Forward In Community
Well the North East did us proud in hosting an excellent National Conference in our 130th year of CPA, held in Spring sunshine at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle (http://www.thetab.co.uk/) over the weekend 5-7th April.Cleveland Branch Leader Brian McCarthy and Regional Coordinator Mike Quinnell-affectionately known now by some as ‘Ant and Dec’, supported by a wonderful team of volunteers, laid on a varied programme to encourage and inspire over 100 delegates from around the UK and the Irish Republic.
Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer gave a warm welcome and fellow chief officer presence through the conference from both Cleveland and neighbouring Northumbria was appreciated. CPA President Matt Baggott, in a prerecorded greeting emphasised the work of the Holy Spirit in revival, believers gathering and acting together, and community working.
Reports from around the regions spoke of the increasing reach of CPA across UK, including as from 1st April the formation of Police Scotland. Executive Director Don Axcell spoke of us being witnesses, that in this dot com age a dot is a moment in time that separates with more to follow and that we are to comPLETE our mission.
With an abundance of bridges over the River Tees, it was appropriate to showcase a number of Christian ministries that build bridges and connect policing with Christian ministries as outlined in our Coact Project: Safe Families for Children, Tees Valley Christian Forum, Sowing Seeds, Three Score and Ten, Christian Night Life Initiatives including Stockton Town Pastors who invited delegates out on night patrol over the conference, Eden Project, A Way Out, Christians Against Poverty, Hope For Justice on human trafficking. Premier Christian Radio recorded during the weekend.
Sue Sinclair and Norma Dean from Community Watchmen Ministries must have broadband to God as they shared stories of the power of prayer, assistance to police, and led a strategic prayer workshop. eg.1. Someone given spiritual insight into boat coming into Liverpool full of drugs contained in hollowed out fireplaces, resulting in recovery and arrests eg.2 Problem pub prayed over resulting in closure, in fact pub burnt down. Sue said ‘Blessed are those who maintain justice….In the police you have authority under the crown, but in Christ you have the authority of the King… It has never been a more exciting time to be a Christian… download God’s master plan for your community…God’s power is pouring through his people….be careful what you speak, speak blessing…we are anointed to deal with the giants in the land (David v Goliath)….be a vessel of favour to release the goodness of God….we are the greatest encouragement to our colleagues’.
Following a rousing time of worship lead by Cleveland Police Force brass band and Oakwood Choir, Vice President of CPA Robin Oake spoke powerfully on the subject of Forgiveness, reminding us that being forgiven is conditional on forgiving (Matt 6:15). It was evident that it doesn’t become less painful in sharing with the passage of time, following the murder of his police officer son Stephen in a anti terrorist raid in Manchester in 2003.
On the Sunday morning mainly delegates stayed on to join in worship at The Tab, before returning home after a great time.
Belsey Bridge East Anglia 2-4 May 2014 here we come!
Paul Bright, Assistant Director CPA.