Annual General Meeting 2019
For most members, it doesn't seem a year since we were all gathered at Launde Abbey for our AGM in 2018, but indeed a year has passed and it was time for members and friends to gather again for a weekend of talks, reflections and to share in fellowship.
After being formally welcomed back to Launde by Chris Webb Deputy Warden our Prior then opened proceedings with our guest speaker.
Our current national charity of the year is Support Dogs, and we were delighted to have Tess Thompson from Support Dogs attending to give us a talk which proved to be fascinating, the kind of support these dogs can be trained to give is much broader in skills than we originally thought.
Tess demonstrated, via a short video how her current dog Kevin, can open and close doors, pick up dropped pens and bank cards, and even load and unload the washing machine! Though she has yet to get Kevin to seperate the whites before loading.
The skills that can be taught are wide ranging, including helping children with autism, and some can be trained to spot when a person with epilepsy is going to have a seizure and alert their owner to get into a safe position (lying on the for floor for example) to avoid injury.
Members were impressed with how much of a difference a support dog can make to someones life and all felt this was a wonderful charity to have chosen this year
After lunch we moved onto the Business part of the weekend, which included financial reports and how our web site and social media accounts were peforming. Also as part of that discussion the new lapel badge for the Priory was introduced, with many requests for advanced orders to be placed. Clearly a very popular developement with our membership.
After Lunch Prior Lindsey gave us her reflection on the subject of "Retribution, rehabilitation and reconcillation" a transcipt of which can be read here.
This year we have been blessed to admit three full members to the Priory, for Brenda and Sandra this was progression from associate membership. For Thomas his wish was to join as a full member from day one.
We all joined them in the chapel for this service of admittance, of taking vows and dedication to the Priory and to our Lord Jesus Christ. To make the service more personal each new member has a hymn of their choosing to be sung during the service. This year we had the hymns "Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine" "Unto Thy temple, Lord, we come" and "Abide with me"
As part of the service Brenda, Sandra and Thomas were asked?
- Will you love, honour and fear almighty God?
- Will you defend the Christian faith and all of its followers; and respect the rights of all faithful people in the world?
- Will you be a loyal servant to your community, our Priory and their interests?
- Will you prefer honour to wealth, pursuing justice and truth in word and deed?
- Will you cherish truth, virtue and honesty, seeking to offend no-one but, while opposing wrong and injustice, behave gently and kindly to all?
- Will you be of an open and liberal heart, a bounteous hand, and especially devote yourself to the poor in Jesus Christ?
This to remind them of our ethos and Values, to which they all respond -
"With the help of God we will"
All new members then receive a neck cross and mantle to remind them that they are humble servants of Christ. After the rest of the Priory welcomed them in, we then proceeded to have Holy Communion led by Rev Chris and assisted by Bishop Richard.
Thomas, Brenda and Sandra recieve a warm welcome from all at PrioryPKC
The first item on the agenda for Sunday was a talk by Brenda, who was being admitted as full member the day before and has been a long standing supporter or the Order. This talk was on the volunteer work she undertakes on behalf on the Macular Society, as a "Telephone befriender" which is a free service given to those who have delveloped the condition.
It can be vital for not only for the person with the condition but also close family too. The job is to be a able to listen to the person's worries and maybe fustrations having the condition. But also to be somone who they can confide in. As part of the training Brenda had to understake, she also has to send regular reports back to the society.
It is certainly a vauluable service, and as such the next date and time are placed in the diary before the end of the current call.
A clear example of Practical Christianity in aciton.
The final item for the weekend was a service of Blessing and Rededication, which once again took place in the chapel. Prayers were said for all those who are persecuted around the world for their faith and also for those falsely accused and imprisioned, as well as Rededication of the Priory, it's members and its work in the wider community.
After the usual Sunday lunch, we said our goodbyes and headed home, celebrating the growth of the Priory and also our commitement to Christianity for the 21st century.