Welcome to CHIPS summer update
By Josh Grear
On the 11th April we celebrated a year of the Brixton Project. A year that has been full of learning, prayer, patience, opportunity, growth, and frustration.
Frustration is not easy to write about, and I feel that it is a familiar and persistent feature of youth work, community work and peacemaking.
On Friday 22nd April 2016, Canon Sarah Hills, Coventry Cathedral’s Canon for Reconciliation Ministry, led a Thanksgiving Eucharist to celebrate all that God has enabled CHIPS to achieve in its 50 years of peacemaking.
Alex with team leader Josh in Hopton House
Alex joined the Brixton Team back in 2014, and here she talks about what day-to-day life is like as a CHIPS volunteer.
As a CHIPS volunteer team member I live in the Brixton flat and dedicate some of my spare time to volunteering on and around our estate, but I work elsewhere in London. I hope this gives a flavour of what it’s like to be part of the Brixton Team:
Last month the congregation at Nettlebed Church, Henley-on-Thames, gathered together for a service of thanksgiving, kindly giving their time to reflect on CHIPS and our peacemaking mission over the last 50 years.
Leading the congregation with a sermon on CHIPS’ philosophy of peacemaking, Tilly Martin, one of our Trustees, brought together the spirit of CHIPS, reflecting on some of the highs and lows of the last 50 years.
Christians are called to be peacemakers. As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, Grove Books has published a booklet by Elfrida Calvocoressi, wife of CHIPS’ founder, Roy Calvocoressi, OBE.
In describing CHIPS’ peacemaking methodology, Elfrida explores the delicate balance between biblical truth and practical application. This booklet introduces the central elements of peacemaking, as exemplified by Jesus in the New Testament. Drawing on her own experience alongside Roy in his life and work, she demonstrates that biblical principles, spirituality and their practical application are inseparable.
The Brixton Team at the House of Lords
This year CHIPS has started our programme of events as we mean to go on, with a drinks reception at the House of Lords on the 14th January, kicking off a year of events celebrating our 50th Anniversary as a peacemaking ministry in areas of conflict and tension around the world.
The 14th January is an Anniversary for CHIPS in its own right. 15 years ago on this very date, CHIPS was at the heart of violence, bloodshed and conflict when a massacre at one of our bases in Lomaratoit, Uganda left our team scattered, and 14 dead.
For the last year, CHIPS Ghana has been working to improve sanitation in schools and communities across North Eastern Ghana, improving the health and livelihood of over 3,000 young students.
To celebrate World Toilet Day this year, CHIPS is going further to flush out bad sanitation.
We know that poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition. We know that for women and girls a lack of access to proper facilities is an even greater risk, leaving them vulnerable to the threat of rape and abuse through lack of privacy. These are issues faced by 2.4 billion people worldwide.
Lucy studied International Relations at the University of Aberdeen and has previously worked in a small Christian project based in Southern Uganda and Farnham.
She enjoys travelling, reading and discotheque.
She says: “CHIPS has got such an exciting year of events coming up, it really is the perfect time to join the expanding team. It is wonderful to get some practical experience of the kind of grassroots work that CHIPS does, and in a very supportive team.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have been seen on our TV screens fleeing situations of war, violence and oppression over the past few months. However, though this situation is being termed a “crisis” due to the huge scale, there have been thousands upon thousands making these same journeys for many years with little or no acknowledgement from the press.