Weekly News from the Diocese

Diocese of Monmouth Esgobaeth Mynwy

  Friday Update from Bishop Cherry

Last week, I mentioned that we had sent some money to our link diocese, The Highveld, to support them as they tackle the impacts of the Coronavirus out there. The money came from the Lent Appeal in 2018 which we were going to add to whatever comes in for this year’s Lent Appeal. But we thought that they needed at least something sooner rather than later. Bishop Charles was thrilled to receive the money and his letter of thanks can be read here.
Many churches, I know, are busy helping with Foodbanks and seeking to support those in most need with essential food and toiletries. This is vital work and one of the few ways at the moment that we can show our care for the poor and those most in need. In a letter to the Archbishop, the Trussell Trust records its thanks and appreciation for the ways in which the church is supporting this work. However, they also raise some important points about tackling the injustice of poverty and deprivation that we need to hear. Very often, we are much better at helping the poor than striving to combat the unjust structures of our society that lead to poverty in the first place. The letter can be read here.
Meetings have started happening again and it is good to see how many are embracing the wonders of modern technology. It is strange meeting people for the first time via Zoom, but that is how it has to be for now.
The Equality and Diversity Group was one of those that I ‘attended’ this week and I was encouraged to learn about their work. Up until now, they have been looking at the representation of women at all levels of our church’s life (following the Todd report that was brought to the Governing Body) and seeking to ensure that women make up a good proportion of the membership of our boards and committees, as well as our ordained and lay ministers. We are now looking at broadening out the agenda to look at how we become a more diverse church where everyone feels that the are welcome and respected for who they are.
I also met with the Spirituality Group that are doing such important work in the areas of prayer and spirituality; helping people to grow in their relationship with God and deepen their prayer life. This work is foundational for all of us if we are to be able to work with God in drawing people into faith and discipleship.
May has arrived and it is now three months since my Enthronement at the Cathedral. How time flies! I continue to thank God for leading me to serve here in the Diocese of Monmouth. Let us continue to pray for one another as we seek to discern where God is leading us and what God is asking of us in this strange time of isolation.

New Appointments
I am delighted to share with you the news that

Fr Tom Bates-Bourne, currently Associate Priest at Abergavenny St Mary with Llanwenarth Citra and Abergavenny Holy Trinity and also Sub-Prior of the Holywell Community, has been appointed Associate Priest of the Benefices of Grimethorpe with Brierley, Ryhill, Havercroft with Cold Hiendley and Winterset and South Kirkby in the Diocese of Leeds.

The Revd Rebecca Stevens, Ministry Area Leader of Newport North, has agreed to take on the role of Diocesan Director of Vocations in a temporary capacity when the Revd Canon Dr Paul Thompson retires at the end of June.

Please keep Tom and Becca in your prayers as they prepare to take up their new ministries.
  Quarter 1 Share Payment Thank-Yous 

Bishop Cherry has written to incumbents, treasurers and wardens across the diocese to thank them and their congregations for paying their parish share in full for the first three months of the year.During this difficult time, this is a tremendous achievement and the Bishop is “extremely grateful.”She writes: “this readiness to give signals your willingness to share what you have to support the life of the wider church and does much to cement our life together as a Diocesan family.”This commitment by our churches during such challenging times has also been recognised by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales. In a recent meeting of their Trustees the principle was established for them providing some financial support to the Dioceses.The details are still being worked out about what this means for us in Monmouth, but we will keep you posted. We are all in this together! Live-streamed Services & Reflections: 11am 3rd May Easter 4  Eucharist from Bishopstow
11am 10th May Easter 5 Eucharist from Bishopstow

Catch up on Bishop Cherry’s Tuesday reflection here.
Introducing Mission Monmouth’s #BeTheLightChallenge  

Throughout May, Mission Monmouth is encouraging everyone to engage in small acts of kindness to build hope in our communities. Each week will have a different theme; but your acts of kindness are entirely up to you – be creative!
Please join us in sparking some joy this month! Be sure to share photos and tag us on social media using @MissionMonmouth and #BeTheLightChallenge  
This week’s theme is: Loving thy neighbour Diocese of Monmouth
Vocations Sunday – Easter 4 Sunday 3rd May 2020 Please Pray for those:
to be ordained Priest in 2020;
Bronwen Summers
John Thorne
Lea Ryder
Lisa Taylor
Matt Sellers
Samuel Patterson
Heulwen Rees     

to be ordained Deacon 2020;
Liz Houghton
Kay Denley

Mary Moore

to be licensed for Reader in 2020;
Paul Stafford   

to continue in training for ordination;
Julia Durham
Mandy East
Ruth James
Tina Parry
Karin Pardoe

to continue in training for Licensed Ministry;
Andrew Nelmes

Hilary Williams
Paul Taylor     

to begin training for ordination;
Paul Dunning
Rachel Nelmes               

Please also pray for: those continuing in discernment and especially those Discernment Conferences which are delayed because of Covid-19, and also for
the Diocesan Vocations Advisors
the St Padarn’s Theological Training Institute
Lord, as you called your disciples, call us now. Open our ears to listen to you calling; Open our eyes to see you; Open our hearts to your love. Help us to hear you, to experience your presence with us and to love you. And loving you, let us serve you, our servant King.  Amen.
  Click here to see the CofE Vocation Sunday resources. Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Find out more here. #goodnewsworthsharing Treats for Welsh Ambulance Service – Magor Ministry Area
Magor Ministry Area was one of five organisations which donated over a car full of treats to our heroes on the front lines. These donations will be split amongst Gwent stations as a well deserved thank you for those working so hard to protect us all.   Foodbank Collections – St Julians, Newport
A big thank-you to everyone who’s getting involved by donating, packing, collecting and delivering to the Distribution Point to continue their long-established and recently enhanced Food Bank Collection. Virtual Meetings It’s not just services which have moved online. The Diocesan office building may be shut but meetings are continuing to be held, via Zoom, to ensure we can keep supporting parishes.
Some Splendid School Stories

All of our schools are working tremendously hard during these difficult circumstances to ensure our children continue to grow into the beautiful people God calls them to be. Here are some highlights from this past week. 2.6 Challenge – Raglan CiW Primary School

Raglan CiW Primary is doing its part to support our nation’s charities by joining the 2.6 Challenge. The children in the Raglan Hub School (established to take care of the children of key workers) will scoot 260km each to raise funds for the Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board. Their goal is to raise £260 – to support their effort, follow this link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/raglanhub
  Malpas Church in Wales Primary
The children learnt about and celebrated World Earth day last week.
And Bethany Bassett, a year 6 pupil, has been showing great kindness in spending her time in lockdown creating scrub bags fro the NHS. 
Add your story to #goodnewsworthsharing
Please send anything you’ve been doing to debragoddard@churchinwales.org.uk or share on social media with #goodnewsworthsharing Children & Families Resources Cyncoed Ministry Area – Online Sunday School
The First Church – Acts 2:42-47
A session all about animals. Bring three unbreakable beakers/tumblers and three unbreakable bowls of similar size. On Vimeo https://vimeo.com/410548129/e0b57671c1 
On YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUXZGvj9ekg 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.
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