Weekly News from the Diocese

Diocese of Monmouth Esgobaeth Mynwy

Friday Update from Bishop Cherry

Dear Friends,


Please pray for Liz Houghton who will be ordained Deacon in Newport Cathedral at 11am tomorrow morning (Saturday June 27th) Details of the livestreaming are below. Please also pray for Revd Becca Stevens, her training incumbent, and the Newport North Ministry Area where Liz will be serving.

Although a day of great rejoicing and celebration, we remain very mindful that many others due to be ordained this weekend as deacons and priests and licensed as Reader are having to wait until later in the year because of the Welsh Government’s restrictions in the light of COVID 19. This is entirely understandable, but it leaves our ordinands and Reader somewhat in limbo. We continue to pray for them and hope that their day of celebration will come in early October.


We send our warmest congratulations to The Ven Peter Woodman who celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate last week. Peter, who was made deacon on 24th June 1960, served the whole of his ministry in the Diocese of Monmouth, retiring in 2001 having been Archdeacon of Monmouth from 1993. He continues to minister with PTO (Permission To Officiate) Peter was hoping for a big celebratory service to mark the occasion which will hopefully now take place when such occasions are possible once again. We thank God for Peter’s faithful ministry over the years.


I am immensely grateful to Stephen James who was serving as Bishop’s Chaplain when I arrived in the Diocese last February. Stephen was a calm and steady presence for me, not to mention a practical help, in the first few services I was involved in, including my first Confirmation. Stephen writes:

“As some of you will know, I had originally decided to step down as the Bishop’s Chaplain and retire just after Easter last year, but subsequently agreed to stay on until a new Bishop was in place and settled in.
Having supported Bishop Cherry at her enthronement service and over the last few months, I feel it is now time to step back and I will be relinquishing my licence and retiring on 30th June.
However, I am not moving and Bishop Cherry has kindly agreed to grant me PTO, so I will still be able cover services where needed. I have also agreed to continue as the Bishop’s Retired Clergy Officer and produce the monthly diocesan prayer list.”
I am also deeply grateful to Paul Thompson for the tremendous work he has done as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Curate at Newport Cathedral since 2014. Paul’s wisdom, insight and pastoral care has helped and supported many a candidate through the discernment process towards Licensed Lay Ministry and Ordination. He has been a great support for me and, as a diocese, we have much to thank him for. Paul is retiring at the end of the month and we wish him and his family well.
Thank you to both Stephen and Paul. May God bless you in your ‘retirement’.
Live-streamed Services & Reflections: Catch up on Bishop Cherry’s Tuesday reflection here.

Join a Sunday’s Eucharist from Dean Lister at 11am here.

And join a Sunday evening Reading & Homily, Preacher – Canon Paul Thompson, at 5pm here.
This year ordination services are a bit different from ususal but you can still be involved in Liz’s ordination tomorrow. The service will be available to watch live here.Happy Ordinaniversary to all of our clergy! We’d love to celebrate with you virtually as we can’t be together as expected this weekend. This Saturday please share some favourite photos or memories from your own ordinations with the hashtag #ordinaniversary Updated Guidance on Weddings & Funerals

The Bench of Bishops have issued further guidance on Weddings and Funerals, view the statement here.  

Appointment Announcement

The Bishop of Monmouth is pleased to announce the appointment  of The Reverend Chris Walter as the new House for Duty Priest in Charge of Blaenavon and Capel Newydd.
Chris will be licensed on Tuesday 28 July 2020 using digital technology and a Service of Welcome will be held as soon as we are able.
Please hold Chris and the people of Blaenavon in your prayers as they prepare for this new opportunity for mission and ministry in the town.
Diocesan Re-opening Church Buildings Grant SchemeWe are pleased to be able to offer a grant to assist with the costs associated with re-opening church buildings.
Please click here to view the application form with more information.
If you would like to download a copy of this infographic to send out to congregations click here. Spotlight

Taking a closer look at things with views from across the diocese.

This week Rev Sally Ingle-Gillis from Wentwood Ministry Area looks at the Importance of Language

How many weeks have we been worshipping online? I’ve given up counting! What I learnt almost immediately, and have continued to make a note of, and consider in our online worship, is the importance of the language we use. No doubt you will have your own examples of language that works for you and doesn’t, and I think there are one or two key aspects we need to be careful about.
If you are recording and leading worship, after the service do you check your stats? Are you interested to know how many viewers you had? Or are you keen to discover how many people came to church with you, or worshiped with you?
And if you are taking part in online worship from your sofa, or kitchen, or bed, do you go to church? Or do you watch the service?
It’s a subtle difference isn’t it? And I think it matters!
When we meet physically, we anticipate worship as an interactive communion with God and with each other. Being online, particularly if the service is on YouTube, makes this much harder. Zoom and other live platforms are easier to perceive as services because they do allow real interaction, but they come with other difficulties directly related to this – several people trying to sing without hitting mute has to be experienced to know how tricky it can be!
So here’s the challenge, to those creating worship and those participating at home: worship should be just that – an opportunity to set aside the daily business and to spend time with God, handing our lives to him, in all their imperfections, expectations, hopes, and concerns. So let’s not get sucked into YouTube words that don’t work for us and run the risk of changing the experience more than necessary – let’s make our worship as interactive as possible; people praying, lighting candles, singing. We must resist the notion of “watch and critique”, and of counting viewers and kidding ourselves we are an internet sensation!
So, wherever you go to church on Sunday I hope you encounter God and are able to worship. That is certainly my prayer, for all God’s people.

Wentwood Ministry Area are holding a virtual Summer Celebration, if you’d like to enter you can find out more here.
Next month Bishop Cherry will be taking part in a Q&A, if you’d like to ask her a question please email a video to debragoddard@churchinwales.org.uk
Questions can be on any topic, silly or serious!#goodnewsworthsharing

Diocesan Grant Scheme
We are pleased to announce that we are now in a position to restart the Diocesan grant scheme.
If you are planning building works or a new project, we may have a grant fund you could apply to.
Please contact Libby Morgan-Owen, libbymorgan-owen@churchinwales.org.uk or ring 07508 801511 for more information and for the application forms.

Archdeacon Sue has produced a video on the topic of Healing. You can watch it here.
The Venerable Peter Woodman has just celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination. Had the Church been open,  Peter  would have taken a special service at St Peter’s Goetre this last Sunday. As it is, local members of the parish gathered (carefully) outside his house to clap and make a small presentation.To replace the Clap for Carers on a Thursday night Goetre are also asking residents to place one item of food on their wall or the end of their driveway. This will then be collected by a volunteer and in turn given to the food bank. Add your story to #goodnewsworthsharing
Please send anything you’ve been doing to debragoddard@churchinwales.org.uk or share on social media with #goodnewsworthsharingChildren, Families & Young Peoples Resources
 Top Marks for TeachersDr Annette Daly, Diocesan Director for Education, has written about the exceptional work teachers have been doing throughout lockdown. 
Read her article here.Please keep all our schools in your prayers as they prepare to open for more pupils next week.Cyncoed Ministry Area – Online Sunday School
Check out this weeks Sunday School here.
And join the live Sunday school session 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.

Mainly Music

For this session you will need two shakers and something that will become ‘long ears’ for your head. https://vimeo.com/429870410/5126ddcef1
And for this session you’ll need one or two cardboard rolls.
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.