Church Link News: April 2014
Welcome to the April edition of the Church Link News. This is written as an accompaniment to our General Network News. This is our opportunity to share our Christian thoughts and values, whilst celebrating the work of our staff and volunteers. We are lucky to be working with an eager group of Chaplains and supporters who will be contributing to upcoming editions. If you have something that you would like to contribute to a future edition please get in touch. Thank you!
Alabaré's Senior Chaplain
Daniel's Philippines's Mission
Daniel, lives at Andrew House and has recently returned from a mission in the Philippines, where he joined a group of people from Living Waters Church in Clevedon. Together, they undertook the renovation of a church in Lloilo City.
Daniel described his time away as "amazing" and thanked the locals in Clevedon for their generous donations. Daniel raised the money to take part by holding a coffee morning at Andrew House. Since his return home, he has spoken to Church groups about the work done in the Philippines.
Meet Our Volunteer Chaplain
Adrian Sutton volunteers as a chaplain at the Plymouth Home for Veterans. He has kindly shared some of his time and written to us about his life as a Christian and his experience of chaplaincy at Alabaré;
"I grew up in a Christian family and became a member of the (Methodist) Church in 1965, in Fulham, at the age of 15, and my journey with Jesus has been life-long. I have been a member of Mutley Baptist Church in Plymouth since 1984 and involved in the Plymouth City Soup Run since about 1992. My involvement in church-based activities was greatly blessed and multiplied by (slightly) early retirement from teaching in 2006. I was involved in the setting up of Street Pastors in Plymouth and occasionally act as ‘locum’ for our co-ordinator when he needs a break. The inter-denominational networking that grew out of the Street Pastors training greatly enriched the work of the Soup Run and I am currently secretary of the Plymouth Soup Run Development Group. Connected to this work has also been the creation of a cafe for the homeless and vulnerable at Mutley Baptist Church.
Another strand in my life has been 20 years in the Territorial Army, including a short service commission in the Regular Army, in Germany, where I was particularly blessed to meet Joy: we have been married for nearly 40 years and have three, now very grown up and supportive, children. Having enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a military unit myself it is unsurprising that I have always felt a particular bond and concern when meeting ex-servicemen on the Soup Run and at our cafe for the homeless – as well as being drawn to help with ex-servicemen Joy meets through her work with the Plymouth Foodbank. Consequently I did feel a sense of calling when I read in a Churches Together in Plymouth newsletter last year of the opportunity to serve as part of the Alabaré Chaplaincy Team, befriending and mentoring ex-servicemen at ‘Mon Abri’, the Alabaré home in Plymouth for ex-servicemen.
I am still very new to the work but have found it immensely rewarding – and have also found the links to other activities with which I am involved very useful in helping people to develop an appreciation of their own skills and the value of their experiences, engage with the wider community and contribute – which is exactly what the church as a whole is called to do! As with Street Pastors, I am not there to preach but to be a listening ear and help where I am able; however, I do pray that those I meet will learn just how much God loves them and understand His vision for their lives."
A Prayer to be Easter People
Thank you Lord,
that in your kingdom,
The poorest is welcome,
The homeless find lodging,
The outcast belong;
Fill us with your loving,
And free us Lord Jesus
To worship and serve you,
A people reborn.
Adapted from: All Year Round, 1987
Volunteering with Alabaré can provide you with the opportunity to enhance the quality of someone’s life, as well as your own, and could leads to new and lasting friendships.
We are currently recruiting for Chaplains in our Young People Services in Salisbury and Andover, and would like to establish a Chaplaincy team in Wales. Click here to contact us for more information.
Here are some April dates for your diary;
- 4th May - 3rd Sunday of Easter
- 11th May - 4th Sunday of Easter
- 18th May - 5th Sunday of Easter
- 25th May - 6th Sunday of Easter
- 29th May - Ascension Day
- 31st May - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin