Weekly News from the Diocese

Diocese of Monmouth Esgobaeth Mynwy

Please Note

The Friday Round Up will be taking a break over August.
We will send out any important updates as they come in and this email will return in September.

As always you can contact the office by emailing admin.monmouth@churchinwales.org.uk or calling 07508 801511.Dear Friends,

Out and About

It was good to be able to get out of Newport to license two parish priests this week. Although the congregation numbers were necessarily limited and no opportunity for a celebration party afterwards, there was nevertheless a real sense of welcome to Chris Walters in Blaenavon and to Dan Frett in Caldicot. Please hold them and their respective churches in your prayers. My sermon was based on Matthew 5: 14-16 on both occasions and can be found here if you would like to read it.
Transforming the unjust structures of our society

Last week, I referred to the ways in which churches can become more environmentally friendly; taking seriously the 5th mark of mission, one of three themes that I am urging us to focus on in the next 12 months particularly. Another theme is that of poverty and injustice; how we respond to the needs of those in our communities and how we can work to transform the structures of our society such that our world becomes fairer and more equitable. As a church, we have a good track record or meeting human need. The number of churches either running or helping out in foodbanks is just one example of this. We are less good at partnering with others to effect change where so many are disadvantaged and disenfranchised. The pandemic has had a devastating impact, most especially in our poorer communities. The needs of those around us are going to become more not less acute in the months, perhaps years, ahead.

I am extremely grateful to Sandy Blair, Chair of our Parsonage Board and one of the trustees of the Bevan Foundation in Merthyr Tydfil, for a short paper outlining the issues which can be found here. It would be wonderful if this paper were to be used as a starting point for discussion in parish and Ministry Area groups. In short it explores and addresses:
Why is there poverty;low wages/pensions and low irregular hours of workan inadequate social security systemhigh cost of essentials, housing, food, heating and digital access.
  What we can do as individuals and as a Church:  a combination of short and long term.Continue and increase our support for Food Banks, both in our communities and in those in more disadvantaged areas.Support proposals for extending free school meals to the full year, not just term timeLobby for a permanent increase in Social Security payments and for prompt paymentSupport measures to increase local employment opportunities and the Fair Wage.Encourage higher investment in young people through Further Education and Skills trainingBe open to the building of more social housing in both urban and rural areas.But do read the full article. Isaiah, amongst others, urges us to loose the bonds of injustice, undo the thongs of the yoke, let the oppressed go free and break every yoke (Is 58:6). What will you do? What should we do, together as a diocese? Food for thought, prayer and discussion.

With my prayers for the coming weeks.
 Congratulations to Rev Chris Walters on his licensing to Blaenavon and Rev Dan Frett to Caldicot this week. Live-streamed Services & Reflections: Catch up on Bishop Cherry’s Tuesday reflection here.

Join a Sunday Eucharist from Bishop Cherry at 10:30am here.

You can find services throughout Sundays in August here.
 From the DeanSince my final Sunday at the Cathedral is at the end of August, this mailing will be my last chance to post anything here and to say any kind of ‘goodbye’ to the Diocese.
It certainly feels as if my eight-and-a-half years as Dean have been the most eventful of my entire ministry.  Whilst I am looking forward to a rest I know I shall sorely miss our beautiful Cathedral, especially the Cathedral Eucharist, every Sunday at 10.30.  I shall miss, too, those with whom it has been my privilege to have worked most closely, namely my colleagues, lay and clerical, at the Cathedral and my colleagues on the Bishop’s Staff Team.  I thank them more than I can say for all they have put up with from me and also for their support and much-needed counsel during these roller-coaster years.  I could certainly not have survived in this role without them.
The enormous surprise at having been invited to Newport by Bishop Dominic is matched, now, by my tremendous sense of gratitude at having been called to work alongside the deeply committed and hard-working clergy and congregations of the Diocese.  Thank you for all that you have taught me about ministry, discipleship and faithfulness to one’s calling.  I leave here enriched and humbled by all of these things.
My apologies for all that I have not done whilst in this post and for anything I have got wrong.  Mercifully, the Diocese is blessed with an energetic, wise and experienced new bishop whose impact for good, in those few weeks before lockdown, shows us what we can expect as churches re-open to the ‘new normal’ reality.  It is a great regret to me that I have neither the energy nor the health to work longer with Bishop Cherry.
As I return across Offa’s Dyke, all I can offer from a distance are the assurance of my affection and the promise of my prayers.  I look forward to seeing from afar what a new Dean and a new Residentiary Canon will bring to God’s vision for this corner of the vineyard.  God’s future is always bright and I know that God will continue to bless the Diocese of Monmouth.  So shall I.

You can watch Dean Lister’s final service at 10:30am on the 30th August here.We Found God Online We knew that God would help us make the best of our struggles with coronavirus and lockdown. We probably didn’t realise that being forced to use online worship to support our churches would teach us so much about outreach and technology and how they can work for the growth of the Kingdom. Monmouth Diocese would like to learn from you: how have you used online worship and social media to keep church alive during the lockdown; how did congregations respond; who responded who hadn’t been part of your church community before the virus; how can we keep these new contacts and bring them into church; and what we can do to provide resources and training to make the most of the opportunities for outreach and fellowship that lie ahead? So we’re holding two Zoom meetings in August to share experiences and make the most of what we have learned. One meeting will be in the daytime, one in the evening, so that all who want to take part should get their chance. Later in the year, we’ll follow up this sharing of ideas and ambitions with training and support for churches and church leaders.

More details about the meetings and how to book on will follow shortly.As more of our church buildings begin opening we want to thank all the volunteers and clergy who are working hard to make this possible.GrantsDiocesan re-opening maintenance grantThis grant is available to churches who did not apply for the previous re opening grant which contributed to costs of cleaning supplies and PPE.

Up to £100 is available to contribution towards the costs of maintenance works which have arisen due to the church building being closed.Click here for the application form.
 National Churches Trust
Foundation Grant Programme
Now that churches are once again able to be open for worship and visitors National Churches Trust are reminding churches of the availability of grant funding for essential maintenance work and small repairs through the Foundation grant programme.
The Foundation grant programme can fund small works to church building that cost up to £10,000 (excluding VAT) with grants of up to £5,000, not exceeding 50% of the cost. Works would need to have necessary permissions and 2 quotes in place. Decisions are made on a monthly basis. The final deadline for 2020 funding through this programme will be 30 October 2020. The majority of grantees require funds to repair rainwater goods, drainage, carry out small repointing and stone repairs, and small roof repairs.
If you have any questions, please contact us: grants@nationalchurchestrust.org

If you’d like to know more about other grants which may be available to you please get in touch with Libby,
07508 801511We’re wishing Fr Ross and Steph good luck as Fr Ross leaves Marshfield and St Brides for a new job in Winchester, thank-you for all you’ve done during your time in the Diocese.Diocesan Book ClubSpotlight

Taking a closer look at things with views from across the diocese.This week Dawn Lindsay talks about St Padarn’s Summer School and being a new Ordinand.

Tuesday 23rd June 2020 has become a special date, as it was when I received a call from +Bishop Cherry which would change my life for ever.  After a Virtual Bishops Advisory Panel, the results were in and I had been recommended to train for licensed ministry.It had been a very surreal experience having online interviews with people I could not forge any kind of relationship with over the usual 3/4 days of a BAP and discussing all aspects of my spirituality and calling thus far.  And as anyone who has gone through one knows, the wait for the results is interminable!  But here we were and the joy, relief and privilege I felt were beyond measure.

Fast forward a few weeks and in my new capacity as an Ordinand, I was invited to attend Summer School for a week.  This took place online and was a week jam packed full of fellowship, fun and meeting my fellow Ordinands through Zoom (which we have all become experts in through lockdown.)

We were honoured to have several amazing key note speakers including Rev Dominic McClean from the Diocese of Bangor, Canon Dr Trystan Owain Hughes and the Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster   It was insightful that we all experienced something different from each of these sessions, with some people connecting with God through all of them and some people one or two.  It just shows us how fabulous it is that we are all so different in how we engage with God.

All in all, whilst Summer school was a little different to usual and we missed out on the community aspect of impromptu coffee chats, or conversations in corridors, we all were left wanting more and excited to take our next step with Christ by starting St Padarn’s in September.

Dawn is an ordinand from St Augustine’s, Rumney.Digital Ministry Webinars with St Padarn’s Institute
Over the last few months, all of our lives have been changed in ways that none of us could have imagined, and the Church has had to rapidly re-imagine its mission, ministry and understanding of community.
With this in mind, St Padarn’s is pleased introduce a series of webinars focused on Digital Ministry. 
 Find out more about upcoming webinars, book your place or view previous webinars here.‘Living God’s Future Now’ is HeartEdge’s online festival of theology, ideas and practice.

Saturday 1 August, 16:00 – Book Launch – Ghost Ship:
Get a Zoom code here.
Sunday 2 August, 14:00 – ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’: Matthew 26:57-68 / ‘Christ before the High Priest’, Gerrit van Honthorst, about.1617, NG3679.
Email here for a zoom invite.

Drops weekly from 26 July: Windows on Hope, audio talks posted on the St. Augustine’s College of Theology
To join register at St. Augustine’s here

Sunday 9 August, 14:00 -‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’: Luke 23:26-38 / ‘Christ carrying the Cross’, Italian, Venetian, about. 1500
Email here for a Zoom code.

Thursday 13 August, 18:00 – Sam Wells in dialogue with Bishop of Gloucester, in Church of England, Rachel Treweek
Get a Zoom code here

Friday 14 August, 8pm – Legacies: Reckoning with Systemic Racism in British and American Churches – Different Contexts and Shared Responses
Get a Zoom code here.

Thursday 3 September, 15:00-16.30 – Fundraising as Community building 
Booking details via HeartEdge website and Facebook page soon.Children, Families & Young Peoples Resources
 Our school hubs are continuing to operate throughout the summer, please keep them in your prayers.Cyncoed Ministry Area – Online Sunday School
Check out this week’s Sunday School here.
To join the Zoom Sunday school email matt@cyncoedministryarea.org.uk or join on Facebook here at 2pm on Sunday.
 St Teilos High School are providing weekly services for young people, you can catch up with previous services and watch this week’s here.Charles Williams Church in Wales Primary School have lots of child friendly services available here.Care for the Family
Care for the Family’s Kitchen Table Project is supporting churches and their work with families, watch their video here.
And find more of their resources here.Scripture Union
Scripture Union have a variety of resources available for children and young people, including daily craft and prayer activities and mental health resources. Check them out here.There are lots more amazing resources for children and families available on our website here.For a downloadable and printable version of this email please click here.

You can find the one-stop-shop for all you need to know and this week’s updates here.