Weekly News from the Diocese

Message from Bishop Cherry 31-3-2020 In this rather unexpected world in which we all find ourselves at the moment, many of us are taking to social media and IT devices and finding the means of exercising our ministry in new ways. In addition to all the services that have been live-streamed, I’ve heard about bible studies, book club meetings and even coffee mornings being held on Zoom. There is inevitably a degree of novelty and fun about this, but it is also making people wonder if we haven’t been missing a trick all these years. Within a week of streaming a Eucharist from the Cathedral on Mothering Sunday, over 930 people had watched or looked at it.
 
The Bench of Bishops…
 
As some of you already know, held a Skype meeting last week in place of the planned meeting at a hotel in mid-Wales. We got a lot of important work done, but we also had fun. I am pleased to be able to share with you that the Archbishop invited me to take on the Ministry portfolio for the Province and I have accepted. I would welcome your prayers for this crucial work across our six dioceses as I begin to meet (probably via Zoom or Facetime) and work with the Directors of Ministry, the Diocesan Directors of Ordinands and all involved in the life and work of St Padarn’s.
 
The Bishop’s Staff Team…
 
Also continue to meet weekly on Zoom. We are seeking to support clergy and parishes as best we can in these difficult and challenging times. Please let your Archdeacon know of any illnesses and especially of anyone that has been taken into hospital. We would also ask you to let us know if anyone needs any particular support over the coming weeks and months – we are mindful that our retired clergy can feel especially isolated at the moment, not least if they are not connected to the internet.
 
New clergy
 
On Thursday I will be licensing (on Zoom) two new parish priests in the Monmouth area. Tim and Karen Dack managed to get themselves across the globe and into Wales on one of the last flights from New Zealand. Karen is going to take up the role of Ministry Area Leader for the Monmouth Rural Group and Tim, the Ministry Area Leader role in the Monmouth Town Group. Both will be licensed as Priest in Charge initially as there is no legal way of inducting them until we return to our church buildings. Please pray for them and the parishes that make up the Monmouth areas. A Collation, Induction and party for each will happen as soon as we can arrange them.
 
Lay Eucharistic Assistants (LEA) and Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM)
 
I intend to issues new permissions to all LEAs and LEMs starting from May 1st. These will last for one year. Please would Ministry Area Leaders let my PA, Vicki, know the names of those serving in these ministries by Thursday 9th April, giving a clear indication of the churches in which each are ministering. Vicki’s e mail address is monbishpa@churchinwales.org.uk
 
Tuesday reflection
 
I will continue to offer these at 5pm each week until further notice on the diocesan Facebook live-stream.
 
May God bless you in all that you are doing and may he use this time to lead us all into new ways of being disciples and being his church.