The Background: Over the past four years a pioneer curate, serving as a Community Minister, has worked with a group of local residents to develop a community centre in the middle of Sedbury called ‘Sedbury Space’ (See www.sedburyspace.org.uk for full story) with the aim of enhancing community cohesion and individual wellbeing through volunteering and participation. Such activities as a Memory Café for those with dementia and their carers, a One-Stop Café offering support and advice and a learning support club for primary aged children have been established.
The curacy for the Community Minister is coming to an end and it's time to pass the baton on to others to continue the valuable work. A Centre Manager, Susan Riordan, was appointed last year who has already successfully taken on the day-to-day management of the centre; and Lee Durbin, a teacher at Wyedean School, has stepped up to become Chair of Trustees, a valuable role that keeps sight of the big picture with the vision and values and holds the team together. The next phase is to appoint someone who will be able to develop the spiritual oversight of the centre and serve as a community chaplain.
In addition, Tidenham Parish Church has been thinking more widely about its mission and outreach to the whole parish and has identified a whole area of need in terms of well-being, especially in terms of post COVID recovery following the pandemic. They are keen to promote human flourishing through the four interconnected yet distinct areas of wellbeing – social, physical, psychological and spiritual.
Alongside this, one of the church buildings was recently re-modelled with the pews removed, underfloor heating installed and a new servery designed. The vision is to use this wonderful new open space as a resource hub to promote well-being in various ways and enable it to live up to its patron name, St Luke. This fantastic resource will serve the parish and wider deanery of Forest South.
The Post: Tidenham PCC would like to combine these three strands into one role and appoint a part-time Wellbeing Chaplain who will seek to promote and minister to individual and community wellbeing, physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally and, also, spiritually, addressing post COVID recovery.
Funding: Sedbury Space has already committed £3000 to this project demonstrating their support. We will be seeking significant funding from grants but it is good to demonstrate support from local stakeholders and private individuals to encourage investment from charitable trusts. So we would also like to invite you to contribute to the first year's costs of the community Wellbeing Chaplain and help us raise £7,000 through this crowdfunding campaign.
This is part of a larger Wellbeing Project in the church to address issues of post COVID recovery, including ministry to children, youth and families and if we don’t raise sufficient funds to employ the Wellbeing Chaplain the monies will be used for this wider project.
Thanks to Barnwood Trust for allowing us to use some of their film footage and to Ethan Richards as camera man!