Deanery Synod 16th Oct 2014

A Brief Update from the Deanery Synod held at Yealmpton on 16th October 2014

I was elected Deanery Synod representative for Cornwood at our last Parish AGM.  Due to unforeseen circumstance this was the first meeting I had been able to attend, so it was all completely new to me.  It was unfortunate there was a low attendance on the night, which was a great pity as the invited speaker had come from the Ivybridge Foodbank.  The meeting opened with refreshments and a welcome from Freddy, our Rural Dean.  Freddy chaired the meetings, allowing the Lay Chair Jayne, to take the minutes in the absence of a secretary.


Jutta Berger has been with the Plymouth Foodbank for 6 years, but now volunteers with the Ivybridge Foodbank which has been in existence for 2 years.  It is a member of the Trussell Trust which oversees the majority of Foodbanks across the country.  The Ivybridge Foodbank is currently administered by 4 people, one of whom is Jutta.  They have been given free storage to keep the donated foods and are able to run it from the local Methodist Church. It opens on a Wednesday from 1pm – 3pm each week.  However, the Foodbank has to meet the basic cost of insurance and a £60 membership fee to the Trussell Trust.

There are very strict means of access to the Foodbank. To receive a food parcel you must be in crisis.  You have to obtain a voucher – these are held by the police station, doctor’s surgery and the local children’s centre.  85% of visits to the Ivybridge Foodbank are from families.  Food parcels are available for single people, couples and families.   The Trussell Trust provide a list of basic foods that must be included in a single person’s food parcel, these quantities multiplied for couples and families.  If there is not stock available, the local Foodbank has to go out and purchase what is needed.  Toiletries are not included.  Giving food is sometimes not the only help that is required, what do you do with the food?  The Foodbank therefore supplies a meals list, to help the recipient put their meals together.  People often donate packets of pasta which is very good, but it would be very helpful if a jar of sauce was also included.  There is a limit of 3 parcels, but if the crisis extends beyond this, there are other arrangements that can be made.

In addition to giving out food parcels, members of the Foodbank also signpost people to other groups and agencies, who may be able to help the people in their crisis.  Members are also there to listen, to take time with the people who come along.

The Ivybridge Foodbank covers a large area including Bittaford, Ugborough, Ermington, Brixton, Sparkwell and also Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo.  Food parcels are usually collected but in some instances they can be delivered.

Supermarkets have been very helpful.  Tesco run nationwide collections twice a year.  A change of manager at Lee Mill Tesco has increased their involvement, and Sainsburys in Plymouth offer excellent support.  Aldi also offer support but at this time do not have collection boxes in their stores.

Jutta displayed the varied contents of a ‘single person’ food parcel and we had the opportunity to buy bags supporting the charity.


The Synod treasurer gave a brief update of the financial situation.

We were reminded of and invited to the licensing of Rev. Martin Kirkbride at Wembury on 10th November at 7.30pm.  This will not be a communion service.  Martin is coming from Coventry but was baptised in Wembury church!

There will be 2 lay members elected to the Diocesan Synod next year, which meets twice yearly.

The meeting dates for next year will be : -   Tuesday17th March, Wednesday 17th June and Thursday 15th October – venues to be confirmed.  It is planned for the Diocesan Consultant for Liturgy and Music, Andrew Maries to be the guest speaker in March.  I would like to think some of our choir members might be interested in coming along to that particular meeting, guests are permitted!

During the time from Advent to Easter 2015 there will be a ‘period of discernment’.  At Easter 2015, we will begin a ‘year of renewal’ and the our mission group will be producing a ‘daily office’.

We were reminded that ‘there is Church because there is Mission’  Freddy and Chris Osborne have already begun meetings to work on our ‘Mission Community’.  Mission = movement from God.  A message from the Diocesan Synod reminded us that ‘God speaks in local dialects!’

Wendy Harvey – Deanery Synod (Cornwood)

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