BH Postcode (Wimbourne, Poole and Bournemouth) Local Group: We have met four times in 2018. In February we organised a course on GDPR led by Daryl Martin of AFVS and were delighted with 29 attendees. This was a very helpful session and has made me realise that using some of our meetings for more formal training could be a benefit to all. The other new feature for our group this year was a retreat which we held in April. We met at St Mary’s Church at Lytchett Matravers which is in a lovely peaceful location. We focussed in the morning on how Jesus retreated from the busyness of life (Matthew 14:23) and how we can hear God’s voice in the silence (1 Kings 19:11-12). During the morning, we were led by Jackie Leswell (www.hgpm.org.uk) and we also had the opportunity to express ourselves using craft materials, meditate on some Bible verses or simply spend time quietly outside with God and nature. In the afternoon some people had a walk and others remained at the church reading quietly. We all agreed that it had been a very special time and plan to make this a yearly event for our local group. Our meetings in July and October were useful times of discussing various aspects of our roles and supporting each other through fellowship & prayer. Gillian Mannouch
The Farnborough Local Group last met on 5th July hosted by St John’s, Hartley Wintney.
We had a couple of new members this time so it was good to meet them & chat. We mostly talked about the usual stuff: church management systems, hall hire, volunteer management, office function … and we also had a tour of the great facilities at St John’s – if you haven’t been there I would heartily recommend their coffee shop which has great coffee and a lovely atmosphere with plenty of comfy seating!
Our next meeting is planned for 14th November, 12.30-2.00pm, at St Mary’s, Camberley, and we’d be very pleased to welcome any other administrators who are thinking about joining a group. Chantelle Gardner
Kent Local Group: When we met in October, we tried to have more of a prayer focus, as previous meetings had been very administrative-y. The Vicar of St Peter and St Paul Tonbridge came and gave us a thought and prayer for the day, and we had a reflection to close with.
On the business front, many administrators were unsure how far we should be implementing HSE and food safety guidelines. The concerns were as much for volunteers as for visitors and members. First aid, too, was a concern, with potential liability issues. This was left rather open ended.
We plan to meet again in February, and then when warmer weather comes we're visiting a member's village church which is a heritage site and also has an outdoor labyrinth. Jane Mata
The Oxfordshire Local group last met at the beginning of October when we welcomed two new Church Administrators to our group.
We had another delicious lunch, some discussion about GDPR, and some thoughts about administration being our gift and ministry. We were encouraged to think about how our Father sees what is done in secret, and rewards us, and each member took some flowers home with them as a gift of appreciation for all that they do.
We also talked about the long-distance course from St John’s, and the huge resources available on John Truscott’s website. We’ll meet again in February in Abingdon. New members are warmly welcomed! Vicky & Karen