Winchester Diocese M U plans another Child Contact Centre.
Back in 1999 the Alton Child Contact Centre was born out of a Millenium churches meeting as a partnership between the Mothers Union in the Alton Deanery and the Methodist Church in Alton and flourishes as such today, nearly two decades on.
The Child Contact Centre in Hook, to support the waiting lists at Basingstoke and Fleet, then opened in 2009 as a Mothers Union project in Odiham Deanery, so a decade of service there, and then we stepped into Basingstoke when the team there retired, supported by a team drawn from members from Overton and Popley and the Hook team. During 2017 we have helped 36 families over the three Centres, moving 19 families on into contact in the community, and playing with 50 children exactly!
We have always drawn volunteers from our congregations as well as members as we talk about how the Centres are such a necessary facility to enable contact within a broken family and we need to talk about it now! Two decades on and not many of us have not experienced in our immediate or wider circle a family breakdown and witnessed the pain and anger and grief and the effect of those emotions on the post-breakdown relationship between the parents, and especially on the children.
In March, we plan to open a new centre in St Gabriel’s Church in Popley (shown above) on two Saturday afternoons each month. The parish priest is keen to use the extension to the church buildings in Popley to host another Centre in Basingstoke and we have been discussing a partnership with the Lantern Centre in Winchester over the last year or so and a Centre in Winchester seems to be the way forward here too which is exciting