Pregnancy Options Centre are looking to employ an Administrator and Communications Assistant to support the work of the charity. Main aspects of the job will be admin tasks and developing our communications strategy including managing social media, newsletters and community engagement. We are looking for a candidate with experience of office work, social media and communications.

Download the full Job Description here.

Applicants will preferably need to be able to work Wednesday – Friday.
The role is subject to an enhanced DBS check carried out by Pregnancy Options Centre.

As a charity with a Christian foundation, the appointee will be required to work in a way that is actively sympathetic, respectful of and supportive towards the Christian values and work of the Charity.

If you want to have an informal chat about the post, please contact Anna Madge on 01243 784177 (Wednesday – Friday).

If you are interested in applying, please send a CV and covering letter outlining your suitability to the role to Anna Madge on office@optionschichester.org.uk .

The closing date for application is Friday 11th December 5pm. Interviews will be held on Thursday 17th December.

Operations Manager (Part time / Permanent Contract)

Chichester District Foodbank is a vibrant and ever-evolving community project which provides emergency food to over 3000 local people every year. We are looking to employ an Operations Manager for 24 hours per week at £20,000 (£12,000 pro rata). Occasional weekend work. The candidate must have a clean driving license and access to a car.

As the Operations Manager you will oversee the running of our four foodbank centres in Chichester, Midhurst, Selsey and Petworth. You will manage a large team of volunteers to ensure the foodbank centres run efficiently in distributing food parcels and supporting our clients. In addition you will be responsible for the day to day operations including recruitment, induction and ongoing training of volunteers, networking with other agencies administrative duties and maintaining legislative standards. i.e. Health & Safety.

As a Trust with a Christian foundation, the appointee will be required to work in a way that is actively sympathetic, respectful of and supportive towards the Christian values and work of the Charity.

If you would like to chat about the role or apply, please get in touch for a full job description and an application form.

Tel: 01243 773687

Email: joanne@chichesterdistrict.foodbank.org.uk

Deadline for applying is: 6th September 2020.  Interviews held: 21st September 2020

HEART is the collaborative work of the churches in Chichester to offer care and support to those who are homeless in the city.

They are currently looking for a part-time proactive administrator to continue build a strong infrastructure and systems, in order that HEART can grow and flourish. The right person will be relational and willing to play their part on the team assisting their amazing team of volunteers for the benefit of their guests.

The role is 14 hours per week with potential opportunity to increase in hours and responsibility as HEART continues to grow.

If you think you have the skills and passions they are looking for and want to be part of the staff team, you can download job pack and application form using the links below.

Administrator JOB PACK Master June 2020

Application Form Chichester HEART for Homeless

Recently I have been spending some time and asking God how we can see some serious growth in our church. We have so many things happening and have a large congregation but we do not see massive growth. I look at pastors from the states like Matthew Barnet (The Dream Centre), Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill) and Bill Johnson (Bethal Church) and they see huge growth numerically in their church and regularly lead people to God. The way they do ministry is totally different. Matthew B is all about projects in the community, Mark D is all about Truth, word etc and Bill J is all about signs and wonders, miracles etc. They all basically believe the same thing but their focus is different. I have seen lots of pastors try and imitate these church leaders and what they do over here in the UK but it never seems to quite kick off. I don’t know of any church who is seeing the kind of growth that they see in the US.

So I spoke to God. I asked him what I should do. How I should lead? I believe that my motivations are right, I mean its not for my glory it is for his glory. It’s not for Ego but for the kingdom of God. Should I copy someone else?

There is one common denominator with these church leaders. INTIMACY WITH CHRIST!

God then reminded me about the times in my life when I had tried to copy someone else. This never went well. And I remember what some of the biblical giants had to face when they started telling God they knew how to do something or started trying to make formulas.

God told me to be intimate with him. He told me to find him in every part of life. He told me to be known as someone who has Jesus living inside them. He told me to be a light in the darkness. He told me to guard my tongue and to watch what I say. He told me to look at my lifestyle and ask myself if I am inline with Christ. He said nothing about strategy, vision, direction, big picture, little picture. He just told me to be intimate with him.

So this week I have been with him more. I have thanked him for the rain in my holiday instead of being annoyed that it was sunny last week. I have taken time out to look at listen to creation. I have been aware of how I treat and speak to my friends and my wife. I have found my God in the strangest of places!

1 Corinthians 10 v 31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”


These last few weeks have been an emotional roller-coaster. There have been amazing highs and some swooping lows.  It is has been tiring and draining but I still have the overwhelming sense that God is there.  God has been speaking clearly over the last couple of weeks.  Prophetically through others.  Visually through pictures.  Amazingly through every day life.   It feels like spring has finally arrived.  

All the little pictures and whispers have been specific and spot on.  They have been a relief to hear since winter felt very sparse.  Spring has already bought many new things.

Challenge to step into what God has in store for me.

Permission to step up and out.

Reassurance that I am loved.

Insight into what is in store.

But Gods whispers are not just for me.  They are for you.  He loves you with an everlasting love.  He has started doing good work in you and will not stop until it is finished.  He has good plans to prosper you and not to harm you. You are part of the plan and you are unique.  It cant be done the same without you.

So many times I have opted out because I have not grasped those truths.  There always seems to be someone better, more experienced.  Someone more connected to God.  But it is not about what you or I bring, its that we opt in.  Whether we turn up.  God puts what we need inside us when we need it.  He doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.  And you are all called. You are equipped.

I had a picture recently of golden orbs of light falling down from the sky into people.  As I was mulling it over and wondering what it meant I felt like God was saying He was giving us the gifts and abilities we had laid down when we chose to believe we are not called.  Not part of the plan.  Insignificant.  He has held them and looked after them, but now He was giving them back to us to use.

You may not think you have anything to offer.  I guess in some ways you might be right.  Its not about you, its about God working through you.  It is His wisdom, prophesies, words of knowledge, kindness, hospitality,  love that we can give away and bless others with.  It is not in our own strength.  All He asks is for us to be still and know that He is God.  We are just a vessel He chooses to use.  But we have to step out and use it to get those things to give away.  They are not for us to keep to ourselves.

So, my challenge to you is this.  Will you pick up that golden orb of light?  Will you use what God has given you?  Is giving you?  Will you step out in faith?  Will you look to bless others?  Really seek it out?  Will you practice and learn how to use your gift in the best way? Will you practice on a Sunday so it comes more natural when its Monday to Saturday? Will you choose to opt in and be used?

You were born for such a time as this.  To be used.  To bless.  To make an impact.

 

Today, I sat in a room with professionals who all work with young people learning about the sad subject of child protection.  We were reminded that we not only have a responsibility but a duty of care for the young people we are in contact with. My heart started to race, the proverbial walls started to close in.  Fear and panic gripped me.  The weight of that responsibility is heavy.  The consequences of decisions I can make are huge.  As we looked at case studies, I realised that, in some cases, it is life or death.  To say I felt under qualified is an under statement.

In my role, I mostly feel like I am juggling students.  Picking up the ones that need some extra care and attention.  But it often feels like I am dropping them or don’t have enough hands to hold them all.  I deeply care for a lot of these students.  Don’t get me wrong, they also infuriate me and frustrate me.  But I care.  I carry them with me.  Sometimes they weigh heavily on me.  And sometimes I feel like I drop them because it all gets a bit much.  I snap.  I lose focus.  I fail at being who I wanted to be in this school.

Today as we were hearing more about legislation and practice when dealing with child protection issues, I was mentally preparing for picking up even more burdens.  Seeing more sadness.  Facing even more darkness.  And then I stopped.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

These burdens are not mine to carry.  They never were.  But although this is a relief to remember, I am not good at putting them down.  I don’t realise they are still in my arms until the pounding headache starts.  The sleepless nights persist.  The impatience sets in.  But I must learn.
The bible is FULL of wisdom reminding us of Gods care and love.  His power in situations.  His plea for us to surrender ourselves and the burdens we carry to Him.  He reminds us that it will be ok in the end.  The verse that is resonating with me at the moment is from Psalm 91..

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day. ” 

I find that place “under his wings” when I spend time in His presence.  Time in nature.  In beauty.  In prayer.  That is when I can willingly give over the burdens.  Entrust Him with those I carry.  That is where I learn to share.  To put down what is heavy and pick up *LOVE*.  If I carry what is not mine, I end up tired.  Impatient.  Stressed.  Worn out.  And weighed down.  But with picking up what God has given me I will have the strength to face each day.  Each situation.  With grace.  With compassion.  With love. I will have the resources I need to care long term.  To help.  To stand with each individual.  To be able to know that it will be ok in the end.

God has got it.

 

 

Last night at Alpha, we were discussing the whole topic of faith.  Questioning whether we could be a Christian without change.  We talked about the difference between knowing about God and having a real, tangible relationship with God.  The difference between head and heart knowledge.  If God dwells within us, can we do anything but mould.  Change.  Grow.

When you think back over the last week, the last month, the last year, the last season..have you seen any change?  Change in your situation?  Change in your character?  Change in your behaviour? Have you grown recently?

Philippians tells say that we can be…

 

“…confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

 God has started doing a good work in us.  In you.  In me.  He has promised to keep doing that until the day we are deemed perfect by our Father in Heaven.  He works in us and through us.  But do we get in the way?  Are we stubborn to his gentle call?

I look back over the time since I became a Christian and life is vastly different.  I am different.  I have found the promise that we become a new creation to be true.  I often meet people who I haven’t seen in several years and they literally don’t recognise me.  It is not just my outward appearance, it is everything.  I hold my self differently.  I think and speak differently.  I am no longer little timid Louise.  I am Lou.  I have a long way to go, but I am on that journey.  I look back and see that I have grown.  But has it been recently?

I always find it amusing when I hang out with a friend for a prolonged period of time, I end up sounding like that person.  Sharing phrases and mannerisms.  I change and grow more like that person.  I think its a sign of a good friendship.  So shouldn’t that be the same with our faith?  Should it be natural to become more and more like Jesus as we spend time in his presence? Perhaps the reason I am not more like him is because I don’t spend enough time with him.  Is it because I unconsciously lock him out of my heart?  Is he still knocking at a door thats been barricaded in a while?  I wonder if I need to get into the habit of inviting him in every day.

I want to be transformed.  I want to grow, to journey, to change.  I seek out mentoring, those deep relationships that challenge, inspire and motivate.  I welcome (most of the time) conversations that move me on and point out where I am going wrong.  I am part of an amazing community that worship God.  I spend my time doing things for Church.  I have been reading the word each day.  But how often am I welcoming Jesus in?  Really letting Him dwell within me?

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

All those choices, habits and disciplines are good, don’t get me wrong.  They are all part and parcel, but I wonder if I unbalance my relationship with God by doing rather than being.   Maybe daily growth would come by sitting and beholding.  Opening the door of my heart and gazing at Him. I wonder what revelations, what challenges, what calls I would hear if this was part of my day?  I wonder if I would grow.  More tangibly.  More wholly.  More often.  More like Him.

 

 



“What if your blessings came through rain drops? What if your healing came through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?  What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?”

I find this quote inspiring and disturbing at the same time.  I am aware life is full of seasons.  Of ups and downs.  Of good and bad.  I also know that God has His hand on my life.  Leading.  Guiding. Beckoning me on.  I know that God is good and only good things come from His hand.  So what about the darkness that often accompanies life.  Could it be that those are also good?  Could it be that I don’t have the perspective to decide what is a blessing and what is a curse?

Recently, I have been working my way through a book called, “A Thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp.   Its a book that dares us to live fully right where we are.  Fully.  In every situation.  In every season.  In every emotion.  It’s a beautifully written book but it holds a HUGE challenge.  To live.  Fully. Right now.  When I reflect on my life, it is full.  But I do question whether I am living fully.  I dont know if those two things are different.  I know my diary is full of things to do.  I know my head is full of thoughts.  Spinning.  But is that what Jesus meant when he said he had come to give us life, life to the full?  I am not convinced.  It has been something I keep coming back to, pondering how to secure that elusive full life.

Perhaps, like Ann suggests, living fully is about gratitude.  By saying thank you for the extraordinary and the mundane, we open the present.  I mean that in all senses of the word.  We open the present that God bestows upon us.  Freedom.  Salvation.  Grace.  Blessing.  But we also open a door to the present, the place where we can live right where we are.

The bible is full of examples and calls to lead lives full of thanks giving.  But how good are we at really being thankful?  I know I am rarely full of thanks.  What would happen if we woke up tomorrow with only the things we were thankful for today?  Tomorrow would be bleak.

Luckily, the Bible also suggests that this life of thanks giving is learnt and needs practice.  Philippians 4 says,

“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

I know I am so guilty of not being content.  I believe the lie we are sold, that happiness is secured with what society deems as important.  That life is not complete unless I have the latest….fill in the blank.  It is never ending.  What if I saw through a lense of thanksgiving? What if I sought to be thankful for all the things that had already been given? Naming each and every blessing.  Perhaps then my life would be FULL.  I would be PRESENT.  I would be ALIVE in each and every moment.

And then, “The ugly can be beautiful.  The dark can give birth to the light.  Suffering can deliver grace.”

So this is my challenge for this year, I want to name the blessings.  Seek them out.  Record them.  Be content.  Learn thankfulness.

 

* Quotes and thoughts shaped from Ann Voskamps book which I would highly recommend 🙂