Hello and welcome to the second "Chairman's Log".
This time round, I wanted to make available the article 'Wot I wrote' for the BCF Word Magazine. If you are not members of BCF, you would not have seen this. The article describes a little of who Canal Ministries are and our relationship to the BCF organisation, and starts by setting out our objectives as a charity.
Our Charitable objectives are simple and can be summarised as:-
Our 'motto' is "Sharing God's love on the Waterways". You may now have worked out that our volunteers are boaters who are evangelists putting Jesus front and centre in all they do. Hence we ask they sign to agree the Statement of Beliefs. As our second objective states, we do this not only with words, but with actions. For example, our volunteers engage to help with claiming benefits, as intermediaries with CRT, the provision of fuel in the winter, help with emergency boat maintenance, spending time with people, distribution of food parcels, provision of canal side coffee/soup, and last year one of our volunteers had a boat used for vaccine distribution, amongst other things.
We as trustees do not direct our boaters where they should go, or ask for time reports. We believe each of our volunteers is living out God's calling on their lives to do those two things our charity objectives state. As we support them with literature, and funds for needy boaters, all we ask is they submit a few paragraphs of news every few months covering our charitable objectives. These are published on the website as news for our supporters.
Some of our volunteers are embedded in boating communities, some continuously cruise, two run a day boat, one is a retired commercially qualified boater and two are onshore working within care homes (both used to be boaters).
Although we have no official links with BCF, it is true that all of the Canal Ministries boaters, as individuals, are members of BCF, but there is nothing in our trust deeds that says they have to be. You will have seen Chris Buck's name in relation to the organisation of the BCF Mission at Water Eaton (and several previous to that). Chris sits on the BCF Committee representing Canal Ministries and is also our recently appointed Team Lead. Likewise, Sue and Andy Smith are BCF Committee members and also Canal Ministries boaters.
We are a small charity with currently 9 boating and 1 land based teams, so it is only possible to minister to or help with those people our teams meet directly. As much as we would like to help all those that are referred to us, it is unfortunately just not possible.
Hopefully this will have given you a brief flavour of who Canal Ministries really are. We are more than happy to speak to those boaters who have felt a calling to serve as evangelists on the waterways about joining the team, We are also happy to talk to those who feel they would like to be trustees of Canal Ministries.
I will also take this opportunity to thank those we call our 'associates', who provide a strong prayer support team for us, and also my fellow trustees for keeping the prop turning as we seek to serve God's purposes on the inland waterways.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our Charity or even donate a few doubloons details can be found on our website – www.canalministries.org.uk.
Chair of Trustees.
(Any views expressed above are personal and not necessarily those of the other Trustees).
If you would like somebody to visit your church and speak about the ministry, please do contact us via the website. Similarly, you can find details on how to donate financially via the website or directly on other pages on the site. If you would like to pray for us, we would welcome that also. Please contact us for current prayer topics, again via the website.