community news

COMMUNITY NEWS with Liz Waterson


handinhandsyriaHAND in HAND for Syria
Ladies from the Mothers Union across Devon and many Knitting Circles here in Totnes regularly knit blankets, clothes, toys and finger puppets for Hand in Hand for Syria.
refugeekidsKate Conroy collects their gifts and sends them via her husband Paul Conroy (Times journalist who escaped from capture and wounding in Syria) who sees that everything is safely delivered directly to those in need.
• further details from Liz Waterson on 01803 849345

beyondborderslogoBEYOND BORDERS Totnes and District
The Beyond Borders website is being created to enable communication between local people interested to offer and co-ordinate sustained, ambitious or low-key, local initiatives to support asylum seekers and refugees in the South West. We will develop this HUB of possibilities in co-ordination with and with advice from established Refugee services in Plymouth and Exeter.
In response to the energy surfacing among many of us who desire to contribute support to refugees and asylum seekers, we are establishing this website as a point of co-ordination of information about local initiative and a place people can sign onto with their contact details – signalling their offers of help, projects that need support and ideas for involving refugees in daily life.
beyondbordershelpWe urge you to read carefully the guidance advice about understanding asylum seekers and refugees’ needs and realities, which experienced refugee support people have suggested to us.
• NB This is a starter, to-be-developed-more website, set up quickly by a kind supporter to help us get things moving, co-ordinate collaborations and network energy.
Beyond Borders Totnes and District is working in collaboration with The British Red Cross (Plymouth), Refugee Support Devon (Exeter), Dartington Hall Trust (Social Justice), Hazelwood House and the Embracing Refugees project.
• contact Beyond Borders

refugeehugEMBRACING REFUGEES – Integrating Asylum Seekers & Refugees in South Devon
“Imagine not being…
…familiar with even one single person where you live…
…able to buy food. Any food…
…sure you won’t be sent back to a country where you fear persecution or death.”
This is the daily reality faced by asylum seekers awaiting decision from the Home Office. With some asylum applications taking up to 20 years to be processed, with no income, support and sometimes no accommodation during that time, asylum seekers understandably struggle to survive.
refugeeheartEmbracing Refugees is non-profit community organisation, based in Totnes, that helps local people, refugees and asylum seekers to build resilience and social bridges through participating in well-being events where they can embrace their differences and celebrate their individuality and health. Run by dedicated local volunteers, these events offer interactive activities that can be health, nature, art, or culture-related.
If you’d like to join our workshops or think you can collaborate through volunteering, offering professional skills, advice, time or any other resources to support us, please contact us. We will be more than happy to hear from you.
• check out how you can play a significant part in supporting refugees and asylum seekers and embrace the multicultural experience in South Devon.
• see Embracing Refugeesprofile on Facebook
• contact 07887 662254
• work hours Monday to Friday, 1pm to 5pm
• more details here
• Embracing Refugees is working in collaboration with Network of WellbeingThe British Red Cross (Plymouth)Dartington Hall Trust (Social Justice)Hazelwood House and Beyond Borders Totnes and District.

RefugeePoembookletp1REFUGEE POEM booklet / poster
As part of her Beyond Borders display in St Mary’s Church, Liz has designed and printed off booklets featuring the heartfelt gritty poem Homeby Warsan Shire – the first four lines of which are below:

“no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well…”

have a look at the display next time you’re in or near St Mary’s Church
see the next News post for a look at the story behind the formation of this innovative refugee support ‘hub’

janefrost01Message from REVEREND JANE FROST
Reverend Jane would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome shown to her and her family at September’s welcome service and at shared meeting places since. It has made such a difference to embarking on a new phase of the journey. Jane continues to look forward to the possibilities and opportunities of the next four years here.

church work dayMANY THANKS to the stalwarts who came along to join the latest working party. Everything was spick and span for the Remembrance day services, so well done all!

ShailsAutumnPhotosNEW POSTCARD from Pip & Mike Shail
27th October 2015
“Dear Friends and Family
It seems a long time since our last letter to you and, indeed, a lot of water (or should that be sunshine?) has flowed under the bridge since then. The most exciting event is that we entertained our very first visitors, our friends Linda and Douglas from Totnes, at the end of September.
I think we must have done a good job of this as they have decided to return to San Cayetano for a whole month in January 2016…” – read more here

The Autumn Newsletter is now online.
Click the image to view larger, or click here to download the pdf.

Please put in your diaries that the pre-Christmas Brass Cleaning will take place on Tuesday December 8th between 2pm and 4pm.
We hope to have a large turnout so that the job can be completed sooner (and on to the mince pies!!).

Bartolomeo_Montagna_Saint_PaulIN THE FOOTSTEPS of St PAUL
Prebendary Brian Tubbs will lead a pilgrimage to Greece
from 23rd to 30th April 2016.
• a brochure is available giving full details.
• please ring him on 01392 200506

thecornubrianThe CROSSPARK BOOKCLUB will meet again on 7th December at 7pm to discuss The Cornubian by Julie Spiller. The author will be with us for that meeting and Michael Heather will facilitate the discussion. The meeting will be at Cottage Farm, Plymouth Road, Totnes and not at Debbie’s house in Bridgetown. Peter and Gina Rogers have offered to host the evening.
• please bring along any questions that you would like to ask about the novel
• contact Rev’d Debbie Parsons on 01803 840113

prayerprofilePRAYER at St John’s Church
Every Friday 5pm to 5.45pm
• all welcome

table talkTABLE TALK
Every third Thursday of the month at The Seven Stars between 10am and 12noon. Meet at the large table at the back, behind the bar, for coffee etc.
• contact Anne Binns for more information on 01803 840146

albertinn_72SUNDAY LUNCHES
If you would like to have a roast lunch at the Albert Inn, Bridgetown, on the first Sunday of the month with members of St John’s and St Mary’s
• to book, please ring Anne Binns on 01803 840146 by the previous Thursday

PARISH NEWSLETTERthe November edition is now online

Parish News August 2015Parish News November 2015 – this month’s newsletter, compiled and designed by Julian Hall, features 9 pages full of news, articles and information.

This issue includes:

  • Peace, Perfect Peace – by The Reverend Debbie Parsons
  • The Light of God’s Love – by the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter
  • The Story of Justin (part 24) – by Helga Watts (see past newsletters for preceding parts of this epic tale)
  • God’s Not Broke – the call to ordination of Philip Sourbut, the new diocesan Director of Mission and Ministry
  • Word for Today: Give God His Tithe – another extract from UCB’s Word For Today booklet (available free in both churches), see also
  • …and as always, Contact Details, Events, Adverts and Service Times

To download in pdf format right-click HERE (ctrl+click Mac), or click on the thumbnail to read online.
• remember you can advertise in the newsletter


One thought on “community news

  1. Pingback: community & refugees news, upcoming services & events | St Mary's & St John's Churches, Totnes

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