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Churches Together, online

by Michael Ford last modified 13 Nov, 2020 10:08 PM

The pandemic hasn't stopped the chairs of Churches Together in Dorset from meeting up and sharing thoughts and ideas.

Churches Together, online

Photo courtesy Pixabay

In response to a survey sent out by Bishop Karen, the chair of Churches Together in Dorset, it was suggested that the chairs of the different Churches Together and ecumenical groups across the county should meet together to share stories.

A physical gathering of chairs of local Churches Together and other ecumenical groups was organised to take place on 23rd September at the Allendale Centre, Wimborne. However, due to social distancing regulations, this was changed to a Zoom Meeting.

Areas of the county represented stretched as far as Boscombe in the East, the Isle of Portland in the West and Gillingham in the North.

The main concern was naturally Covid-19, with services and events cancelled, but a rising concern was the rising levels of poverty and isolation.

But the meeting wasn't all doom and gloom, and stories were shared of the many ways in which the churches across the county have offered hope, assistance and relief to communities affected by the pandemic, very often by working together.

Many services and meetings had moved to online, but there were also phone friendship groups and support lines for those without internet operating, and churches had engaged with Council-coordinated volunteer programmes to provide shopping and medicine collection.

The meeting heard that foodbanks were in full operation with church involvement, and more had opened – for example, 2 at Wyke Regis and Littlemoor.

Churches in Swanage had linked in with the Christian charity Besom to provide support and needed items to families in need, and in Bournemouth, in between the 2 lockdowns, work had taken place to help empower rough sleepers with back-to-work skills and confidence.
The churches in the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole conurbation had engaged with Faithworks to support the Recovery course online, as well as its many other projects.

This first meeting proved so successful that it is now envisioned that these gatherings will take place a couple of times a year, whether online or in person.

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