CNI Network Reception at Houses of Parliament...
On Thursday 4th August 2011, 86 people from local projects, partner organisations and supporters of Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network travelled to London for a Reception the Houses of Parliament hosted by Stephen Timms MP, the Vice Chair of the Labour Faith Group.
The day was held to honour and celebrate the work of over 100 local projects and partner organisations from across the UK who work to support those vulnerable in society.
Guests were welcomed at Portcullis House by Paul Blakey MBE, the Founder of Street Angels and CNI Network, and given opportunity for photographs as a commemoration of the day. After security checks, Adam May, Director of Development, showed visitors to the Atlee Suite within Portcullis House.
The afternoon started with a drinks reception followed by an introduction and welcome from Stephen Timms MP. Mr Timms encouraged those at the heart of CNI to continue making the difference within our local communities and commented on the vital importance for the work as CNI is now a national brand name within Parliament.
The vision and five strands of the work of CNI were shared by Paul Blakey MBE before three of our many partner agencies spoke. The Revd Kathryn Morgan, the Mission Advisor for the Baptist Union, Dr. Michelle Pyman from Mercy Ministries and Louise Davies of Hope City Church all shared about the work they do and how there is strength in partnership working to better meet the needs of our communities. Be it through Crossing Places and national denominational initiatives, working with those with addictions, those who need help towards a changed life or those who find themselves in a place of difficulty CNI, local projects and partner organisations are often best placed to offer support along with a life-changing encounter.
The guests then heard from three local projects all with very different approaches to work within the night-time economy. Sarah Digby from Watford Street Angels shared about the work in Watford and the UK wide family she, and other volunteers, now belong to as a result of the CNI Network. Sarah talked about Love Your Streets London and the conversations that were had over Pentecost weekend and the forthcoming More Than Gold Olympic Games Pastors. Andy Burns from Dundee ROCK Street Chaplains shared of how 12 years ago a fish supper at midnight led to the starting of Street Chaplains. This project is now going from strength to strength with many people encountering a changed life because of help from the Street Chaplains. Mike French, night-club chaplain in Bournemouth shared about his experiences and the need to challenge the drink-fuelled night experiences with more wholesome clubbing scenes which do exist but are less advertised and promoted.
Following more drinks Paul and Jean Blakey and Adam May launched a 62 mile Caledonian Canal walk that they are planning to accomplish in September over three days from 17th - 19th. This is part of a Week of Prayer for CNI, local projects, partner initiatives and the night-time culture of our country. The walk will also raise money for the ongoing work of CNI.
Following closing comments from the Chair of the Trustees, Trevor Bendrien which highlighted new ideas such as Youth Angels, a Street Angels comic and linking together projects working in sea-side towns, photographs were taken outside the Houses of Parliament and 37 of the guests enjoyed a meal together overlooking the Thames.
Speaking at the end of the event, Paul Blakey MBE commented,
"This was a fantastic day to bring projects, partners and supporters together from across the UK and wider to celebrate all that is achieved in our communities through people who care. To be hosted in the Houses of Parliament was an honour and a real boost to those who, this weekend, will be walking the streets of towns and cities, offering support and counselling, working within night-clubs and meeting needs of those who are or may become vulnerable. When Government talks Big Society the 86 people at this event are people who make Big Society happen."
Letter of support from Prime Minister David Cameron
Thanks to Daniel Holmes and Mark Russell for the photographs of the day...
Twitter and Facebook feed of the day...
Andy Burns from Dundee Street Chaplains - Is off to London to the CNI reception at the houses of parliament, thanks to all who have supported Rock Street Chaplains and made this trip possible.
Louise Davies from Hope City Church - Know how Jesus must have felt going to Jerusalem on a donkey. On Thursday I am going to the House of Commons on National Express
Halifax Street Angels - Looking forward to the Reception at the Houses of Parliament on Thursday - along with over 80 others from all across the UK
@TipeyMarketing - Looking forward to attending drinks reception at the Houses of Parliament tomorrow with @hxstreetangels & @cninet. Taking my Mum as my guest
Adam May is up and preparing for the Christian / Community Nightlife Initiatives (CNI) Network reception in Parliament this afternoon hosted by Stephen Timms MP... Follow us throughout the day on #CNIreception on twitter and on here too!
@PastorPaulAbell - Paul Abell Time to head to London, Portcullis House at the Houses of Parliament for the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Meeting :-) (Scarborough Youth / Street Angels)
Watford Street Angels - Looking forward to the Christian / Community Nightlife Initiatives (CNI) Networkreception in Houses of Parliament today. Especially dinner at The Rose after.. :) See you soon guys!! xx
@TippeyMarketing - http://twitpic.com/60zbo4 only me could get my heel stuck en route to Houses of Parliament. Had to get 2 strangers to help. Took 5mins!!!
Hi Guys. Just back to my hotel and have had a great time today, great fellowship and it is good to know that we are not alone, may we all be encouraged. Blessing. Andy Burns ROCK Street Chaplains. Dundee.
Watford Street Angels - Super day at Houses of Parliament reception today with Christian / Community Nightlife Initiatives (CNI) Network - thank for the invite!! See you all really soon xx
Adam May has just arrived home from a fantastic event at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the work done by amazing teams of people - volunteers and supporters - to make a difference through Christian / Community Nightlife Initiatives (CNI) Network
Michelle from Mercy Ministries
Viral Bible Project - Thanks to CNI @cninet for taking #theviralbible to the Houses of Parliament yesterday! Welcome change of scenery after the so many Christian festival campsites.
Helen Bendrien - went to parliamentary reception for Street Angels/CNI - great day (slightly wet) and sore feet! fab to meet up with the nations Angels and other projects
Projects and Partners at the day...
Advisor to the Bishop of Southwark for Urban and
Assistant Territorial Evangelism Secretary, The
Bedford Salvation Army and former Chair of
Bedford Street Angels
Beston Street Angels (Nottingham)
Bible Fresh Coordinator, Evangelical Alliance
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Bolton Street Angels
Bournemouth Night Club Chaplaincy
Chaplain and Researcher of Archbishop of York
Charities Parliament / Oasis
Chief Exectutive, Churches Advisory Service for
Christian Police Association
Community Engagement Field Officer - North
Department for Communities and Local
Dundee Street Chaplains
Evangelism Coordinator, Methodist Church
Guildford Street Angels
Halifax Street Angels
Hartlepool Town Pastors
Headingley Street Angels
Hitchin Street Angels
Huddersfield Street Angels
Hull Street Angels
Labour Party Faith Group
Make It* Happen
Mission Advisor, Baptist Church
More than Gold
Norfolk Street Pastors
Onesimus Philemon Trust Immanuel Ministries
Redeeming our Communities
Scarborough Street Angels
Scarborough Youth Angels
Skipton Street Angels
Stockton Town Pastors
Street Angels in North East Lincolnshire
Deputy Vice Chancellor, The University of
Tippey Marketing and Events
Town Pastors Suffolk
Watford Street Angels
Woking Street Angels
Wycombe Street Angels
Parliamentary Officer, Evangelical Alliance