Author Archives: Alan Yates

Broad Chalke URC: a community church

Last week I visited, what is technically, one of our smaller congregations, with fewer than 10

Broad Chalke URC

members.  What I found, when I arrived, was far removed from what one might expect of a very small church.  The congregation has been on a journey which started more than a decade ago when the pews were removed, under floor heating added and carpet installed.  This bright and welcoming space was further transformed a few years ago to become a vibrant hub for the small community of Broad Chalke (population about 700).

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CTE Presidents and National Church Leaders Annual Dinner

Lambeth Palace

It was a pleasure to attend the Churches Together in England Presidents and National Church Leaders Annual Dinner last week in Lambeth Palace.  The focus of the conversations was the report by the think tank Theos entitled ‘That they all may be one: Insights into English ecumenism’.  This report provides a snapshot of contemporary ecumenism in England. It tells the story of how ecumenism has changed and describes a movement that is now sitting at a critical juncture as it looks to the future.  You can access the report on the Theos website: Continue reading

Thoughts from the Conservative Party Conference

From front left: Helen Cameron – Salvation Army, Dominic Grieve MP, Alan Yates, Dianne Tidball – Baptist Union, Loraine Mellor – Methodists and Jane Dawson – Quakers.

I recently spent a couple of days at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.  On the first day, I went to a fringe event hosted by the Salvation Army dealing with care for the elderly.  The Salvation Army run a number of care homes across the country.  They are relatively unique in providing top-up funding when that is needed.  One of the main points they were making was that the gap between local government funding and the actual care costs is significant, even for those care homes with modest costs.  There is a significant number of people requiring care who simply don’t have the resources (or relatives) to pay for the top-ups … and with decreasing home ownership this is only going to get worse.  One of the Salvation Army care home managers provided us with some insights to the issues, including the sense of loss, facing both the resident and their family. Continue reading