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Was I ready for my close up?

It was somewhat in trepidation that on 12th October 2022 I faced the morning of the IBEX ZOOM Conference. I should have known better. I had never even looked in on such an animal before, let alone participated or helped to run one. I had a slot in which I was to contribute – something about Chaplaincy and how IBEX had developed over the years from the organisation called SHIM that I had joined in 1993. It went down well. But other than that, my main task would be to keep the techie people and others going with tea, coffee and sandwiches, which was quite straightforward for a Luddite. But thanks to Hannah and Ray in particular for keeping things on track, and remaining calm throughout.

Luddite is being unfair to myself. In days gone by it was me who produced on Microsoft Publisher the IBEX Newsletter, and I could deal with something like that quite easily. But now, and steadily approaching the three score years and ten I was quite happy to marvel at how calmly and phlegmatically those who were dealing with the equipment and the technology coped, especially when something went wrong..... which it did. But whenever it did, things were put right or alternative ways of doing it were found immediately. For the audience “out there” it would have been far less worrying.

But the event itself. Much of the input will already be on the IBEX website, or soon will be. And it was good. Our recently departed colleague Tim Clarke talked about what you can do with Church Buildings, with the example of Buckland URC to work on – the “place to be” now in that part of Portsmouth. The Town Centre Chaplaincy from Dorchester contributed remotely from the depths of Dorset about the development of their now thriving operation.

There were other inputs – useful advice and thinking about the use of Social Media. But mostly the launch of the new Forum – a place where people can register in order to communicate with other practitioners – to float ideas, share problems, make suggestions and whatever else might be useful. It’s about sharing good practice more than anything else. What it now needs is people to join and to contribute. So IBEX will be finding ways to publicise it far and wide.

We were aware before the event that two things would come out of this: firstly the opportunity to share, then secondly material that could be shared on the website.

One main message to take away, though, was that this was worthwhile and we would want to do it again.

So watch this space.

David Wrighton

Formerly team leader of IBEX but now happy to sit back and let other people formulate what is going on while supporting as a trustee!


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