Weekly News from the Diocese

Diocese of MonmouthEsgobaeth Mynwy

  Friday Update from Bishop Cherry

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people and kindle in us the fire of your love.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In these days between the Ascension and Pentecost, please continue to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on each of our lives, on our diocese and on our nation. I am grateful to the Community at Ty Mawr for two Pentecost prayers that can be found here. Please use them in your own devotions in the coming days and pray for an openness to receive all that God is longing to bless us with.
Opening Churches
Whilst we are still not in a position to open our church buildings – it remains illegal to do so either for private prayer or public worship – be assured that conversations are taking place both within the Church in Wales and with the Welsh Government. There is a deep desire to see all places of worship open again but we must be absolutely sure that it is safe to do so and that measures are in place to mitigate as best we can the possibility of the virus being transmitted. This will include ways of ensuring that the required social distancing is maintained at all times, that there are volunteers to clean surfaces both before and after people have come in, and that good order is maintained during the period of opening. A provincial group is meeting on Monday to discuss this further and to plan how and when we might begin to open at least some, if not all of our churches. We will keep you informed of any developments as and when we can.
It is now clear, for the reasons above, that we will not be able to license or ordain those preparing for such ministries in June and July as planned. There is a hope that we will be allowed by the Welsh Government to ordain those to be stipendiary deacons because of their stipend and pension needs. But, if it does prove possible, this will be a one off and take place with considerably reduced numbers and with all the other requirements in terms of cleaning and social distancing in place. Services for those to be licensed as Reader or ordained as priests or non-stipendiary deacons will be postponed until the autumn or later. It goes without saying that this will be desperately disappointing for those who have been training and preparing for these special occasions. A list of the candidates in the Monmouth Diocese can be found here. Please do pray for those them throughout the month of June particularly and for the parishes and colleagues that they will be serving alongside. There are some prayers here that I would encourage you to use for them, for yourselves and for new vocations to be discerned and nurtured across our diocese.
Child Trust Fund
I have been asked for help in getting an important message to 16-17 year-olds (born from 1 September 2002) in the Diocese of Monmouth.
Almost all of these young people will have an individual Child Trust Fund account, typically worth over £1,000. They are allowed to take control of their account from age 16, and to access their funds from age 18 (the oldest will reach this age on 1 September this year). However, one third of these accounts, although being safely administered with account providers, are lost to their young owners and their families, as ‘Addressee Gone Away’.
The Share Foundation, a registered charity established in 2005 which runs the Department for Education’s Child Trust Fund and Junior ISA schemes for looked-after young people throughout the UK, has worked closely with HM Revenue & Customs to set up a recovery process by which these young people can find their account: this slide display explains it in simple terms. There are no fees or charges applied at any stage to the young people or their accounts – the service is entirely voluntary, and one of the major account providers, RBS, is helping to cover costs.
Please will you help by asking all deaneries and parishes with teenage youth groups to provide young people in this 16–17 age group with the slide display www.sharefound.org/missingmoney and the accompanying registration page link https://findCTF.sharefound.org
The money in their Child Trust Fund accounts, plus free life skills courses which we provide alongside the search process, will make a real difference for their start to adult life. It’s really important to get the word out, and this communication is therefore a social action which the Church can do easily on their behalf: in the course of which, we will provide an insight for these young people into the care that the Christian Church has for the wider community.
May God pour out his Spirit on us this Pentecost that we may walk as children of light and by his grace reveal his presence in our daily lives.
Live-streamed Services & Reflections: Catch up on Bishop Cherry’s Tuesday Reflection here.

Join this Sunday’s Eucharist from Bishopstow at 11am here.
 And join a Sunday evening Reading & Homily, Preacher – Canon David Neale, at 5pm here.For Your Prayers

Mrs Cathryn Maxfield, wife of Don Maxfield retired LLM and member of the Order of St Woolos, passed awat last Sunday. Please keep the family in our prayers.National Lottery Heritage Grants
The National Lottery have set up a grant scheme specifically for organisations that have received a Heritage grant in the past 10 years and are now facing immediate financial difficulty. If you have not already been contacted by them about this then see below for some more information.
They will be prioritising churches with low financial reserves and churches that are now unable to pay costs to protect their heritage. Eligible costs could include maintenance or insurance. The funding is largely aimed at churches but they do welcome applications where money is needed to continue community activities so could also apply to church halls.
Find out more here.
#BeTheLightChallenge – Praising God
The focus of this final week of the challenge was recognising the blessings our relationship with God offers us and giving thanks for those gifts. Giving praise can be difficult; especially when we ourselves are struggling. But by lifting up that light, you’re offering others a chance to experience it with you.
Thy Kingdom Come in centred on sharing the light of the kingdom across the globe. Many of our clergy have joined in the movement with daily devotions. Here are just a few examples:Magor Ministry Area has been offering Daily ReflectionsThe Parish of Chepstow has partnered with Tidenham Parish for ‘9 Days of Prayer’Cyncoed Ministry Area has also offered Daily ReflectionsWentwood Ministry Area has been facilitating small daily prayer groups via Zoom
It’s not too late to join the #BeTheLightChallenge!
To close our final week, we’re encouraging everyone to post one thing they’re thankful to God for on Saturday 30th May with the hashtag #GlorytoGod. Let’s shine a light on our blessings and share God’s #lovewithoutlimit#HereIAmLord
Keep your eye out in the coming weeks for a series of posts and videos about vocations and discernment under the heading #HereIAmLordThank-you
A huge thank-you to all of our schools across the diocese for everything they are continuing to do, and particularly our Hub Schools who have stayed open providing care for key workers children over half term.Seminar Resource Page
It has been requested for the Diocese to facilitate a seminar resource page that will provide regular updates of upcoming “webinars” which may be of interest to both clergy and laity. We will be adding this page to our diocesan website next week. Upcoming events will also be included on our Friday emails. If you know of an upcoming event and would like us to share it; please send us an email (admin.monmouth@churchinwales.org.uk) or please feel free to tag us on social media.
Here are some upcoming events which may be of interest: 

Exploring Sacred Wales
Exploring Sacred Wales are holding 4 free bitesize workshops on Zoom in June 2020, designed and led by the Tourism Team at the National Churches Trust, exploring how visitors can benefit your place of worship.
Register on Eventbrite : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/explorechurches-18493555000 : to book your free place; we’ll send you an invite to Zoom nearer the time and you can join us from wherever you are in the UK. The sessions will comprise around 1 hour of presentation followed by 30 minutes of open questions, and our presentations will be emailed to all attendees afterwards.
All involved in historic places of worship across Wales are invited to attend.
Welcoming Visitors
Tuesday 9th June 2020 10.30am to 12noon.
Why welcome visitors? What have we got to offer? What makes a warm welcome? This workshop looks at how we meet and greet visitors, including first impressions, ‘feeling open’, what to think about inside and out, signage and your online presence, with reassurance on the perceived risks involved in opening to visitors daily.
Finding and Sharing your Stories
Thursday 11th June 2020 2pm to 3.30pm
What are people are interested in when they visit? What stories are hidden within your church?  How can you find them? This workshop helps you uncover your history, looking at why interpretation is important, and how we can share our stories, as well as traditional and modern digital methods of interpretation.
Making Publicity Work for You
Tuesday 16th June 2020 10.30am to 12noon.
Tourism is mission and this session looks at how publicity can benefit your place of worship, how to plan PR for events, campaigns and activities and engage people to support what you do.  It also explores how to catch peoples’ attention, reach new people, attract donations and break down barriers, with traditional and modern tools and approaches you can use.
Raising Income from Bookable ‘Experiences’
Thursday 18th June 2020 2pm to 3.30pm.
Creating bookable Experiences, either organised by the church or chapel, or in partnership with a tour operator, can be key to developing an income from tourism.  This session will look at attracting UK and international tourists, getting to know the group travel market, the advantages of working with international groups and the different types of inbound travellers. It will explore how you can create a bookable Experience, thinking about group size, time of year, visitor segment, pricing the package to market and making it bookable, as well as marketing your Experience, terms of agreement and the importance of building relationships with partners. A jam packed session!#goodnewsworthsharing
Lockdown Wedding
A very special wedding was celebrated this week. Fr Ross Maidment was able to officiate the wedding of Daniel Simpson and Ceri King with special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can read more about the story on the Church in Wales website. This special occasion was also Broadcast on BBC Wales’ ‘Great Indoors’You can watch the BBC ‘Great Indoors’ episode here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000jm7v/the-great-indoors-series-1-episode-4
The wedding segment of the broadcast begins at 21.25
Shirenewton Digitise their Graveyard Records
The project was a part of the Shirenewton 800 celebrations (which are sadly on hold).  The burial records from 1771 onwards are available as indexed lists courtesy of the Shirenewton Local History Society and scanned copies of the current burial register are also available.    There is also a graveyard plan with hyperlinks so that when you hover your mouse over a grave it shows the grave number and first listed occupant.  You can find it at,
 The village of Llanvair Discoed in Wentwood Ministry Area are continuing to provide a car full of donations for Raven House Trust every week. Find out what the foodbank needs here.
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
 Cyncoed Ministry Area – Online Sunday School

 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
Bring along a scarf and get ready to make a few cups of tea.
Vimeo https://youtu.be/YmDS4jvexIw 
YouTube, https://youtu.be/YmDS4jvexIwCare 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 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.