack "Christmas - Celebration or Survival?" written by women for women, especially those in priority
Mindy Bell says : I did look at the material at Greenbelt and thought it was great….I bought a copy of their material
in order to lead the study. If anyone you know would like to check out the material in person please feel free to
put them in touch with me and we can make arrangements for them to see mine. My only problem after looking it
over is that I don't know which, if any, groups in any of my churches would be interested. I am thinking it would
take the formation of a one-off special group of mums with families (as I am not sure the retired crowd is who the
material is aimed for). If you have any, any suggestions are welcome. Blessings, Mindy firstname.lastname@example.org
The Launch Of The Milton Keynes Tamil Form
I don't think it is my place to invite you to this event because there are limited number who can attend. But what
a wonderful event it will be. Sadly I am unable to attend due to a prior engagement so I am rather saddened
about all the wonderful food I will miss. Anyway - I thought you ought to know about this event and organisation
as it is an important and rich part of our city. One of the main organisers is Samuel Muthuveloe. If you would like
to gate-crash do contact email@example.com beforehand. Saturday 20TH September 2008
6.30PM TO 8.30PM Chrysalis Theatre Camphill Community, Japonica Lane, Willen Park South MK15 9JY.
Power Point Presentations, Scintillating Dances, Melodious Music, Challenging Photo Exhibition followed by mouth
And So To End
One quite controversial building project was the ExtraCare Retirement Village at Lovatt Fields. It has been open for
over a year now and some local Christians have established themselves in new homes in the village. Last Sunday
my parents came down to attend the World Picnic which was rained off. So I took them to Lovatt Fields for lunch.
It was SUPERB. Booking is really essential (but we didn't). I had a really lovely pint of beer in the bar before hand.
A very comfortable relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Then lunch in their lovely restaurant. The food was basic
but adequate but real cotton napkins and pleasant waiter/waitress service goes an awful long way. The home
made egg custard pudding went down very well as well. All this for us just over £6, I'll be going again.
MK Development Chaplain. Foundation House, The Square, Wolverton. MK12 5HX. 01908 525085 07958182077