Social Enterprise for Southend

Posted on 18 November 2008
Joint-arranged by Ferndale minister, Stephen Dray, a half-day-Conference on Social Enterprise was, today, attended by over 30 local church leaders.

Highlight of the afternoon was the imput of the Rev. Dr. Tony Barker, currently (among other things) Church and Community Development Officer for the EBA. Tony enthusiastically described the way in which from 1994 onward the work at Zion Church, Cambridge, starting with only ten members, had been able to undertake eleven social enterprise projects, employing dozens of people and with hundreds of volunteers. These had begun with a cafe for the needy and a homeless shelter and had extended to include a Food Bank that, only this week, the Vineyard, Southend were starting to use!

Ron Wright, who attended with Stephen, Andrew and Jon, commented, ‘There is obvious growing interest among the churches of Southen for social enterprise and it will be exciting to see what emerges from the challenges that Tony brought to us all.‘

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