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April 2018

Lloyd Cooke Message – Pray for our local football teams

Saltbox Chief Executive Lloyd Cooke shares a message ahead of the 2018 Stoke-on-Trent Civic Prayer Breakfast, including asking for prayers and blessings for our two local football sides, Stoke City and Port Vale. Both Potteries clubs have struggled on the pitch throughout the 2017/18 season.

The continued success of both teams is crucial to our local area. Beyond the morale boost of having two successful local clubs, the Potters and the Valiants also contribute significantly to the local economy. In Stoke City’s case, their presence in the Premier League during 2015/16 resulted in 119,000 visitors from across the UK and abroad travelling to the Potteries.

The Potters have also invested heavily in local community projects via the Stoke City Community Trust. In 2015/16 the trust spent £1.3 million in supporting local programmes and charitable entities. This included work to improve physical and mental health across the region, delivering educational programmes, enhancing community cohesion and improving employment opportunities.

Likewise, in the north of the city, Port Vale also play their part. Their Foundation Trust mission statement looks to increase local sports participation, supports on health and disability, provides education opportunities and delivers on social inclusion.

Whether your colours are red and white or black and white, please join us in coming together to pray for the continued success of our local football clubs.


Civic Prayer Breakfast 2018

HUNDREDS of city and faith leaders will be gathering at Stoke-on-Trent’s King’s Hall on Friday 20 April for the city’s annual Civic Prayer Breakfast.

The Stoke-on-Trent Civic Prayer Breakfast is now one of the largest civic prayer events in the whole of the UK and organisers expect that this year’s event will attract over 300 faith leaders and community activists.

The guest speaker will be the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley.

Event organiser, Lloyd Cooke, Chief Executive of Saltbox, will also interview two city leaders: Sara Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, will talk about business developments and opportunities in the area. The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Reverend Geoff Annas will talk about his role as chair of the city’s Hardship Commission.

The Civic Prayer Breakfast has been an important event in the city calendar since its introduction in 2010, bringing together senior leaders from the city’s business, education, health, police, politics and faith sectors.

Organiser Lloyd Cooke said: “The Civic Prayer Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity to recognise the contribution of local churches and faith groups and to celebrate the good things happening in the city. For those of us who believe that God answers prayer this event gives us a strategic opening to pray for blessing on the whole city.”

Event co-host, Robert Mountford, the Staffordshire County Ecumenical Officer, added: “Churches and faith groups play a vitally important role in the city providing help and support to people in their communities.”

Lloyd Cooke added, “Encouragingly, the Stoke-on-Trent Civic Prayer Breakfast is used as a model by other towns and cities who are now organising similar events.”

Tickets to attend the event cost £10 and are available from the Methodist Book Centre in Hanley or by phoning the Saltbox on 01782 207200.

Civic Prayer Breakfast background

Since launching in 2010, the Stoke-on-Trent Civic Prayer Breakfast has become an annual event at the King’s Hall, Stoke, attracting many high profile speakers, VIPs and thousands of guests.

The event is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK, with more than 250 faith, business and community leaders coming together to pray for the City. Past speakers include; Ian Dudson (Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire), Martin Tideswell (Editor of The Sentinel newspaper), Abi Brown (Deputy Council Leader), Bishop Mike Royal (Apostolic Pastoral Council), Tristram Hunt (MP – Stoke-on-Trent Central), Rob Flello (MP – Stoke-on-Trent South).

Viewed as a benchmark by the Cinnamon Network, the format has been adopted and rolled out across many towns and cities, both nationally and internationally (including the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA)

The Civic Prayer Breakfast is an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to network, engage and connect with other members of the Stoke-on-Trent community.

Tickets for the event (Friday 20 April, 7.30am to 9.30am) at the Kings Hall, Stoke, are £10 per person including full English breakfast. Available from the Methodist Book Centre, Gitana Street, Hanley, or by calling 01782 207200)