* * * * * * * * * *

Pianist wanted.  The Singing group are looking for a new pianist for Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  If anyone is able to help or knows anyone who may be able to help could they contact Rebecca on Kendal 295176.


* * * * * * *


 Chernobyl Children's Project                                          TOM FRYERS

In 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear plant blew up. Toxic radiation was carried far and wide - even the western fells of the Lake District were slightly contaminated. But, because of the winds and rainfall, the worst effects were in the Gomel Region of Belarus, about 300 kilometres South-East of Minsk. Those effects included genetic changes in the population so that the high incidence of congenital abnormalities and childhood cancer will continue long into the future. In Belarus, recent attitudes to disabled children have been similar to those in our own country several decades ago, characterised by large institutions and minimal care, but there are signs of change, not least due to the impact of the Chernobyl Children's Project (CCP). Linda Walker, moved by what she saw on a visit, started the charity 18 years ago, to try to bring better care to disabled children and young adults, and to challenge negative and pessimistic attitudes at all levels of society, largely by example and demonstration of better care.

      She set up a small organisation, eventually to work with families, parent organisations, institution staff (often not trained), health and social care professionals, local authorities and even national government officials and ministers. Children came on short respite holidays in Britain, but play, leisure, social and holiday opportunities were also created in Belarus. Training programmes were instituted for care staff, social workers, nurses, physiotherapists, physicians and surgeons, taking British professionals to Belarus or bringing Belarusian professionals to Britain. Small group homes have been set up for some of the young people (increasingly adult, of course) from the institutions - not many but of huge demonstration value. The quality of care in some institutions has been revolutionised, and attitudes of staff have changed dramatically. The financial support through the charity has been crucial in facilitating all this, but funding is always planned to be taken over by local authorities and organisations so that activities may become self-sustaining, and this is happening.

      I visited with Linda in June this year and saw the effects of her work and the support of the charity. The small group homes are inspiring in the love and care of house parents and helpers and the truly homely 'feel', but many more are needed. The care offered within institutions we visited is now of really impressive quality, but they can never be substitute homes. There is great warmth in many staff, now trained and inspired by what they have seen elsewhere. Parents and families are enthused and optimistic. And we talked to some of the most senior doctors and government ministers who are keen on further change and anxious for help.

      What convinced Barbara and me to support this work when we first visited the CCP office in Glossop, was Linda's combination of passion and common sense practicality, the long-term commitment and the efficiency and professionalism of the organisation. We are delighted that the Mission Group at Stricklandgate has decided to adopt this work as our main project for 2014. There is still much to be done!

* * * * * * * * *



Doll Group, Working for International Aid Trust

We are still needing dolls to dress, especially small dolls, about 6" to 12".  Perhaps your daughters/granddaughters have dolls that they can spare.  We will give them a make-over and send them to a little girl who has neve had a doll to love.  We also are short of double knitting yarn, please see if you have any spare balls, any size.  Please contact Iris Diggle (K 735518).
Thank you,



The Talking Newspaper Association is in need of additional volunteers.  Commitment would involve 3/4 hours once per month.  Anyone interested should contact Alan Reed on Kendal 726517.





Singing The Faith is the new Methodist hymn collection.

The Methodist Conference in 2007 authorised the preparation of a new 'baseline' collection of hymns and songs for Methodist worship in succession to Hymns and Psalms. The Music Resources Group was asked to present a full list of hymns and songs to the Conference in 2009. The aim of the seventeen strong group was to produce a collection for congregational use that retains the best of the old and includes the best of the new, reflecting a diversity of theological and musical traditions in keeping with our Methodist heritage, 'Born in Song'.

Stricklandgate has volumes for use in worship.


Click here to see the Weekly Notices