Taunton Area Debt Advice (TADA) is a community initiative of St James Church; launched 7 years ago with 3 volunteers, we now have 12 qualified debt advisers and 4 trustees. We work under the banner of a national Christian charity called Community Money Advice who provide all the training and support needed to establish and maintain local free debt advice services. There are currently 160 CMA debt advice centres in England and Wales.

Within the Taunton Area, TADA provides free, confidential, debt advice to individuals and families who are struggling with overwhelming personal debt. Recently, because of the COVID pandemic, TADA has moved out of its office within the Citizens Advice premises in Magdalen Street as we are no longer able to hold face-to-face meetings with clients.

At the moment, TADA is undergoing a major planning exercise to offer its services to clients remotely by telephone and email and will continue to work in this manner until such times as face- to-face meetings are again possible. Working within the credit industry, debt advice centres are highly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) so it is a significant challenge to transfer the whole operation onto a remote basis and we ask for your prayers as we develop our new systems.

There is a huge national shortage of people trained as debt advisers to cope with the expected flood of people in financial distress in the coming months and TADA will be running training courses for new volunteers towards the end of 2020. If you would like to know what is involved, please contact graham@tauntonareadebtadvice.uk.

Taunton Area Debt Advice is hugely grateful to St James church for their faithful support of this vital community work.

Jenny interviewed Graham Reid and the interview can be found here.

Street Pastors Taunton started in 2007 following a period when local churches considered other initiatives that had been started in other parts of the country.

A team of trained volunteers has been recruited from a number of churches in Taunton, including St. James to provide support for young people who may be in need during the night times in the town centre. The teams work with local police, night clubs and have become increasingly respected within the community. They are supported by a prayer team who operate during the night to provide prayer backup. In the centre of town they have a “Safe Space” based outside the Congregational Church which provides hot drinks, flip flops and a safe refuge.

Street pastors have also been used by local town organisations to support other community events at Christmas, Carnival time, the vigil following the M5 crash and provided support following the flooding on the levels. Most recently they have been working with the local community services in one of the estates in Taunton.   To find out more look at the website:   http://taunton.streetpastors.org.uk/ 

The Besom in Taunton started in 2005 at Taunton Vineyard Christian Fellowship with a group of time-givers who wanted to give practical help to those in our town in most need. This has expanded to include decorating and gardening projects, delivery of food boxes, furniture, household items, all to meet the needs of our neighbours in distress. At Christmas and Easter Besom provide hampers for the individuals and families they have worked with during the year. Since 2017 Besom operate from a unit on the Crown Estate where they are able to store furniture, household items and crisis food boxes for distribution to individuals and families referred by the many social working agencies and authorities in Taunton and Wellington.

Many churches in the Taunton/Wellington area support the work of Besom in prayer, giving of time and skills, and finances.

Further details can be found at: http://www.besom.com/local-besoms/taunton   
Members of St. James church continue to give of their time, energies and prayers to this Christian charity.

Find out more about Besom during Lockdown – recorded during April 2020

The aim of the Chaplaincy is to serve the community of Taunton including people and businesses in the town centre, care homes, the workforce of Taunton’s many employers, the homeless and people in Vivary Park. Chaplains provide a friendly, listening ear, and impartial and confidential support through the ups and downs of life.

The people who form Taunton Team Chaplaincy are drawn from churches across Taunton, and are therefore part of the church here. There is a paid lead chaplain who supports the team of 25 volunteer chaplains. More volunteers are always welcome. The Chaplaincy office is at the Market House in the town centre and is open each morning for drop in visits and from where town centre patrols operate.

Each Wednesday at 10am there is a prayer meeting at the office for the town and the people who chaplains meet. All are welcome to join us. Chaplains’ placements are usually visited weekly. A chaplain’s main aim is to listen and take an interest in the people they meet and to give comfort, compassion and prayer where needed. Over a period the chaplain will seek to get to know and to be known as a caring friend.

Please see the TTC website for more details: http://www.tauntontc.co.uk

The Open Door as set up in 1996 by Taunton Christians Together in Action and is based 1A Mount Street near the Taunton town centre and provides meals, drinks, clothing, shower, laundry facilities and computer and phone charging for homeless and disadvantaged people. The centre offers a listening ear and helps with advice and signposting to services in the area. They have a team of volunteers and a Project Worker who helps the Manager run the centre. They aim to provide unconditional support to those who visit Open Door. A new initiative DoMore@OpenDoor aims to help with  benefits, job searching and CV writing.

The project is supported by individuals, local churches, schools, charities and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

The project is supported by individuals, local churches, schools, charities and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Please see their website for more details: http://www.tauntonopendoor.org.uk/
The website provided up to date in formation about the types of foodstuffs and other items that are needed.

Taunton Youth for Christ was formed in the summer of 2000. Our heart is to take the good news relevantly to every young person in Taunton.

This means that, working in partnership with local churches, we aim to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to:

  1. Know that they are loved and valued, by demonstrating God’s love to them           
  2. Hear the good news declared in appropriate and relevant ways
  3.  Make appositive decisions about their lives and specifically appropriate decisions about their faith
  4. Be discipled through relationship with positive role models, relevant small groups, and finding their place as part of the church in Taunton.

Anthony Stevens is the TYFC lead youth worker in Taunton  and works from an office which is now at North Street Church. Contact him at  taunton@yfc.co.uk

Each week TYFC work in different secondary schools and sixth form colleges across Taunton. We have a presence in each of the public secondary schools in Taunton. A new group for young people has recently been set up at Chamberlains called the Friday Night Project

For further information http://www.tauntonyfc.com/

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