Getting Friendly at St Clement’s Outwell

2015-09-28 19.05.152015-09-28 19.05.19

It was very encouraging to be at a well-attended Special General Meeting last night of the Friends of St Clement’s Church, Outwell, home of the famous roof carvings. The meeting was needed for housekeeping purposes, but it took the opportunity to discuss the upcoming project to install a loo and mini-kitchen – vital accessories for the open church of today! Schemes like this in sensitive ancient churches are never easy, but it looks as if an application will be going in very soon for the permissions and grants in aid that are needed. Keep in touch via the website at

Attending church is the key to good mental health among older Europeans, study finds

A press release from the LSE reports new research showing that attending church is the key to good mental health among older Europeans

A study of depression among older Europeans has found that joining a religious organisation is more beneficial than charity work, sport or education in improving their mental health.

The surprising findings from a study by the Erasmus MC and the London School of Economics and Political Science also reveal that political and community organisations actually have a detrimental impact on the mental health of older Europeans on a long term basis.

In a study of 9000 Europeans aged 50+ over a four-year period, researchers at Erasmus MC and LSE looked at different levels of social activity and how they influenced people’s moods.

LSE epidemiologist Dr Mauricio Avendano said the only activity associated with sustained happiness was attending a church, synagogue or mosque.

“The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life. It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated,” he said.

The study showed that joining political and community organisations only provides short-term benefits in terms of mental health and seems, in fact, to lead to an increase in depressive symptoms longer term.

“Participants receive a higher sense of reward when they first join an organisation but if it involves a lot of effort and they don’t get much in return, the benefits may wear off after some time,” he said.

Similarly, the study did not find any short-term benefits from sports and participation in other social activities.

According to the recent Global Burden of Disease study, the incidence of depression among older Europeans ranges from 18 per cent in Denmark to 37 per cent in Spain.

While the sample sizes were small, the study by Dr Simone Croezen from Erasmus MC, Dr Avendano and colleagues also threw up some unusual findings:

* Southern Europeans (Italy and Spain) have higher rates of depression than older people who live in the Scandinavian countries (Sweden and Denmark) or western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands);

* Depression may have less to do with the weather and more with other determinants, such as economic wellbeing or social relationships;

* Northern Europeans are more likely to play sport than their southern counterparts;

* Southern Europeans do not tend to socialise beyond their family networks and less than 10 per cent take part in either voluntary work or educational/training courses.

Previous studies have found that people who are involved in the church, clubs, sport, political groups and voluntary activities enjoy better mental health than the rest of the population. However, little research has been done on whether any of these activities in themselves actually cause happiness or whether people who are happy to begin with are more likely to engage in these activities.

“Our findings suggest that different types of social activities have an impact on mental health among older people, but the strength and direction of this effect varies according to the activity,” Dr Avendano said.

“One of the most puzzling findings is that although healthier people are more likely to volunteer, we found no evidence that volunteering actually leads to better mental health. It may be that any benefits are outweighed by other negative impacts of volunteering, such as stress.”

Social participation and depression in old age is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It is authored by Dr Simone Croezen (University Medical Centre Rotterdam), Dr Mauricio Avendano (LSE Health and Social Care), and Dr Alex Burdorf and Dr Frank van Lenthe (Erasmus MC).

The paper is available at:

Faith-Based Regeneration Network News

FbRN is one of the few bodies still attracting Government funding to help with faith’s contribution to society. They make the most of it and their newsletter – latest edition below – is always useful. Thankyou!

We have lift off! New FbRN website launched

Welcome to our new website! It is easier to use, more current and accessible. Do have a browse and explore! plus WE NEED YOUR HELP: If you notice any links that are not working properly please let us know or see pages where you could supply useful information please let us know! Just reply to this email or use the "contact us" button on the website.


FbRN Office move: Dec 2012

FbRN is moving office during the week beginning 17th December.  Inevitably communications will be a little disrupted for a short period. Please look here for further information.


Events & Admin Intern – immediate start

The FbRN national conference to be held in the Midlands in March 2013 will be the most important event for grassroots activists to meet each other and with policy makers, academics, philanthropists and all who have an interest in Faith Based Social Action. We are seeking an intern for 2-3 days a week between now and the end of March to help organise this important event. If you are interested in this role please send your CV and a short statement as to why you would be suitable. Send to and as we are in the middle of our office move please also copy:
read on…

Religion & 2011 Census

First numbers have been issued from the 2011 Census on religious affiliation.

The headline figures for faith traditions and links to the initial report read on. The analysts will be pouring over the figures in the weeks and months but one interesting fact that emerges from the raw figures is that religious diversity, far from being solely an urban phenomenon, is actually spread throughout England and Wales. 

Hampshire Interfaith Network launch Calendar for 2013

This unique interfaith calender has a collection of artistic depictions of world religions produced by children from local schools. See the website for order details.

Click here to visit link

Community Right to Bid scheme

The Community Right to Bid scheme allows communities to take ownership of assets.

read on…

DCLG celebrates Faith-based Social Action

Harriet Crabtree of Interfaith Network at the DCLG event

On 27th Nov 2012 Dept. of Communities and Local Government held a celebration of faith based social action.

read on…




NPC report: Making an Impact

New Philanthropy Capital

Do you measure the impact of your work?

A recent report by New Philanthropy Capital indicates that more and more charities are measuring impact. Partly this is because of the need to demonstrate to funders and partly because we all aim to do the best work we can for the benefit of our users. Yet, despite the need to show funders the impact of our work, funding for this activity is seen as the greatest barrier, particularly for smaller organisations. To read the full report look here. FbRN is working on an impact measurement online course with the Woolf Institute in Cambridge.  What do you think? Important or not?
And watch out for….. FbRN’s National Conference in March 2013.  More details in the new year!

Faith Based Regeneration Network UK

308 Kennington Lane

London, England SE11 5HY

United Kingdom

visit our website | follow us on twitter | befriend us on facebook

Add us to your address book

A new church for Benwick

2012-10-21 14.21.12

Bishops get to bless and dedicate all sorts of things (five loos, four quiet gardens, three outdoor play areas …) but this was the first time I got to dedicate a whole new church. The original disappeared into the fen a while ago, but determined fundraising meant that the local church was able to pay for a good extension to the village hall. It has been placed in the hall’s ownership, and all of it except the curtained sanctuary will be a welcome addition to the village’s general meeting space. Now of course the next building phase starts, building God’s work and the well-being of the whole community, and I am sure God will bless them in it just as much as he blessed the bricks and mortar.

2012-10-21 14.21.54

2012-10-21 14.21.35

The Cross on the right is I think, for the historians among you, the only survivor from the old church, though an impressive chair came from the local Methodists (this is an ecumenical venture) – I hope they didn’t mind it becoming a bishop’s throne for a moment.

Report from Cambridge Conversations #3: Towards the Common Good

CamConv header 

Around three dozen of the Cambridge Conversation participants met on Saturday 17 November 2012 in the Old Library, Emmanuel College to update on activities and start a discussion and debate on the theme of the “Common Good” which had emerged as a major interest in Conversation #2.

Conversation #4 is now booked for Saturday 8th June 2013 again at Emmanuel, and will be a larger event for 100-150 participants to dig deeper into the “Common Good” theme. Philip Blond, well-known author of Red Tory, political theorist (and theologian by training!) is confirmed as our lead speaker.

At CC3 we also planned a number of ways to open up the Conversation more widely So watch out next spring for 10 SOFAS, 10 MINUTES: IT’S TIME TO TALK, when all being well 10 inflatable sofas and accompaniers will spring up in various locations with a lollipop inviting passers by sit and talk for a moment about something that matters – with friend or stranger.

Here are the formal notes from the meeting:



Updates on activities arising from previous meetings

Northstowe/NW Cambridge (Ed Cearns)

Northstowe has planning initial permission. There is a meeting on 26 November – very short timescale, but time to give information to Tracy Mann for her to feed in to make sure community needs to be addressed.

NW Cambridge – at present people are talking about sustainability, but mean just environment when it is so much more. On 10 December there will be a Community Forum, and an opportunity to speak up for the full needs of the development.

In general, is consultation the best method or are there ways of securing more interaction? This is what we should now could consider.

Mill Road Project (Caro Wilson)

Stories are powerful and at the heart of the Project. The group has collected many from the last centuries on the web site. In the last 10 months they have built up a steering group with residents and experts and are applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Propose to engage community by helping people find things to share and celebrate, and to research these for themselves, eg. old workhouse, library. Groups such as churches can get involved. Pop-up ‘memory shops’ will be provided to collect stories.

Cycle Provision (Julian Huppert)

Cycling is a very healthy and efficient means of transport. The more people who cycle the safer it becomes for everyone. Cambridge is badly provided for cyclists, but better that most of the UK. The exemplars on are on continental Europe. Hope for Chisholm Trail (N to S by railway line). Lobbying for 20mph limit and more cycle parking especially at the Railway Station.

Nationally, it is getting higher profile – JH is vice-chair of All Party Parliamentary cycle group, which is launching an enquiry into getting more people cycling.

Ely Cathedral Business Group (Alistair Reid)

Aim is to get business people to put their heads above the parapet, and look at the wider world. ECBG is a non-member group. Have had an excellent response and very pleased that it’s not being seen as just another networking group, but has more purpose, for example, already providing career mentoring to students from Ely College. Next event in February, with a week-long exhibition in April. Have found enormous number of very small businesses in the region, but need more resource to draw them in.

Much more information is available from the ECBG website.

Sean Finlay announced an event in Wisbech on 22 November (Faith and the market), which he sees as a ‘localisation of CC’, and which others could do around the region.

Debate and discussion on ‘The Common Good’

This was introduced by short presentations:

Julian Huppert MP

All too commonly we assess economic performance by GDP. This doesn’t measure anything ‘good’ eg rich getting richer boosts GDP. Some things that are free, eg a walk in the park add to general well being (not necessarily the same as happiness). JH is Chair of All Party Parliamentary group “Wellbeing Economics”, and this will urge the government to do a “well being audit” on its policies.

Richard, Lord Wilson

Text of speech attached at Appendix A.

Robin Millar

We haven’t cracked the Common Good – we need to review and change the nature of our institutions.

Three main points:

1. Policy comes as an intermediary between philosophy and action. the Common Good may be more a philosophical concept but its outworkings are part of everyday life. It’s important to keep a focus on the Common Good running through a whole project.

2. Fairness – some people think poor ‘deserve it’ – a moral underclass. Some think redistribution of wealth is the answer. Some think we must remove exclusion of some individuals – the ‘social inclusion discourse’.

Politics has let us down on addressing the Common Good, and so has business. Are they themselves a ‘moral underclass’?

3. Ontology of the Western World. We attribute values to things we can measure and see, eg money. We need to bring a different approach to values back into the conversation.

Corollaries are – should not use money alone as a measure of poverty; must use Social Return on Investment much more as a criterion; evidence-based policy must be anchored in the Common Good.

Barney Leith

The Common Good is central to the thinking of Bahá’ís and to multi faith collaboration, such as supported by FbRN.The Bahá’í teachings are infused with and founded on the understanding that we humans, at a deep level, are all one family.

Spirituality is not just an individual matter, but has to do with collective well-being and changing the world through virtuous actions. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, eldest son of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith compared humankind to a tree, whose diverse parts – branches, leaves, fruit – are part of one whole. If all parts are to flourish, we must powerfully nurture and sustain one another: this is the Common Good.

Welcoming a diversity of views and working towards consensus are essential for the Common Good. Humankind is like the flowers of a garden, beautifully diverse, but all part of a single garden.

Justice and collective wellbeing are crucial to world peace.

Seva Mandir is a large-scale social action project in India whose manifest primary goal is to achieve the Common Good, which trustees and staff see as intimately related to the interconnectedness of all things, a principle present throughout all creation. It is clear that the means to achieve goals must be coherent with the goals themselves. If the goal is to empower, then the means must be empowering.

Seva Mandir is not a Bahá’í organization, but its philosophy and work exemplify key elements from the Bahá’í teachings relating to the Common Good:

· unity in diversity

· justice

· the interconnectedness of ‘the world-tree’ (to use ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s phrase)

· human solidarity and the need for us all to powerfully sustain one another

· spirituality has to do with collective well-being, not just individual well-being

· the importance of love, unity and trustworthiness in all that we do

· the alignment of means and ends – if the phrase ‘the common good’ is not to be merely empty rhetoric the way we work with our fellow human beings for the common good says as much as the words we use.

Andreas Whittam Smith

AWS has been trying to solve a problem that is summed up by the word ‘omnishambles’. The solution – Democracy 2015 – could be a contribution to the Common Good. He is focusing on the quality of MPs rather than on policy and constitution. Ministers in government are selected from a tiny pool of MPs – people who have spent their lives in politics. They don’t know how to manage, innovate, handle a budget etc. Having this ‘political class’ is a fairly new phenomenon. Also, we have had a tradition of a strong, independent Civil Service, but recently they have become less regarded by ministers, and undermined by MPs. MPs are too focused on gaining/holding power, so they are good at politics but not at governing. They avoid difficult questions, the real questions that are part of the Common Good. They also don’t listen to the electorate – focus groups are not about listening.

These ideas have led to the launch of Democracy 2015, to deal with incompetence and ‘not listening’. The movement wants to make policy by agreement, and support candidates who have done ‘real’ things in business, professions, innovation and so on – who would stand for one term only ie would do it for the Common Good, not for power. It would demand a government formed of such people if the concept were to really work. After this, natural party politics would re-assert themselves, but would have been refreshed and differently focused.


There was a very engaged debate, which included discussion of the following points:

  • Question of ‘centre ground’ or ‘common ground’ – when politicians try to take the former they are seen as being manipulative, it’s interesting that some are now trying to take ‘common ground’ re Common Good.
  • Things should happen more at community level – people need to be allowed to speak by initiatives such as CC.
  • Effective representation at national level stems from local action. We need a sense of place at local level. The ethical challenges we face are in part, that we are tempted to base our own flourishing on reducing the flourishing of others – the old, demented etc. – when their flourishing is important to the well being of all.
  • A local councillor’s role is about nurturing local communities.
  • People need to recapture the idea that it is a good thing to have pride in their work and see it as a social contribution, rather than just connecting it to money.
  • Central government takes on it more than it can possibly discharge, yet it still has a default to take back to itself, and finds subsidiarity hard.
  • How can we discuss the Common Good in this country without reference to the rest of the world?
  • A Princeton study on advanced economies showed that levels of inequality have increased rapidly. Idea of creating new communities from scratch is very new. How can we talk about stakeholders in eg Northstowe, when these people aren’t yet there? The institutions that have the best track record for community building – faiths – are being ignored by a new liberalism.
  • Morality is face to face, not abstract. We need to talk also about virtues, which encompass the concept of competence.
  • The modern world needs experts, but they tend to be too narrow, so you need groups comprising different expertise.
  • Could we have a Cambridgeshire 2015 group and put to our own politicians the matters on which we agree?
  • It’s pressingly important that we start to reduce inequality eg of income as it is rapidly eroding the Common Good.
  • The question of values and virtues was discussed, and David Thomson (Bishop of Huntingdon) suggested we could re-figure the virtues in ‘new’ language:

Old Style                       New Style
Temperance                  Desiring Well
Prudence                      Deciding Well
Justice                          Distributing Well (fairness)
Fortitude                       Daring Well
which are resourced and effected by
Faith                             Principled
Hope                            Proaction in
Charity                          Partnership

  • This group seems to have common ground on what constitutes Common Good – no-one is taking a utilitarian approach whereby it is assumes that the Common Good means the best for the majority even at the expense of the minority – is this representative of thinking in the population generally?
  • Sense of what binds us together, across inequalities, is being lost. We need to understand why this is.
  • We will never reach the Common Good unless we confront very difficult practical points, which will create conflict. We need to build bridges, so that we can jointly confront matters that are ‘not right’.

The next Cambridge Conversations event will be at the same venue on 8 June 2013, and more information will be sent out to all on the list.


Text of presentation by Richard Wilson

I once made the mistake of putting in front of Mrs Thatcher a draft statement which said that ‘society’ had a duty to take action to improve our inner cities. She let out a yelp, as if I had trodden on her foot, and deleted ‘society’ so strongly that it went through the paper.

She then explained that the phrase, in her view, was woolly. Society consisted of individuals, acting alone or in groups. There was nothing else. If we conveniently put the duty for action on ‘society’ as an abstract notion without specifying which individuals or group of individuals were responsible for taking action, we were letting people off the hook. ‘So who are we talking about?’ she asked. ‘Central government? local government? Charities? The Church?’. So far as I can remember we put the whole lot in.

Her dislike of ‘society’ has become notorious, but I have remembered that exchange. I often ask myself when reading newspapers or reports where the power to put something right actually lies. Power is fluid. It moves around much more than people think. Prime Ministers are not powerful all the time, as they all discover. Similarly individuals are not powerless all the time, as they may not realise. It is part of the human condition that people often fail to recognise the power in their own hands and in the actions they can legitimately take.

I mercifully never put anything in front of Mrs Thatcher which used the phrase ‘the common good’ but I suspect I would have drawn a similar reaction. It was not that she was opposed to the common good but she would have felt that it lacked precision. ‘Good for whom?’ she would have asked. ‘Will everyone sign up to it? Why should they?’.

As with ‘society’, she would have missed the central importance of mobilising the good instincts of people in general, of appealing to the inherent wish which exists sporadically in most people to do what is for right for others. At the same time she would have been right to challenge me to avoid woolliness and to urge me to be more practical about who would benefit and how we would create a coalition of opinion which would last longer than a momentary rush of enthusiasm. She had an earthy realism about what would and would not mobilise people’s energies.

‘The common good’ is one of those terms, like ‘the public interest’, which one thinks one understands until one tries to define it. There is a reason for this. Our interests are not all the same, all the time. We have basic needs in common, for security, food, health, education and so on. But within those headings our circumstances and needs differ greatly, as do our views and prejudices. While we generally want the world around us to be run in a way with which we are all satisfied, there is a distinct limit to the extent that to which we are prepared to sacrifice our own interests, our views and opinions in order to achieve it. Try opening up an argument at a dinner party about taxation, for instance, or private education or the rights of cyclists against those of motorists. Even if there appears to be agreement, there will be people who will say ‘yes’ but mean ‘no’.

This is fundamentally what life in government and politics is about: dealing with the problems which confront us collectively and which almost always involve a multitude of different, conflicting interests and viewpoints, and attempting to forge a solution which people will broadly accept which goes at least some way towards solving the problem, to promoting the common good. The art of the possible.

There are many trends in our national political institutions which worry people. I have a fantasy sometimes of a national campaign of people of goodwill in a general election to put them right, on a platform which would include a commitment to stand down after two or three years and hand things back to the politicians, promising never to stand again. But I realise that apart from the expense it would be liable to be disrupted in practice by too many conflicting interests, too many disagreements. I am more inclined to believe that the solution lies in delegating power to local communities, and in encouraging local communities to assert their own power.

Let me offer you five conclusions.

First, time after time, when attempting to resolve disagreement on a contentious issue, it is a surprisingly effective to begin by establishing those aspects where everyone is agreed. Something in human nature gravitates towards disagreement, just as the wicked people in Dickens’s novels are so often more interesting than the good people. And yet, when one establishes the common ground it is often more extensive than one might imagine, leaving the hard points of disagreement standing out for concentrated debate and probably compromise. But this is a technique more easily applied within a local group of people than at a national level. The latter is often too complex to be truly manageable.

Second, people in large groups at some level usually know the truth about social ills. They may not want to acknowledge it, they may not want to look at it, but they know it. The art of true leadership is often to draw out the truth at a pace which people can cope with. People may want the public good but there is a limit to the speed at which they can move towards it (it has taken years for people to face child abuse). But here again this is more likely to be manageable within a local community than a national one where so many different interests and cultures are involved

Third, people are often more prepared to accept an outcome with which they are not entirely happy – or not at all happy – if they feel that they have had an opportunity to argue their corner and to be heard. What does the damage is feeling that they are powerless and have had no chance to explain their case. Here again this is more possible within a local community. Many local problems stem ultimately from differences of culture or diverse backgrounds or simply social change. A sense of helplessness in the face of change generates a determination to hold on to narrow self-interest.

There are limits to what central governments can do to identify and pursue the common good in local problems. It is simply not practicable always to resolve local problems from central government. Of course there are many things which are best dealt with centrally. But successive governments have tended over decades to draw power unto themselves at the expense of local government. They have also, for electoral reasons, tended to behave as though central government is omnipotent, able to resolve every problem, however local, in national life. But there are practical limits to what central government can do to take effective local action. Communities are not all the same. Central government does not do everything equally well.

What we need are local processes which allow people more opportunity to contribute their own thoughts and to advance their own interests in things which matter to them and where they want to be heard. They will not always agree on what the common good is. Their interests will not always be the same. But a process – a conversation – which identifies the common ground and which allows people to feel that they have truly had a chance to be heard is most likely to promote the common good. And this cannot be done by central government. Hence the importance of having Cambridge Conversations


17 November 2012

Westminster Abbey Lectures on Faith, Secularism and the Common Good

  • 17 October 2012 6:15 pm Faith & Secularism in Education

    This lecture will explore educational approaches that encourage respect and critical dialogue between religious and secular positions. All are welcome to attend.

  • 24 October 2012 6:15 pm Faith & Secularism in Law and Justice

    The lecture will explore both the tensions and the various means of accommodation. All are welcome to attend.

  • 31 October 2012 6:15 pm Faith & Secularism in Christian Belief

    This lecture will aruge for the irrationality of a purely science-based belief system, and for the importance of cultivating a spirituality which can unite scientific, moral, liberal, and humane attitudes, and in which faith and critical enquiry overlap and complement one another. All are welcome to attend.

  • 14 November 2012 6:15 pm Faith & Secularism: The Moral Resourcing of the Nation – dialogue and debate

    Can faith and secular work together to renew our moral resources? An agnostic professor of philosophy and a radical orthodox professor of theology debate the issues. All are welcome to attend.

Tickets (free)

Cambridge Conversations: report on Round 2


Round 2 of the Cambridge Conversations were held on 23 June at Emmanuel College (by kind permission of the Master and Fellows) with some 60 participants from a wider range of Cambridgeshire backgrounds. It proved to be a most energising day, with a real sense of movement from the general discussions of Round 1 towards specific actions. Participants met in 6 theme groups, each with Champions charged not only to lead discussion on the day but take action forward).


Discussion: as below.


  1. Identify influencers (Clinical Commissioners, Health & Wellbeing Boards)
  2. Share case study examples with them (eg Parish Nursing, Healthy Walks)
  3. Group also identified gaps in provision (eg dementia and depression)
  4. Possible blog for those trying to engage with healthcare
  5. Theme group will continue to meet, at least virtually, to take these actions forward

Social infrastructure

Discussion: Social cohesion; language that unites or divides: what is the ‘common good’?; importance of common spaces where people meet and share their stories (cf. RSA research), and can then identify concerns and solutions.


  1. Hold a CC3 on theme of the common good
  2. Online forum
  3. Personal stories on enablement – how I have been enabled to achieve common good in my community (“positivity campaign”)

Physical infrastructure

Discussion: Relentless, high quality communication and especially face-to-face contact, reaching ALL people before planning assumptions and decisions are made (not only consulting on worked-up proposals) to help determine what is good for everybody, and including provision for community facilities in S106 agreements. Following through with on-the-ground community development workers. Building this into policies robust enough to withstand developer challenges.


  1. Conduct a ‘Northstowe experiment’ , looking now (not waiting for phase 1 to start/finish) at what might be done differently in phases 2 and beyond, perhaps focussed on the “common good”/”commons”
  2. Encourage planning authorities to revise policies to build in better/earlier community consultation and subsequent provision.


Discussion: teacher recruitment; rural isolation; raising aspirations; insight into employers’ needs

Actions: as schools have greater freedom to shape their own futures they can be encouraged to –

  1. Stimulate partnerships between state and private sectors eg shared facilities
  2. Draw in local businesses more and understand their needs/hopes better; recruit teachers from business


Discussion: “Relational Economics” – based on working together


  1. Identify champions to mobilise businesses to collaborate and engage more in community issues
  2. Encourage public/private/VCS partnerships (eg care services, housing)
  3. Promote mutual models of business
  4. Involve entrepreneurs in social investment enterprises (eg skill transfer)
  5. Support women who are already active in the Cambs economy

Law and Order

Discussion: role of new Police Commissioners, Police and Crime Plan; more voice for communities inc. faith; more direct face-to-face contact between ex-offenders and communities


  1. Unlock potential of CC and its groups/network (virtual presence; “speed-networking”)
  2. Use CC network to link to PCC election process and then influence the new Commissioner and Plan
  3. Promote wider involvement in Neighbourhood Panels
  4. Use faith networks to develop volunteering (eg transport for families of prisoners)
  5. Support offenders and their families by making community service more interactive with more positive outcomes (something tangible being given back to community)
  6. Give young people a greater stake in society by involving them more in decision making (eg in participative budgeting)
  7. Using faith networks positively

Two general comments

  1. How does this all link with the re-energisation of local government as it gains new powers?
  2. Remember this about Cambridgeshire and not just Cambridge

Overall themes

The Common Good: possible subject of future CC conversation and online forum

Unlocking the power of the emerging CC network: circulate emails and areas of interest; open up website?; theme-specific blogs

Face-to-face matters; personal stories of enablement and engagement

New policies to drive earlier/better community engagement in planning, budgeting

Social enterprise and mutual business models; partnership working between business, public and voluntary sectors

Next CC actions

  1. Post-CC2 mailing which will
    1. report on CC2
    2. include Martin Clark’s presentation
    3. circulate email addresses and areas of interest
  2. Look at possibilities of opening up/developing website (resources needed) esp. re (3) below
  3. Encourage development of ‘common good’ stream: possible CC event
  4. Plan a CC session in November (lunch or early evening) at Emmanuel College to include
    1. brief reports/stories on progress – NB esp “common good”
    2. networking time (“speed networking” model)
    3. if “Northstowe experiment” gathers momentum, a focus on this