Chairman’s report of the key issues discussed at the Mission Forum on 11th January 2015

The key areas of discussion are detailed below and anyone wishing to comment or give their views are welcome to provide these to the chairman, Adrian Horwood.   A detailed action log is being maintained to follow through for completion of these points.

It was good to welcome and include in the discussions both Kathryn Blowers and Roman from the Roma/Slovak group. Roman has been employed to look after the Roma community in Chatham. His costs are covered from the budget allocated to this project and he will be relocating to this area in the near future.

CO Review

The COs were invited to present their view on where the Corps currently is, what the main issues are and how they see the Corps progressing in future months. A very helpful and challenging discussion ensued, with ideas being put forward, concerns being expressed and discussion on many aspects of Corps life. Items covered included:

  • The current Sunday programme, themes and ideas
  • The changing nature of the weekday programme
  • Reviewing the way we consider and measure progress and the health of the Corps
  • Balancing the many activities while also generating adequate income to cover the costs of maintaining the buildings
  • Incorporating and integrating all those who use the buildings, including the Roma/Slovak communities

Mission Development plan (MDP)

Every Corps is expected to have such a plan and while little progress has been made since the initial discussion at the last MF meting, all leaders agreed they would consider what their groups want to achieve, how this will be done and how progress will be measured

Corps finances

A Corps budget is submitted at this time each year and following on from the last MF when this and the impact of the agreed mortgage for the new build was discussed, the detail was presented to and debated by members.

The mortgage has still not been drawn down (this is in the hands of DHQ/THQ) although the amount has been agreed. The forecast for this year, based on current levels of income and incorporating the costs of the enlarged suite of buildings, is for a small shortfall and it was agreed this is not sustainable for future years and needs to be addressed. Considerable work is currently going into reviewing expenditure and meetings are taking place to renew the Give to Grow programme to consider giving by our community.

Property cleaning and maintenance

This role is being taken forward, requiring as it does, DHQ agreement and the need to find the right person with the skills to fulfil the role.

Corps minibus

After the review requested at the last meeting, it was agreed the costs of retaining the minibus are not sustainable so it is being sold and a budget amount will be allocated to cover hire costs when necessary.

Group reports

Reports were again submitted by each group and details can be provided to anyone interested on request. These show the various plans in place and being planned for the future including – the theme of Boundless, The Big Collection, Christmas 2015, Godly play, the drop in service, Employment Plus, Discipleship courses, High Street ministry and concerns about levels of attendance and the need to care for all people linked with the Corps.