The latest news and guidance from the Bishops is on the diocesan website and is being updated regularly. https://monmouth.churchinwales.org.uk
Thank you to Bishop Cherry and others who made this morning’s virtual communion service for Mothering Sunday possible. You can watch it on https://youtu.be/o9DB74PPX9U
Both the Church of England and the Church in Wales have now suspended public worship
The latest guidance from the Bench of Bishops is here
This morning, Bishop Cherry sent a message.
We live in a situation that this country has not faced since the war and, not surprisingly, questions are being asked about a whole range of issues relating to church life.
I write following the Prime Minister’s latest announcement yesterday (Monday)
We are not yet in a position where public worship is suspended, but that may come soon. I am aware that congregation numbers were significantly down on Sunday and the PM has already advised against all social gatherings.
Of primary importance is people’s health and well-being. Please do not put yourself or others at risk unnecessarily. Those who feel vulnerable should self-isolate to protect themselves and that includes our clergy. I am aware that this means some churches will not be able to have a service for the foreseeable future and in others there may be no congregation until the risks have passed.
In the light of this, please keep one another informed as best you can. This means the groups that use your church, as well as congregation members.
Clergy should not make visits to hospitals or care homes but ensure that chaplains, where there are chaplains, are informed about any patients.
The mission of the church is to respond to the needs of the world with God’s love and there is important work to be done to keep in touch and support those who are ill or self-isolating (and their families, where possible) whether church-goers or not. Regular phone calls, offers to do shopping or fetch prescriptions and medication, and keeping one another informed of people’s needs are all ways in which we can live out God’s love.
We believe in a God who is with us at all times and in all circumstances, and in times of challenge it is all the more important to for us to pray and, if possible, to worship together. The following are things you can put in place:
- prayer resources are available on the diocesan website. Thanks to Becca Stevens and John Connell for these. Please print them off and ensure that those who are self-isolating have copies for their private use.
- for those who can access the internet, you can live-stream your church service so that those who are at home can join in
- when and if our public acts of worship are suspended, there will be recorded services put on the diocesan website so that we can continue praying and worshipping together, albeit remotely
I am meeting with my senior team and diocesan officers tomorrow morning to consider what further advice and support we might give in this quickly evolving scenario. The Church in Wales will also be issuing further guidelines in response to the best and latest government advice. The website will be regularly updated accordingly.
In all of this, let us hold one another in prayer and join together with the Psalmist:
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
And though the mountains tremble at the heart of the sea;
Though the waters rage and swell
And though the mountains quake at the towering seas.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
From Psalm 46
It was a great joy for me to be able to meet Bishop Charles and Penny Heard from our link diocese in January. They both attended my consecration and I had a lovely conversation with them the day after when we discussed, amongst other things, a range of much needed projects that they are hoping to establish in The Highveld Diocese. We are very hopeful that a group of them will be able to come to visit Monmouth Diocese in 2021.
I am aware that the people of this diocese have been very generous in the past in supporting various projects highlighted in the Lent Appeal and it seems entirely appropriate at the beginning of my ministry here that we further strengthen our link with The Highveld by raising money during Lent for their hoped-for projects.
There are four areas of work that they would like money for.
Their literacy programme: Active Readers encourages children of all ages to read more and expand their English vocabulary. They want to reach more children and be able to offer the programme twice a month. This will require money for two volunteers, transport to the sites and stationery. Approx £1,575
A computer centre where children and adults can learn to become computer literate. This requires computers, internet connection, training trainers, security, chairs, tables and stationery. Approx £5,225
An Early Childhood Development Centre at one of their sites which will cater for children from the ages of 3yrs to 5yrs. Establishment costs would be for equipment for the school, training of teachers, and stipends for three volunteers: two teachers and a cook/cleaner. Approx £9,700
All the above projects and more need constant supervision and monitoring. Although there is a new project manager, he needs to move from site to site monitoring and attending meetings and does not have a personal vehicle. He has to rely on public transport which is costly and time consuming. Transport is also needed for the distribution of food, clothing and equipment. The cost of a mini-van, a maintenance plan for between 3 and 5yrs, licensing and petrol is Approx £13,122.50
The total costs come to £29,622.50
I hope that individuals and churches will feel able to be generous this Lent so that we can support some life-changing programmes for our sisters and brothers in The Highveld.
Please make your cheques payable to “Monmouth Diocesan Board of Finance” with a note stating that this is for the 2020 Appeal and send to the Diocesan Office, 64 Caerau Road, Newport, NP20 4HJ.
We’re looking forward to the community night in The Fountain on Thursday 5th September at 7pm.
Steve and Jill will be serving a buffet supper and Will is masterminding bingo.
Good food, good fun, and prizes to win.
Tickets £15 (£10 for children)
See the events calendar
We did some artwork, learned some songs, decorated biscuits and wrote some prayers.
Then Dog helped Rev Janet tell us the story of Easter as we made an Easter Garden.
Thank you to all who helped.
A big thank you to those who made the posies and put the service together.
We had a quiz about mothers in the animal world, heard some stories about two mothers in the Bible and then thought about the way that Mary would have looked after Jesus as he was growing up.
We said prayers for our families and homes and for Mother Church, Mother Earth, and our motherland.
And, of course, we gave all the ladies a posy and took some away to give to others who weren’t with us in church.
Do you wonder what relevance the Christian faith has today? Continue reading