New Finance Officer joins Peasedown church staff team
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A former teacher has taken on the role of managing a Peasedown church’s finances.

Claire Carr, who previously spent 14 years teaching primary school aged children, has been appointed to the new role of Finance Officer at St John’s Church.

St John’s, which has seen huge levels of growth in members and community activities since 2005, is part of the wider ‘St J’s Group’ - which covers the Anglican parishes of Peasedown St John, Wellow and Foxcote with Shoscombe.

Claire said:

“There is so much happening in the community which the church is taking a lead on. Whether it’s children’s activities, counselling support groups, or supporting the local Foodbank, St John’s is playing an active role in serving the village.

I’m looking forward to serving the church and working with a great bunch of colleagues!”

The new Finance Officer role is a paid position for 15 hours per week. It had previously been carried out by Jane Street, voluntarily since 2006.

Originally from Cornwall, Claire grew up in the Church of England and became a Christian at the age of 16. Having studied at Cardiff University she moved to Bath to do her PGCE over 15 years ago.

As well as Church Finance Officer, Claire will also work as Assistant Worship Pastor and help to run a number of weekly toddler groups too!

Claire added: “My week is very varied – one minute I can be at the bank, and the next day I can be telling a story at Little Ones Pre-School Toddler Group and singing the Hokey Cokey, and the same day I can be at a worship rehearsal playing guitar and singing!”

Public Meeting: Have your say about the future of Peasedown’s Youth Hub
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Residents in Peasedown St John are invited to an open meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 18th June in the Youth Hub to discuss its future.

A group of people from St John’s Church are working with B&NES Council’s Youth Connect team to find a way to keep the Youth Hub in the heart of the village open and to ensure the future of youth work there.

The Youth Hub is under threat due to budget cuts to B&NES Council’s Youth Connect Service. Some residents would like to develop the Youth Hub as a community centre, available for hire for activities from sports, dance, creative arts, internet café to name a few ideas. The centre could also be used for services such as debt advice, health and well-being classes, a jobs club etc.

This is an opportunity being presented to the community to run its own centre and to have clubs and activities based there for the whole community to enjoy. The facilities are very good and should be used more’ says Joy Fraser, who is chairing the committee looking at the possibilities.

She says: “There is much to consider but it is important in our planning to hear from residents and young people about what they would like to see happen in the Youth Hub.”

All residents are welcome to attend along with anyone who might like to start a community activity based in the Youth Hub.

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Future of Peasedown Youth Centre: Give your views at Peasedown Party in the Park
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For over a year community and council leaders have been discussing what future Peasedown St John Youth Centre might have.

Following the announcement in February 2017 from Bath and North East Somerset Council that youth services were to be commissioned out to third sector providers, a number of organisations have been exploring how Peasedown’s youth hub could continue to offer community-based youth work.

At Peasedown’s Party in the Park festival on Saturday 9th June, there will be an opportunity for members of the public, young people, parents and interested residents to have their say.

St John’s Church, who have made an Expression of Interest in managing the youth centre, will be running a consultation stall and want to hear from as many people as possible.

Joy Fraser, Churchwarden at St John’s Church, said:

“Peasedown Youth & Community Centre has played an important role in our village for the past 40 years. So many thousands of young people have walked through its doors, spanning several generations.

As users of the building for the last 7 years, the team at St John’s Church want to ensure the building stays open and remains as a safe place for youngsters to go to.”

St John’s Church will be putting up a marquee at the festival, so local people can come along and share their views on the future of the youth centre, and what services they’d like to see provided there.

Peasedown Councillors Sarah Bevan and Karen Walker, who have been campaigning to keep the youth centre open since the council’s announcement over a year ago, said:

“We welcome the Expression of Interest from St John’s Church to manage and run the youth centre. We set out at the beginning of 2017 to save the building from closure and ensure another provider was found that would continue to offer open-access youth work to teenagers.

We’d like to encourage anyone and everyone to come along to Party in the Park on Saturday 9th June to share their views at the St John’s Church marquee.”

Peasedown Party in the Park will be held on Saturday 9th June, 12 noon – 7pm at Beacon Field, Peasedown St John.

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Peasedown church welcomes new Worship Pastor
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A man who spent 25 years helping to direct one of the city of Bath’s most successful design agencies has taken up a new role at a Peasedown St John Church!

Rob Doble, originally from Keynsham, has been appointed as St John’s Church’s new Worship Pastor.

He said: “I was involved in the local church choir as a teenager and have always had a love of music and listen to a wide variety from new wave to classical, blues to hip-hop. I have played in all sorts of bands from punk & indie to recently playing bass in a function band.

I’ve been involved in worship at St John’s Church for quite a while and have been leading worship for a few years. It feels like the natural step to becoming the Worship Pastor and is something that I think God has called me to. The role is much more than singing on Sunday afternoon. I’m responsible for looking after all the musical worship at St Js including Sunday morning and afternoon. It involves the admin side - organising musician's rotas, rehearsals and building a strong team culture - to helping people grow spiritually & musically through music lessons, encouragement and events.”

St John’s Church has bucked the national Anglican trend over the past 13 years and seen an increase in parishioners coming through its doors. With over 100 people attending Sunday worship each week, since 2011 their Sunday afternoon worship service ‘Soul Food’ has been held at Peasedown St John Youth Centre.

Church Leader, Revd Matthew Street commented:

“Our ambition has always been to serve the community. We run a wide range of activities throughout the week in both our church building and at the youth centre.

It’s been great to welcome Rob to our staff team at St John’s. He replaces Jerry Curd who served as our Worship Pastor for many years, and knows the church family extremely well.”

Rob took up his new role in April and says he is most excited about “seeing how we can take the worship/music beyond the walls of the church and into the wider community - people are often surprised by the quality of musicians and the songs are much more engaging than they remember!”

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New district church team for Church of England
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A new district team of Anglican Vicars and lay-church members has been sworn in at a recent meeting of the Midsomer Norton Deanery Synod.

The Synod, which covers 18 parishes across the Somer Valley area, meets several times a year to oversee and guide the activities of the Church of England in our area.

Revd Matthew Street, Leader of the St J’s Group of parishes; Peasedown St John, Wellow; and Foxcote with Shoscombe, has been named as the area’s new Rural Dean.

The Rural Dean has the important responsible of facilitating Christian Mission & Outreach, and supporting the work of other clergy.

Matthew commented: “I’m grateful to my peers for their support and look forward to fulfilling the duties of Rural Dean of the Midsomer Norton Deanery with the upmost dedication.

The Church of England across our local towns and villages works extremely hard to provide practical and spiritual support to anyone who asks for it. We run children’s groups, coffee mornings, counselling services and support a range of community-led projects.”

In March, the Bishop of Taunton, Bishop Ruth Worsley visited Peasedown St John where the new group of 9 people were commissioned as the Midsomer Norton Deanery’s new leadership team:

·     Lay Chair, Lucy Barnes (Priston)

·     Deputy Lay Chair, Mary Dolman (Timsbury)

·     Treasurer, Barrymore Dando (Westfield)

·     Secretary, Jane Street (Peasedown St John)

·     Lay Member, Nigel Wood (Stratton on the Fosse)

·     Lay Member, Gwen Sales (Paulton)

·     Rural Dean, Matthew Street (Peasedown St John)

·     Deputy Rural Dean, Christopher Chiplin (Midsomer Norton)

·     Deputy Rural Dean, Clarissa Cridland (Coleford and Holcombe)

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