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Dear Stapleford Centre Supporter
I want to thank you for your continued support. The Stapleford Centre has been through difficult times adjusting to supporting teachers in the digital age, when resources can be downloaded from the internet at the touch of a button. However, the challenge remains to nurture a healthy discernment about which of these resources is sound.
The Stapleford Centre’s vision continues to be the “drawing together of the best of thinking Christianly in education”. For example The Trustees are committed to making the best of Christian thinking available to teachers in an increasingly challenging environment for R.E.
As you know, some very difficult decisions have had to be taken over the last two years. We have said good bye to some long-standing staff. However, the Trustees have come away from every meeting during that time convinced that The Stapleford Centre has a place and that God wants us to continue to serve him in this way. Your support is hugely encouraging as we work to understand His will for us and that support, both prayerful and financial ,is vital for the future of Christian Education.
Where we are now:
The Stapleford Centre is being managed directly by the board of Trustees for the present. All of the administration is being undertaken on a voluntary basis by the Trustees as we work to shape its future.
Projects: We are continuing to develop Cross Ref-it in partnership with the Bible Society. This is an innovative English Literature study aid for the A Level syllabus exploring the influence of the Bible in literature. It is a world class, highly successful venture with ‘visitors’ from around the world. The Stapleford Centre employs Sue Coyne as Project Manager who has been instrumental in its development drawing on the expertise of a network of writers and editors built up over the years. Visit www.crossref-it.info/ and take a look.
Conferences: The very well received National Conference for Christians in School Leadership will run again next year looking at a contemporary issue facing Christian Educators in schools today. The Christian Consultants Network will also meet again next year. These opportunities for education practitioners to meet, exchange experience and work through active educational issues are a vital contribution to Religious Education in the UK.
Resources: We are making the back catalogue of The Stapleford Centre printed resources available as internet resources, employing consultants to do this. This is one of the ways that we can secure the legacy of thirty years of significant influence on and in Christian thinking in Education, making it available to the largest possible audience. We are also commissioning some new resources which will be available to teachers through our website.
We are maintaining The Stapleford Centre’s presence in various Religious Education bodies. The Trustees are currently in discussions to develop new partnerships with
other Christian organisations. We believe that the future lies in the strength that can be derived from strategic working between complimentary organisations. Changes in the Education world are forcing us to consider radical new approaches to supporting Christians in education to be thinking Christianly in an environment where R.E. no longer can be taken for granted in schools.
Through careful husbandry and generous supporters we have limited but sufficient funds to set us on the new course. However, we need a renewed financial commitment from
existing and new supporters if we are to do more than simply secure the Legacy . We are exploring new funding opportunities - but steady faithful giving is critical to secure The Stapleford Centre’s future.
Please pray: for the continued success of the Cross Reference Project.
For successful conferences scheduled for 2013.
For a successful outcome of the partnership discussions to develop a new force in Religious Education
For a new and secure place for R.E. in the school curriculum in the face of current reorganisation plans by the government.
For discernment for the Trustees and all those concerned with the future of the Stapleford Centre.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families every blessing and good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Yours in Christ,
Chair of Trustees
I am writing on behalf of the staff and Trustees of the Stapleford Centre to thank you for your faithful support and to urge you to continue!
As you know, we are working hard to understand God's will for the future of the Stapleford Centre and in particular to preserve and build on our rich heritage of engaging Christian thinking in education.
The Trustees continue to believe in the work of the Stapleford Centre and the vision, and therefore your prayer and giving remains crucial as we seek God's will. However, as we do not have long term funding we have advised our remaining staff, David Morton, Robin Staple and Susan Coyne, that they will be leaving their posts at the end of August 2012.
Meanwhile, we are still actively exploring the future of the Trust - and it may be that its work is paused in the short term. No matter what, there is still very important work for us to do in securing the legacy of the Stapleford Centre. For example, the website, a source of inspiration for many in the teaching world, continues to need managing and developing and the wealth of resources developed over the years needs to be secured and relevantly shared.
As we continue to adapt to change in order to embrace the future, we invite you to stand with us in financial and prayer support. This is an important time for you to review your own vision and financial commitment. We welcome your input as on both levels you could make a critical difference.
We will let you know the outcomes following the next Trustees' meeting on 2nd June 2012.
Fiona Carter, Chair of Trustees
'13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one as well as the other.'
As I write I have not long returned from celebrating New Year at the church we worship at in Peterborough. I find it a great privilege to worship with people who live out their faith despite the varied circumstances life throws at them. I also consider it a privilege to work for an organisation that is faithfully supported by a group of people who pray and financially support of our work. Thank you so much.
During the autumn it became apparent that despite the best efforts of the trustees a merger with another Christian organisation was not going to occur. As a result the trustees of the Stapleford Centre took the brave decision to try to secure the future of the Centre as an independent organisation. The Centre's office, which had been based at The Old Lace Mill, Frederick Road, Stapleford, since 2001, closed on the 16th December 2011 with David Morton, Robin Staple and Sue Coyne moving to home working.
The closure of our Nottingham office marked a watershed in the work of The Stapleford Centre. However, in closing we were thrilled to see our resources, furniture, shelving, computers and other equipment distributed to local schools, churches and Christian organisations.
God is faithful and we rejoice in his faithfulness. Plans are currently under development that, if successful, will see The Stapleford Centre placed at the centre of a project that will nurture and develop a new generation of Christian educationalists. These will be considered at the end of February. Initial feedback indicates that the proposals we have submitted are of vital importance.
Please pray for . . .
A more detailed prayer news leaflet is circulated to supporters three times per year by email. If you would like to receive this please contact Robin Staple at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks for your ongoing commitment to our work. May God bless you as you serve Him.
God is all mercy and grace — not quick to anger, is rich in love.
God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace.
Creation and creatures applaud you, God; your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendour.
Psalm 145: 8-11 (The Message)
I write to update you on the future of The Stapleford Centre and to thank you for your prayers. God is indeed good. I am struck by the simplicity of this verse from Psalm 145 (verse 9):
“God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace.”
This is indeed our testimony. Despite the difficult times The Stapleford Centre has been going through and continues to experience, God is faithful and true, He is good. I am pleased to inform you that this week we have received funding to enable us to continue in operation until August 2012 and have been given permission to submit a proposal for funding that would, if successful, secure an independent future for The Stapleford Centre for the period September 2012 – August 2015.
This proposal was developed as a result of the day of prayer and reflection held by the trustees on 17th September and we are excited about its potential to shape Christian engagement in education over the next ten years. A final decision will be made by the end of February about the funding proposal along with a separate project proposal that will form the core of The Stapleford Centre’s work over the next three years.
Would you join us and pray that God’s blessing would be upon these funding proposals? They will be submitted at a time when we are transitioning from a physical base to home working and are reducing our staffing and areas of operation. Pray also that, throughout all the change, God would continue to speak clearly into the life of The Stapleford Centre and into the lives of those who work for the Centre both now and in the future.
Please pray for . . .
A more detailed prayer news leaflet is circulated to supporters three times per year by email. If you would like to receive this please contact Robin Staple at email@example.com. Thank you for praying for us at this challenging but exciting time.