Weekly News from the Diocese

Tribute to Archdeacon Sue Pinnington
The Bishop of Monmouth has paid tribute to the Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys who died suddenly at the weekend.

The Venerable Sue Pinnington MBE died peacefully at her home. She was 55.

Bishop Cherry Vann described her death as a “great loss” and a “huge shock”.

She said, “Today we have lost a pillar of our church family and community. Archdeacon Sue had a real passion for the mission of the church. She was full of energy and was hugely popular, both with those she served and with her fellow clergy. She was an excellent and supportive colleague and will be greatly missed. Her death is a huge shock to us all and a great loss. We commend her to God and our sympathy and prayers go out to her family and loved ones.”

Sue Pinnington had served as Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys since 2018. She was also the Diocesan Director of Mission. She was ordained as a Priest in 1998, having trained at Trevelyan College, Durham, and St Stephen’s House Oxford. She served her curacy in Peterborough and was then appointed Vicar in Cottingley, in Bradford Diocese and, from 2004, an honorary Canon at Bradford Cathedral. In 2008, she was appointed Rector in Houghton Le Spring in Durham where she served for the next 10 years. In 2010 Sue was awarded an MBE for services to the community, pioneering a flagship project to regenerate the centre of Cottingley.

Details of her funeral will be announced in due course. Please direct any queries to the Bishop’s Office: monbishpa@churchinwales.org.uk
Diocese of MonmouthEsgobaeth Mynwy

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 Coronavirus GuidanceUpdate: 21st July 2021
Alert Level 1

 With a very significant proportion of the Welsh population having received two doses of the vaccine, the general position with Coronavirus Covid -19 is that the consequences of contracting the virus are generally less significant but, with greater freedoms, the likelihood of contracting it is much higher. There are people in our communities who cannot receive the vaccine and so we must remain cautious and not reduce our management of the risk of transmission.Welsh Government has announced the main changes in Covid regulations. These can be seen at:Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALESCurrent restrictions: frequently asked questions | GOV.WALESGathering with other people: current restrictions | GOV.WALESThe changes from Saturday 17th July mean the following for churches and church halls:There is now a limit of 1000 people (seated) and 200 people (standing) gathering indoors. However, the requirement to maintain two-metre social distancing is still in place so the capacity of buildings will still be reduced. However, for community activity in buildings this change should now give greater flexibility.The wearing of face coverings indoors remains a requirement.The need to provide for hand sanitising and premises cleaning remains.Households and extended households (’bubbles’) can sit together but still with social distancing between other individuals or bubbles.We believe it is lawful for groups of six people from six households to sit together at a church service, wedding or funeral. Such a group should be seated socially distanced from other groups. However, for places of worship Welsh Government’s advice is that where possible ‘people avoid congregating with people they do not live with’. Furthermore, the guidance on congregational singing makes it clear that such a group of six should be social distanced from each other, if singing. Churches who would like to introduce seating in groups of six from six households should:Carefully review your risk assessment to consider whether allowing groups of six can be safely managedOnly allow it if congregational singing is not part of the serviceRecord contact details for each member of the group of 6 to aid later contact tracing if someone tests positiveEncourage it only between persons known to each other – rather than strangers. That way people can more easily check that each member has been double-vaccinated and is symptom free.The serving of tea and coffee etc after services can now take place indoors. You should update your risk assessment to allow for people to sit in groups of six with social distancing between groups for this activity. Refreshments might more easily be organised outdoors where refreshments can be served ‘take-away’ style with people collecting from appropriately distanced stations.Welsh Government continues to advise that congregational singing should only be considered where incidence of Coronavirus cases are low but they no longer define what ‘low’ means. The original suggestion was 50 cases in 100,000 of population but all local authority areas are currently above this level. Churches should carefully consider the Welsh Government advice on congregational singing in their local context.It is important to emphasise to congregations and attendees that the restrictions in Wales have not yet been relaxed as much as in EnglandGenerally, we support a cautious approach. Maintaining existing precautions and service arrangements seems a sensible approach at this time.A detailed document has been published regarding the “Level 0” restrictions which it is hoped to introduce fully on August 7: – https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2021-07/coronavirus-control-plan-alert-level-zero-0.pdfUnder these restrictions, the legal requirement to wear a face covering indoors (except in hospitality venues) will continue, and the legal requirement to prepare and implement a risk assessment for all activities will continue. We are involved in detailed discussions with Welsh Government and Cytun about the implications of keeping such a legal requirement without specific regulations in place regarding, for example, distancing, and about what guidance Welsh Government will be preparing for places of worship in these new circumstances.We have updated our guidance for Alert Level 1 and the various documents are listed below:Opening Churches Guidance Alert Level 1 – 17 July 2021 (PDF)Covid 19 Opening Churches Guidance Alert Level 1 – Risk Assessment Form (Word)Guidance on re-opening of church halls 17 July 2021 (PDF)Guidance on re-opening of church halls – Risk Assessment form (Word)Guidance on Celebrating Holy Communion 17 July 2021 (PDF)Guidance on Conducting Baptisms 17 July 2021 (PDF)Guidance Marriages and Funerals 17 July 2021 (PDF)Funeral or Wedding Risk Assessment Template (Word)Guidance on Singing, Music and the Playing of Organs 17 July 2021 (PDF)Guidance on opening churches for visitors 17 July 2021 (PDF)Opening churches for visitors – Risk assessment Form (Word)
Read this update on the website here.ABUHB Chaplaincy

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is recruiting bank chaplains to work with the team.
The commitment is not great and bank chaplains can choose whether to take up the offer of a shift or part shift.
The work will be centred in the RGH and the new Grange University hospital. Work will include pastoral visiting of patients, sharing the on-call emergency response duties and leading Sunday bedside prayers and Communions.
This is either a good taster opportunity for anyone considering healthcare chaplaincy as a future part of their ministry or can be a small development of an existing ministry.
For more information check out the job advert or call Alan Tyler (01633 234263).
Job vacancy: Bank Chaplain, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Various sites across the healthboard | trac.jobs (wales.nhs.uk)Training & EventsCalling Conversations: Licensed Lay Ministry – 27th July
Our next session is next week! Please join us on Facebook LIVE at 7pm.  
If you have a question for our panel, please submit it here: https://forms.gle/Wf8g2KQVse3LWQ3W7Our SchoolsYear Six Leavers

Bishop Cherry shares a message with the Year 6 children of our diocese as they finish their final year and prepare for secondary school.Read the transcript here. 

We hope all pupils and staff from schools across our diocese have a restful summer after all their hard work this year. Services and Resources
Join a Service from the Cathedral on Sunday at 10:30am 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.