Diocese of Monmouth
Friday Update from Bishop Cherry
A very gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions is now being rolled out (though in different ways and at different speeds across the UK) and with this comes a renewed hope of at least some services recommencing in our church buildings. A number of clerics have asked about plans to return to our churches and I am aware that some are already working out ways of being able to do that safely.
The Bench of Bishops, along with our legal team, is in almost daily discussion about this, particularly in the light of the ordinations that were due to take place at the end of June. The
Archbishop, on behalf of us all, is liaising with the Welsh Government to agree what might be possible.
I have to stress that, for the moment (Friday morning), there is no change in the regulations. We will, of course, be communicating any changes as soon as they are agreed but for now, our churches must remain closed except to the one cleric (with a member of their household, if necessary) who may enter in order to live-stream an act of worship. The virus is transmitted not just through the air, but via hard surfaces, books and soft furnishings.
I realise that this may be a frustration, but our priority must remain the safety and wellbeing of everyone. As we continue to wait, I remain extremely thankful to God for the faithfulness of clerics and laity alike. Prayer and worship are ongoing, pastoral care for one another is as strong as ever and our commitment to the poor and marginalized continues to be demonstrated through food banks and other charitable work. Thanks be to God.
Grants for community-based groups are available from Community Foundation Wales. http://www.communityfoundationwales.org.uk CFW runs the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund, which is funded from a mix of funding, but largely from NET. To date the fund has disbursed near to £550K to nearing 300 community-based groups across Wales. Please do consider using them if you have projects that require funding. They have also begun to make larger (up to £15K) grants to charities and groups that support victims of domestic violence; recognising that, sadly, there is probably going to be a ‘tsunami of need’ as the constraints in place to deal with the pandemic gradually are eased.
Thy Kingdom Come (TKC)
TKC is now a global movement of prayer between Ascension Day – May 21st this year – and Pentecost, May 31st. This year, Christians across the world are being urged to pray for five people, perhaps friends or family members, to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ. There are plenty of ideas as to what we might do as individuals, but also what church communities might do, even though we cannot gather together. The theme is Prayer and Care: caring for those you are praying for and praying for those you are caring for. All the information and ideas can be found at thykingdomcome.global
We continue to pray for the many families that have been bereaved, particularly as a result of the virus, and also for those who have had to forego treatment and operations for other conditions. And we give thanks for all care workers, our hospital and hospice chaplains and our clerics who are taking funerals; some of them, an extraordinary number each week.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Live-streamed Services & Reflections:
Sunday Eucharist 5pm 17th May Easter 6
This week Bishop Cherry’s reflection focussed on Chritian Aid week, you can watch the reflection here, and donate here.
Facebook Live Quiz in support of Christian Aid Archdeacon Sue will be hosting a quiz on Facebook Live on Wednesday 20th May at 7.30pm. There is no need to sign up in advance, participants can simply join in on the day. If you would like to take part, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/archdeacon.pinnington Let’s have some fun and raise some cash for a good cause!
Survey sent out to Treasurers
We understand that this is a very difficult time financially for many of our parishes and ministry areas, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. To better understand how we can support parishes and MAs through this difficult time we have sent out a short questionnaire to all our Treasurers.
We will keep you posted on any financial support packages, when we know more.
Update from the Church in Wales An enquiry and review into events surrounding the retirement of Richard Pain as the Bishop of Monmouth has been set-up. A full, bilingual statement is available here.
Voices from the Province
In a bid to try and capture a snapshot of how the Church and its people have adapted to life in lockdown, Chris Burr, Tutor in Ministerial Development at St Padarn’s, has collected a series of short videos from every corner of Wales, and brought them together under the heading of ‘Voices from the Province’. Click here to read about the project and here to watch the videos.
BeTheLightChallenge – this week’s highlights
This month we’re challenging you to ‘Be the Light’, sharing God’s grace and love through acts of kindness. This week’s theme was ‘Giving Cheerfully’ and we have seen some fantastic posts. Here are just a few:
St George’s Church provided a hamper of treats for the community nurses of Tredegar.
Rev John Collier delivered a car full of donations collected for the Goytre food bank.
One of the parishioners in Newport North MA donated 500 strong carrier bags to the foodbank as they were running out.
CEEMC Churches Together decorated pebbles as a fundraiser for Christian Aid Week. You can also join in their Online Quiz this Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/1385745644873566/photos/a.138783326 1331471/2968765569904891/?type=3&theater
Next week’s theme is: ‘Nurturing Creation’
We’re continuously impressed by the resilience, resourcefulness, and kindness shown across the diocese. We hope you will continue to join us in inspiring hope through action. The theme for the #BeTheLightChallenge this week is ‘Nurturing Creation’. Plant flowers, build habitats, recycle, upcycle, and enjoy the gift of life! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
EIG Movement for Good 2020 Ecclesiastical is launching it’s giving programme – the Movement for Good awards. It’s
designed to give eligible charities financial assistance they to keep making a difference, and in the first phase will be awarding 500 charities £1000. To nominate a charity just go to movementforgood.com, and click ‘nominate now’ to enter your chosen charity’s details. The closing date for nominations is Sunday 24th May and the more nominations your chosen charity gets, the greater its chance of winning, spread the word!
Doves have been appearing around the churches of Abergavenny. A symbol of hope in these difficult times. Perhaps they will begin to appear throughout the diocese?
Some Splendid School Stories
All of our schools are working tremendously hard during these difficult circumstances to
ensure our children continue to grow into the beautiful people God calls them to be. Here are some highlights from this past week.
The students at the Raglan Hub school created a beautiful rainbow heart in support of all our key workers.
Osbaston CiW Primary is encouraging all their students to sign up for the Wildlife Trusts #30DaysWild Challenge this June. For more information or to download the challenge materials: https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/57739/petition/1
Add your story to #goodnewsworthsharing Please send anything you’ve been doing to firstname.lastname@example.org or share on social media with #goodnewsworthsharing
Children, Families & Young Peoples Resources
Cyncoed Ministry Area – Online Sunday School Jonah http://cyncoedministryarea.org.uk/jonah-17th-may/
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.
Mainly Music This weeks session celebrates families. Plus a downloadable jellyfish craft this week you can find here.
There are lots more amazing resources for children and families available on our website here.
RSCM will be hosting a free webinar titled ‘What next for the Ministry of Music in our Parishes and Dioceses?’ On Friday 22nd May at 2pm Book your place here.