New Schools Team Member

Emma SchoolsWe are pleased to announce that we have employed Emma Ham-Riche to our Schools Team.

Emma brings with her experience of teaching in schools. She started at the beginning of the year and we caught up with her to get her thoughts on how everything was going.

‘Two weeks into my new role with the Schools Team at Brighton and Hove City Mission and the staff team, trustees and volunteers have made me so welcome that I hardly feel like the new girl at all! So far, no two days have been the same, and after almost 20 years in teaching, I am finding this variety refreshing. From team prayers, team meetings and prayer breakfasts to prayer spaces, each day has been different. What each day does have in common, however, are the amazing and inspiring people I am meeting; from colleagues, Mission volunteers and trustees, Prayer Space volunteers to the young people the Schools Team are privileged to work with. Whilst serving the city, church and Christ I am also learning so much about each of those things, and my own relationship with God is going from strength to strength!

1918972_1122966511054411_1102374527997246802_nLast week saw my first experience of a Prayer Space, at Chatsmore Catholic High School, Worthing. One of the reasons for leaving my previous teaching post was to avoid the daily drive along the A27 to Worthing during rush hour, so it was ironic that my first prayer space was in a school in Worthing, necessitating the same drive! However, it was so worthwhile. Under the gentle guidance of Carol and Rory, from Off the Fence, and Kerry, the Schools Team leader here at Brighton and Hove City Mission, I learned how to transform an ordinary classroom in an ordinary school building to a space full of awe and wonder. The open mouthed “wows” from the young people as they peeped through the door were testament to this. Working in the prayer space, alongside colleagues, volunteers and the young people themselves was an incredible experience and gave me a unique insight into what it’s like to be growing up in today’s world. What made it particularly special for me was that the first group to visit the prayer space, came from St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School, Littlehampton, where I had taught from 2003-2006. Amongst the group were the brother of one of my ex-pupils, as well as the niece of another, and the group was accompanied by a teaching assistant I had worked with during my time there. All the young people shared their hopes, dreams, inspirations, questions for God, responses to scripture, things they are grateful for and things they would like to say sorry for with the utmost care and respect for the prayer space and the people in it. Of course, I am also very proud of my new found ability to make a pipe cleaner person, just ask me and I’ll show you how!

I am excited to be working alongside Kerry and Lloyd in the Schools’ Team as we seek to serve the city, church and Christ together. As a teacher, I sang a song with the children with the line “Each day different and every day new” and with Kerry, Lloyd and the rest of the Brighton and Hove City Mission team, each day truly is!’

The Schools Team visit many schools across the Sussex area, if you work in a school, and would like our Schools Team to support your school with assemblies or prayer spaces email schools@bhcm.org.uk.

New Rest Homes Team Leader

New RH TL

We appointed Bev McArdle to lead the Rest Homes Team in January, taking over from Colleen who will continue to volunteer for the team for the foreseeable future.

We caught up with Bev a few weeks into the role to see how she was getting on.

‘The first two weeks at City Mission have been a steep learning curve but an enjoyable one.

I have met so many people: staff, volunteers, trustees and many, many residents in the rest homes so my mind is full of names but not necessarily with the faces to match. However, I have been made so welcome in all the settings I have visited and I have received so much encouragement. At the prayer breakfast so many people came up to me to say they had met people whom I know or in talking to people I discovered we had friends in common. God’s family is a beautiful and complex network!

IMG_1012The greatest joy has been visiting the homes. It was only when I started visiting that I realised how important the chance to worship together is for so many elderly people who can no longer get to church. More than one thanked us for coming with tears in their eyes. Other people who are becoming lost in their own worlds suddenly become animated when they hear the hymns they sang when they were young and the biggest impression I have gained of these little services is the sense of great joy.

I am looking forward with excitement to what God plans to do in the rest homes across the city as there are so many homes and people still to be reached.’

 

If you work in a rest home and do not yet have Bev and the team visit, email resthomes@bhcm.org.uk, they would love to hear from you.