Why I'm a Catalyst Mentor
Wendy is part of the Catalyst 1-2-1 mentoring team in Tavistock College, made up of volunteers from the local churches who mentor a young person on a 1-2-1 basis every week, for a full school year. Here she explains why she does it.
I have mentored about 6 teenagers now (not all for a year) and feel more confident about it than when I began.
Initially, I wondered how I was going to fill an hourly session with a huge age gap between us. But I have found it easier than I thought and the teenagers have not seemed to mind. I think they must find it wonderful to have a whole hour every fortnight devoted to their wellbeing!
We start by asking questions about various aspects of their lives and try to work out where we may be of help. There is also access to a lot of worksheets which stimulates conversation. Often I will be watching TV or seeing a recommended video online and think "That would be good for my mentoring session!" I recently found a book which is also giving me inspiration.
Many times I have left my sessions feeling a real buzz and hoping and praying that our conversations have made a difference to their lives. It is wonderful to feel that an unhappy life can be turned around and moved in a positive direction, and that you have had a hand in it. - Wendy Greig
To find out more about the Catalyst 1-2-1 mentoring scheme, visit https://www.tavistockcatalyst.com/school-mentoring.html.
Justyn Rees Larcombe - a report back
On Fri 6th Oct, Justyn Rees Larcombe came to Tavistock Town Hall to speak about his experience of getting addicted to - and then breaking free from - the lure of internet gambling. His story was serialised in the Daily Mail in 2014, and portrayed an awful descent from being a seemingly-perfect husband and father to a man who eventually lost not only £750,000 but his job, his home and ultimately his wife and family.
Justyn is a very accomplished speaker, but hearing his story wasn't a comfortable experience. He was unflinchingly honest about the mounting deception and betrayals he inflicted on the people around him (especially his wife Emma and their two sons) as his addiction grew.
To take one example: if one of their sons woke up during the night, Justyn would tell Emma not to get up, he'd take care of him. He'd then go to his office and gamble online while his son sat on his knee. This almost led to him being found out when [click here for full article].
A TACT welcome to two new church leaders in Tavistock
Over the summer, two new church leaders came to Tavistock to take their place leading the congregations of the Salvation Army and Tavistock United Reformed Church.
In late July, Major Pamela Smith was installed as leader of the Tavistock corps of the Salvation Army in a service that included words of thanks to Lt-Col Joan Williams who has looked after the corps so well while they've been without an officer.
Report: on Sunday 4th June 2017, we held the second TACT 'Pentecost Party in the Park' in Tavistock Meadows. Churches in the local area came together to provide a feast of family-friendly activities as well as proclaiming the Pentecost story via "Open the Book" and performing live praise and worship throughout the afternoon from the band stand.
Special thanks are due to Rob Palmer and his team who faithfully set up tents and stalls in the teeth of absolutely torrential rain during the morning. Their perseverance was rewarded when, half an hour before the event was due to start, the rain finally stopped, and the weather improved as the afternoon went on. Despite the morning's rain, good crowds of people came and enjoyed the celebration, as the pictures below show!
On Good Friday 2017, over 1,500 people came to Tavistock town centre to see the Tavistock Passion - a dramatic retelling of the Easter story in a outdoor community production organised by St Eustachius' Parish Church and supported by many churches and organisations in the area. For more details, visit the St Eustachius webpage. To see photos of this event, click here.
Report: June 2016 - The Bishop of Exeter visits the Tavistock area
Back in June this year, we were blessed with a three day visit from the Bishop of Exeter Robert Atwell (photo left). Bishop Robert met with people from across the town and rural community, promoting the themes of growing in prayer, making new disciples, and serving the people of Devon with joy. Some of the events he attended were: -
- A ‘Nosh at 7pm’ evening (hosted by the Rev Nick Shutt from the West Dartmoor Mission Community) to talk about church projects including Messy Church, Open the Book, Church Trails and The Filling Station model of engagement for young adults.
- A session on ‘Growing In Prayer’ at Milton Abbot Village Hall attended by about 70 people.
- A “joyful and very moving” special service in Buckland Monachorum where Bishop Robert confirmed 17 people of all ages.
- A meeting with members of Tavistock Area Churches Together including church leaders, the leader of the Catalyst youth work team, Street Pastors and other local initiatives.
- A visit to a farmers’ working lunch in Lamerton where members spoke to the Bishop at length about problems in agriculture (photo below).
Report - TACT Pentecost "Party in the Park" 2016: In May 2016, TACT organised a 'Pentecost Party in the Park' in Tavistock Meadows - a community event held to celebrate the birth of the church. As well as a presentation of the story of Pentecost and live worship music performed in the bandstand, there were fun family events including a duck race, balloon modelling, cream teas, face painting and refreshments. The event was blessed with lovely weather and hundreds of people came to enjoy it, as the photos below show!
Report: On Saturday 29th November 2015, Tavistock Area Christians Together hosted a short public event to mark the Paris Summit on climate change which is currently under way. Thanks to all who helped with the preparations, or took time out of a busy Saturday to be there.
Over 100 people, from different churches and none, came to the riverside to bless world leaders as they gather, showing that climate change matters to Tavistock. This short Powerpoint file shows some of the images and words used. To find more search online for #Tavy2Paris.
The TACT Christmas Tree in St Eustachius' Christmas Tree Festival is decorated on the Tavy2Paris theme, and includes messages saying why people care about climate change. It can be found at the back left hand corner of the church.
TACT encourages everyone to continue in prayer for the Summit, and to take opportunities to inform themselves about the issues involved. Resources are available through charities such as Tear Fund, Christian Aid and A Rocha.