Mission & Outreach Supported by The Mint
ADOPT-A-GRANNY PROGRAMME (The Mint’s 2017/18 Charity)
The Adopt- a- Granny programme of the Lavington United Church Kenya, social services department, has been a life line for 80 elderly persons living in some of the poorest areas of Nairobi, where waterborne diseases, malnutrition, high crime rates and the effects of HIV/AIDS are prevalent. The chances of survival for an elderly person in such an environment are very slim, especially when they cannot work for a living, have no pension, are ailing from age related health problems and are burdened with families left behind by their children who have died from AIDS. Such a desperate situation is what motivated the church to step in to give these elderly people a chance to have their basic needs met as well as facilitate an opportunity to fellowship with one another at least once a week for two to three hours.
The church provides a free lunch when they meet to ensure that the grannies are well fed before they disperse to their respective areas of residence. So as to sustain themselves and their families over the week, each Granny is given a portion of maize flour (a staple carbohydrate in Kenya) to take home. For those who are able, training is provided on livelihood skills, particularly soap making and basket weaving. This helps them have a means of sustenance for them and their families.
2016-17 Refugee Support Group Devon
17 families have now been brought from Syria and resettled in Devon. (74 promised, 8 in Exeter). This has depended on houses being offered for their accommodation by councils and by individuals. Support work staff have been taken on to help the families settle and to make links with others in their neighbourhoods and with schools, health and benefits etc. Our financial donations are much appreciated as this is a small charitable organisation. There are a good number of volunteers, but few paid workers.
More details can be found on their website: http://refugeesupportdevon.org.uk/
The World Church service in June will centre on the work of the church in Kenya and will focus on our special project this year at the Lavington Church, Nairobi. Our World Church (self-denial) collection in January raised £340.50. The Circuit Easter Offering Service will be held on Sunday April 29 at Littlemead, Exmouth. More details of the work of the Methodist World Church can be found on:-http://methodist.org.uk/mission/world-church
All We Can (Methodist Relief & Development)
Our harvest giving last September supported the work of ‘All We Can’. For details of the work of ‘All We Can’, see:- http://www.allwecan.org.uk/
Mission in Britain
Mission in Britain Sunday will be on April 15 which will focus on local initiatives at The Mint and the City Centre
MIB website:- http://methodist.org.uk/mission/mission-in-britain
MHA is a charity providing care, accommodation and support services for more than 17,000 older people throughout Britain. Website:- http://www.mha.org.uk/
Action For Children
The total raised over the Christmas Appeal amounted to £907.56 -an excellent figure. This was comprised of monies raised from the Christmas card board, carol singing (Homecourt & Mint Forecourt) and the Christmas Day service collection. More details of the work of Action For Children can be found on https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/
The total collected for the whole of Exeter last year was over £12000.
Christian Aid Week this year will be 6-13 May. We will once again have a bring and buy book stall. The morning service on Sunday 13 May will focus on the work of Christian Aid.
CA Webiste can be found at:- http://www.christianaid.org.uk/
The Traidcraft stall has continued to be very successful with a regular monthly stall and special sales for Christmas and Easter.The website for Traidcraft is:- http://www.traidcraft.co.uk/
Foodbank continues to use our premises on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week. Details of their service can be found on https://exeter.foodbank.org.uk/
St Petrock’s provides advice and support services for the homeless throughout the year. The donations for St Petrock’s are much appreciated and they frequently send their thanks. The number of individuals in need of their emergency, advice and referral services in the centre has increased over the last year and they now see between 55 and 65 people a day. In addition to extending their opening hours to provide a popular ‘early bird’ service for rough sleepers, they have introduced a new range of drop-in mental health and specialist welfare advice sessions on-site, to enable the clients to access vital support, unavailable to them elsewhere.
The towels and toothpaste etc which are donated to Gabriel are used particularly in the basement during the cold months. This is set out to receive people whom the Outreach workers bring in from the streets. They can have a shower and get themselves cleaned up and so be able to have a better rest. Unfortunately, they cannot stay there during the day as it is used by the residents then. This is when many then go to St Petrocks for breakfast. When groups at the Mint have food provided by outside caterers the surplus is sent to Gabriel House.
Staff very much appreciate the toiletries regularly supplied from the Mint. These are used as ‘welcome’ packs for new women coming into the supported housing and also as prizes for reward and encouragement towards independent living. Viv Asher has retired but is going to volunteer with them so will still continue to be our link. More details can be found on:- https://www.westwardhousing.org.uk/bethany-house/
Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI)
The Mint and other central churches support financially the work of ECI, set up to provide for unmet needs in the local community.
- Housing and mentoring – working with St Petrock’s and other charities to respond to homelessness and build on the work of Transitions.
- Families – supporting vulnerable families through Devon Family Resource.
- Urban Skills Centre – Jelly and the Bike Bank are innovative skills projects
- People & Communities – building on Ripple Effect and The Listening Project to support social action
Further details Of ECI can be found on their website:- http://www.eci.org.uk/
Christians Together Across Exeter (CTAX)
CTAX organizes the Cathedral service and ‘Walk of Witness’ on Good Friday which is well supported. More details of the work of CTAX can be found on http://www.ctax.btck.co.uk/
City Centre Chaplaincy
There are now a dozen chaplains visiting the shops in Exeter’s city centre. Interaction deepens and supportive listening is now accepted by a growing number of retail assistants, especially in stressful situations. See their website for more details of ECCC http://www.exeterccc.btck.co.uk/
Interfaith & Belief Group
This small group of between 15 & 25 meet once a month. They have a number of faithful Christians from various denominations but only 4 or 5 representatives of other Faiths and Beliefs. They would really like more non-Christians to join them. They belong to the Devon Interfaith and Belief Group and also the National one. They have some very interesting talks and discussions.
See website for details of events. http://devonfaiths.org.uk/groups/exeter-interfaith-belief-group/
A team attend the Sunday Service at the RD&E Hospital once every 2 months. The service is broadcast on Hospital Radio. Numbers attending the service vary a great deal but it is valued greatly by those who are able to attend while in hospital.
Mint Church Centre
Last September we appointed a Church Centre Facilitator (Chris Ware) to help strengthen links between the Mint Users and the church and develop our outreach to the local community. Chris is largely based in the reception area and provides a warm welcome and support to all who come on to the premises. Bookings and other admin task are now handled separately by our bookings secretary.
Mini Mints and Church Mice
These activities for the very young have been running since September (Mum’s & Toddlers and a mini worship time). They have been well attended.
This has now ceased to meet but alternative ventures are being explored.
For other groups/activities at the centre please see Church Life tab