Weekly News from the Diocese

Diocese of MonmouthEsgobaeth Mynwy

 
NewsDear Friends,Some of you may be aware of the very sad news that the wife of our DBF Chair, Peter Lea, died last weekend. Christine was at home with Peter by her side when she passed away.Christine’s funeral has been arranged for 2.30pm on Friday 14th May 2021. Due to the current restrictions, attendance is by invitation only.Please hold Peter in your thoughts and prayers at this time.May she rest in peace and rise in gloryFarewell message from the Archbishop of Wales
The Archbishop of Wales thanks everyone for the kindness and compassion they have shown to each other during the pandemic, in his final video message before his retirement this weekend.
Archbishop John Davies also hopes the goodwill will continue as Covid restrictions lift and won’t “vanish with the pandemic”.

Archbishop John retires on Sunday (May 2) after serving as Archbishop of Wales for four years and as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for 13 years. His final service will be at Brecon Cathedral on Sunday morning.

Thanking people for their support to himself and to their churches and communities, he says, “I think it is particularly important for me to say that thank-you in the light of what’s happened these past 14 months with the COVID pandemic which has challenged us all so very much in our personal lives, in our community lives and in terms of our church life.

“One of the things that’s emerged from those challenging times has been a huge recognition that there is a lot of goodness and kindness and compassion and love around in our communities. People have been so supportive of others in their times of need, in their times of loneliness, sadly in times of their suffering and bereavement. And I hope that’s going to last, that when restrictions are relaxed and maybe when it’s all over, which hopefully it one day will be, that that sense of calling to be supportive, to be compassionate, to be kind won’t vanish with the pandemic – that would be such a great shame.”

Archbishop John also urged church members to embrace new challenges and opportunities and be prepared to change to be more accessible, welcoming and with refreshed teaching.

He says, “I see a Church that is awakening to new challenges, new opportunities, doing things in new ways that touch people in so many new ways too. Long may that continue.”

You can watch the farewell message belowYou can read tributes to Archbishop John and see his biography at:
https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/news-and-events/archbishop-wales-retire-may/

Archbishop John’s final service will be live-streamed from Brecon Cathedral on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BreconCathedral
 
Following Archbishop John’s retirement, the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, will lead the Church until the election of a new Archbishop later in the year.Moving from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3
Updated 26th AprilFrom 26 April, the following activities are permitted:organised outdoor activities for up to 30 peopleoutdoor wedding receptions for up to 30 peopleoutdoor hospitality can openoutdoor visitor attractions can openOrganized outdoor activities includes worship. The key point is that such activities are organised i.e planned and controlled by a recognisable body such as the PCC/MAC/LMAC. Such activities should be accompanied by a risk assessment to decide the right risk mitigation measures for the activity. Social distancing of two metres must be observed at all times for such activities. Welsh Government guidance should be consulted for specific limitations on permitted activities.
Read the full update here.From declaring a climate emergency to welcoming new liturgy and bidding farewell to the retiring Archbishop of Wales, it was a packed meeting for members of the Governing Body who met online over eight sessions in April.Highlights, a summary of the meeting, is now online together with the recorded sessions here.DEC Coronavirus Appeal extended to include India

In India, a second wave of coronavirus is having a devastating impact. India’s health system is struggling to cope, hospitals are overrun and oxygen supplies are falling short of demand.
You can make a difference today by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Coronavirus Appeal.
DEC charities will help by supporting India’s health system by setting up temporary Covid hospitals, providing ambulance and medical supplies; putting measures in place to slow the spread of Covid 19 e.g by providing masks, water, soap and hand sanitiser; and they will ensure that the most fragile families have enough food and clean water so that children don’t become malnourished.
If you can make a donation, please visit www.dec.org.uk or call 0370 60 60 900.
Each and every single donation will make a difference, and will be greatly appreciated.South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Donate to FoodbankSouth Wales Fire and Rescue Service have kindly donated hundreds of branded bags to Rhymney Valley Foodbank.
 
The foodbank is working in partnership with the Fire Service to raise awareness of about home fire safety. The 300 cloth bags, which have been donated, will be used to bag emergency food parcels for those who use the service.
 
Fr Mark Owens, who is Ministry Area Leader for Upper Islwyn Ministry Area, said: “The foodbank is one of the projects within our Ministry Area and really provides a lifeline to some people. This is a wonderful example of the connections being made and the work being done to support our communities.”
 
Pictured from left to right – Father Mark Owen and Foodbank Manager Steven Evans-Jones.We would like to thank all the Treasurers who have already attended the Ministry Area Treasurers meeting to ask questions and learn more about how the finances will work in a Ministry Area. Over 75 Treasurers have so far attended one of the sessions but, for those Treasurers who have not yet had the opportunity, there are two more dates available -Monday 10th May 2pm-4pm (limited spaces available) click here to book.Wednesday 26th May 6.30pm-8.30pm click here to book.As long as there is demand, we will continue to add new dates, until all treasurers have had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings.

For more information, please contact Libby
(libbymorgan-owen@churchinwales.org.uk, 07508 801511)Make your vote count – Bishops’ statement Voting is a hard won right and our responsibility, say the Church in Wales bishops in a statement ahead of the Welsh Senedd elections on May 6 .They urge everyone, and particularly 16 and 17-year-olds who are able to vote for the first time in Wales, to vote on May 6 and to do so in an informed way.

Read the full statement here.Lent Appeal

Just a reminder that there is still time to give to the Diocesan Lent Appeal, which this year is supporting the Church in Wales Centenary Appeal. Find out more here.

Please could all payment be made by the end of May.
For details of how to donate, please contact Libby on 07508 801511.Training/EventsCalling ConversationsOur first session of the series took place this week covering Chaplaincy. It was a really interesting and inspiring conversation, thank-you to all of our panelists. If you missed it you can catch up here.Upcoming sessions in our series: Pioneers – 25th May Ordained Ministry – 29th June Licensed Lay Ministry – 27th July Secular Vocations – 28th September Spiritual Directors – 19th October Training Experiences – 30th November Look out for the links to submit questions for the panelists.Faithful Stewards in a Changing ChurchFollowing the release of the first video last week discussing the first part of the report the first online session was held this week, it was an interesting and engaging discussion enjoyed by all. 
 
The second video covering essays 4-6 comes out next week and will feature Revd Becca Stevens. She is also chairing the online discussion on Monday the 10th of May at 7pm, you can register for it here.Services and ResourcesMonmouth MusicAs you may know we’ve been working with choirs and bands across the diocese over the past few months to construct a music database. This resource is available to all our parishes for use in your services and can be found here.
You will be prompted to complete a form with your details, once that’s submitted we’ll send you the password to access the music within a few days.

Have you got any music you’d like to contribute to the collection? We’re keen to keep it updated with relevant music so if so please email admin.monmouth@churchinwales.org.uk
Join an Easter 5 Eucharist from the Cathedral on Sunday at 10:30am here.
 The Licensing of Revd Matt DavisWatch the licensing of Revd Matt as Rector of Rhymney and Abertysswg and Priest in Charge of Tredegar, St George and St James here.The Licensing of Revd Kate O’SullivanWatch the licensing of Revd Kate as Ministry Area Leader of Mid Torfaen here.Our SchoolsOur education team have been putting together a range of great resources for our church schools to support them, if you would like to access these resources they’re available here.

There are resources for FP and for KS2 which will be available each week on the website, this term focusing on Islam.
 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.
Diocese of MonmouthEsgobaeth Mynwy

 
NewsMoving from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3A Practical Advice UpdateWales remains at Alert Level 4 but Welsh Government has set out the next anticipated steps of relaxing restrictions towards Alert Level 3.It is anticipated that from 26 April, if public health conditions permit, the following relaxations will go ahead:organised outdoor activities will be permitted for up to 30 peopleoutdoor wedding receptions will be permitted for up to 30 peopleoutdoor hospitality can openoutdoor visitor attractions can openPrecise details of what this will mean are awaited and Church in Wales guidance will be updated as soon as possible after details are published.We are clear that organized outdoor activities includes worship. The key point is that such activities are organised i.e planned and controlled by a recognisable body such as the PCC/MAC/LMAC. Such activities should be accompanied by a risk assessment to decide the right risk mitigation measures for the activity. Social distancing of two metres must be observed at all times for such activities. Welsh Government guidance should be consulted for specific limitations on permitted activities.Welsh Government are indicating that other relaxations should follow leading to the re-opening, in a limited way, of community centres and other indoor activities on the 17th May. At this point, Wales will be in Alert Level 3.

Read the full update here.Faithful Stewards in a Changing ChurchIn last week’s Friday Round-up, Bishop Cherry told us about the presentation at Governing Body of ‘Faithful Stewards in a Changing Church’.The product of more than five years of work, Faithful Stewards in a Changing Church: Understanding Ordained Ministry the Light of the 2020 Vision offers a series of essays to help the Church reflect theologically about the ordained ministry since the development of ministry areas. You can read the full report here.Bishop Cherry, who is the lead bishop for ministry, says, “At a time when we are welcoming an increasing number and diversity of lay ministries across the Province, this report gives rich and ample material for reflection on the role and nature of ordained ministry in the Church of today.”Over the coming weeks, to support the report, the Commission will release five interviews with the authors of the essays. The first video is out and features Bishop Cherry.

Following the release of each video, there will be a live Zoom call where you can put your questions and comments to the authors. The first in on Monday 26th April at 7pm and you can register here.Watch out for the next video, which features Revd. Becca Stevens, Director of Vocations of the Diocese of Monmouth and Ministry Area Leader in Newport North. We’ll keep you updated in our Friday Round-up!Ministry Areas
 All of our Ministry Areas have now had their initial meetings and we are beginning the next stage of work – thank-you to all those who attended the meetings and submitted their questions.

In many areas of the diocese, the Ministry Area Transition Teams have been set-up and we are grateful for all the work that has begun to enable us to work better together. We will give you regular updates on progress from around the diocese in the Friday Round-up and one of our new Ministry Areas are even making a video that you can hopefully watch next week.

We have already held two meetings for treasurers, with another planned for next week. Next week’s session is fully booked because we are keen to the groups small enough for everyone to be involved. These meetings are opportunities for treasurers to ask questions and learn more about how the finances will work.

As long as there is demand for a meeting with treasurers to learn more about financial arrangements in a Ministry Area, we will continue to add new dates – with some meetings during the day and some in the evening. There next new date for a meeting with treasurers is Monday the 10th of May at 2pm, if you would like to attend please click here to book.

For more information please contact Libby
(libbymorgan-owen@churchinwales.org.uk, 07508 801511)Make your vote count – Bishops’ statement Voting is a hard won right and our responsibility, say the Church in Wales bishops in a statement ahead of the Welsh Senedd elections on May 6 .They urge everyone, and particularly 16 and 17-year-olds who are able to vote for the first time in Wales, to vote on May 6 and to do so in an informed way.

Read the full statement here.Earth DayIn last week’s Friday Round-up we reported that The Church in Wales declared a climate emergency at the Governing Body meeting – agreeing to have net zero carbon emissions, ideally by 2030, and to divest funds from fossil fuels.Climate change is a key issue for us all and Governing Body agreed that an “urgent and rapid global response” was needed.You’ll be hearing a lot more about what we can do as a CinW, a diocese, a Ministry Area, a church and an individual over the few months.

This week, Earth Day was marked around the world on the 22nd April as a global effort to tackle climate change. The movement has been around since 1970, and this year’s theme was to Restore the Earth. We used #EarthDay to highlight the work being done across and to encourage others to join us in our strive to become better stewards of God’s creation. Our church schools also got involved…..
Usk CiW Primary School 
Pupils wrote letters to the Earth about how they’ll protect it and where they’d love to explore.
Becoming Better Stewards of God’s Creation
Bishop Cherry spoke about the need for action following the declaration of a climate emergency at Governing Body last week. The motion was seconded by Revd Becca Stevens, you can read more about it here.

Eco Church
Is your church registered? If not, why not do it this week to celebrate Earth Day, you can find out more here.
 Lent Appeal

Just a reminder that there is still time to give to the Diocesan Lent Appeal, which this year is supporting the Church in Wales Centenary Appeal. Find out more here.

Please could all payment be made by the end of May.
For details of how to donate, please contact Libby on 07508 801511.Donations for the HighveldIf you have any donations for the Highveld, please also contact Libby (07508 801511). A transfer will be made later this month.Training/EventsNext Week – 27th April!This panel will be streamed to Facebook LIVE for all to watch.

You can submit a question for the panel here.

Upcoming sessions in our series: Pioneers – 25th May Ordained Ministry – 29th June Licensed Lay Ministry – 27th July Secular Vocations – 28th September Spiritual Directors – 19th October Training Experiences – 30th November Services and ResourcesVocations Sunday – 25th April

You can find resources for Vocations Sunday including prayers, school assemblies and a Bible Study here.

Meet the Vocations team in this video – 
Join an Easter 4 Eucharist from the Cathedral on Sunday at 10:30am here.
 Books Available

Have you thought of setting up a spirituality library in your church?
Fr Colin Sutton is downsizing his large book collection and has many books on prayer and spirituality all in good condition he’s happy to donate as a starter for a church library.  
He also has some books on pastoral care and on liturgy as well as organ music suitable for services, some easy church choral music and a set of ‘Classical’, an educational highly illustrated periodical introduction to music for 11 plus to adult.
An excellent resource for someone keen on classical music. 
 
Please email frcolinsutton@gmail.com if you’re interested.Our SchoolsOur education team have been putting together a range of great resources for our church schools to support them, if you would like to access these resources they’re available here.

There are resources for FP and for KS2 which will be available each week on the website, this term focusing on Islam.
 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.