Ray Anglesea reports on the recent AGM – 28-April-2015
The Northumbrian Industrial Mission (NIM) oversees the role and work of all chaplains in the North East Region; it is an ecumenical organisation and chaplains come from a range of professional backgrounds. A Management Committee, Executive Group and a Team Leader, Mrs Fiona Usher, oversee the work of the chaplains.
This year’s AGM took place in St James’s United Reformed Church, Newcastle. Paul Southgate, Chair of NIM presented his report (available from the synod rep on request) and thanked the many 35 or so chaplains that comprise NIM for their outstanding year’s work and the continuing challenging work undertaken by the management committee. In doing so Paul paid tribute to the work carried out by two committee members Mr Douglas Ambrose, Treasurer, who was retiring after 19 years service and Mrs Joan Smith, Secretary, who had completed 11 years service. Presentations were made to both members and appreciative comments were voiced by many that added to Paul’s warm and generous comments. Following the giving and receiving of gifts Paul welcomed representatives of Tees Valley Chaplaincy Service to the meeting.
Following last year’s remarks Paul made further gardening comments. There is no perfect soil, suggested Paul, all the gardener can do is to aim for a vigorous, living, breathing soil, free as best it can be from bacteria and infection. Soils are forever changing, the earth needs care and nurture, feeding and resting, or else it will turn in time to dust. As soil naturally changes so must the work of NIM, it must adapt to change, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through the changes so that a bountiful harvest may result. As NIM faces such changes Paul encouraged the committee and his chaplains to continue the “brief encounters” of the chaplains ministry.
The AGM was preceded by a breakfast hosted by the Newcastle City Centre Chaplaincy with guest speaker Revd Chris Beales Vicar of Woburn Sands, Bedfordshire. From 1994-98 Chris was the first Director of the Churches’ Regional Commission in the North East, moving back to London in 1998 to set up Employment Focus, a national charity working employment, training and enterprise issues. Following breakfast, seminars were led by Canon Bob Langley, former Canon Missioner, Director of Ministry and Training and Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, Newcastle Diocese. Following the seminars a short service commemorating International Workers Memorial Day was led by Revd James Breslin in the church sanctuary.
Revd Ray Anglesea is the URC Northern Synod’s representative on the management committee of the Northumbrian Management Committee