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Usk Ministry Area

Ordination of the Rev’d Bob Greenland

Bishop Richard

A wonderful event in the life of our Ministry Area occurs this Saturday when Bob Greenland is ordained priest by the Rt Reverend Richard Pain, Bishop of Monmouth at Newport Cathedral – St Woolos.  The ordination service, to which everyone is invited, begins at 10.30 am.  One other priest is also to be ordained as well as a number of new deacons.

Following the service Rev’d and Mrs Greenland are hosting a reception at Model Farm to which friends, colleagues and folk from the Ministry Area are warmly invited.

Ordination is an important event in the life of the church when those called to serve the church are set aside with the laying-on of hands and anointing.  At our service the newly ordained priests receive a chalice and paten, a priests stole and a bible as the essential tools of the role and calling.

Apostolic succession is considered an essential and necessary concept for ordination, in the belief that all ordained clergy are ordained by bishops who were ordained by other bishops tracing back to bishops ordained by the Apostles who were ordained by Christ, the great High Priest, who conferred his priesthood upon his Apostles.

There are three “degrees” of ordination (or holy orders): deacon, presbyter, and bishop. Both bishops and presbyters are priests and have authority to celebrate the Eucharist. In common use, however, the term priest, when unqualified, refers to the rank of presbyter, whereas presbyter is mainly used in rites of ordination and other places where a technical and precise term is required.

Only a person ordained to the priesthood may administer certain sacraments, serve as the ordinary minister of giving the host during Communion, anointing the sick- unction, presiding at Requiem or Memorial services or religious marriages involving a Mass, or celebrating any Mass- the Eucharist).

GIFT AID DIRECT

Questions about Gift Direct Answered

Do I have to pay tax in order to use the scheme?

No you don’t have to pay tax, you can just choose to make your donations via Direct Debit and instruct us not to reclaim tax. You should clearly mark your form if this is the case.

Do I Need to instruct my bank?

You will only need to contact your bank if you have been making donations via Standing Order. (You will need to cancel the Standing Order otherwise you will have two amounts being taken from your account). The Provincial Office should be notified of any changes once you have completed the Direct Debit forms.

Can I still make donations directly to my church?

You can if you wish to make donations to your church by Standing Order, weekly envelop or cheque. if these Gifts are to be tax effective you will need to have a Gift Aid Declaration in favour of your Church. You should speak to your Gift Aid Secretary about this.

How will my Gift Aid Secretary know that I am make donations to the church?

The Provincial Office informs Gift Aid Secretaries on a monthly basis of donations and tax refunds being paid into the church account, and who has made those donations.

Can both a husband and wife use the scheme?

Yes if both a husband and wife pay tax they can use the scheme. However, they will be required to have separate Gift Direct commitments even if the donations are collected from the same joint bank account. The Church in Wales cannot accept a Gift Direct commitment in joint names.

How can I increase or decrease my donation?

You simply need to instruct the Provincial Office in writing quoting your Gift Direct reference number. This is your donation to amend as you wish; you stay in control at all times.

What if I change church?

If you change church and wish to redirect your giving you simply in form the Provincial Office of your wishes in writing quoting your Gift Direct reference number.

What do I do if I stop paying tax?

You will need to instruct the Provincial Office in writing as soon as possible. It is up to you to decide if you want to cancel the Direct Debit or simply instruct the Provincial Office not to reclaim tax.

How do I amend my monthly donations?

You simply need to instruct the Provincial Office of the new amount you wish to donate. There is an option to increase your donation annually in line with the Retail Price Index. If you chose this option we will still contact you in writing prior to the new increased amount being implemented. You stay in control of your donations at all times.

Can I make my Gift Direct donation by Standing Order?

No. The Gift Direct system is a Direct Debit system and so unfortunately is not able to receive donations by Standing Order.

JOINING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Everything you need is in the Gift Direct Leaflet
  2. Fill out the Gift Direct commitment form on page 7 and the Direct Debit on page 8
  3. Pull out the envelope section of the book. Moisten the glue area on page 6 and seal (you may want to add some tape at the sides). There is no need for a stamp, the postage is free.

TALK TO SOMEONE IN THE CHURCH IN WALES

 

Please contact you Parish  wardens or treasurer and if you have any questions in relation to the Gift Direct scheme, please contact the Church in Wales scheme administrator Glenda Edwards:

Telephone: 02920 348216

Email">

Or Write to: The Church in Wales, 39 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9XF

Gift Direct is administered by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales, which is a registered charity. Registered Charity Number 1142813

What is Lent?

Introduction to the Season of Lent

Lent is a solemn observance in the liturgical year of many Christian denominations, lasting for a period of approximately six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. In the general Latin-rite and most Western denominations Lent is taken to run from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) morning or to Easter Eve.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Bible when Jesus is crucified on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ’s carrying the Cross and of his execution, are often observed.

Lent is traditionally described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days which, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry where he endured temptation by the Devil. However, different Christian denominations calculate the forty days of Lent differently. In most Western traditions the Sundays are not counted as part of Lent; thus the period from Ash Wednesday until Easter consists of 40 days when the Sundays are excluded.

Lent may originally have followed Epiphany, just as Jesus’ sojourn in the wilderness followed immediately on his baptism, but it soon became firmly attached to Easter, as the principal occasion for baptism and for the reconciliation of those who had been excluded from the Church’s fellowship for apostasy or serious faults. This history explains the characteristic notes of Lent – self-examination, penitence, self-denial, study, and preparation for Easter, to which almsgiving has traditionally been added.

Now is the healing time decreed for sins of heart and word and deed,
when we in humble fear record the wrong that we have done the Lord.

(Latin, before 12th century)

As the candidates for baptism were instructed in Christian faith, and as penitents prepared themselves, through fasting and penance, to be readmitted to communion, the whole Christian community was invited to join them in the process of study and repentance, the extension of which over forty days would remind them of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, being tested by Satan.

Ash cross and text

Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence; from the middle ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. The calculation of the forty days has varied considerably in Christian history. It is now usual in the West to count them continuously to the end of Holy Week (not including Sundays), so beginning Lent on the sixth Wednesday before Easter, Ash Wednesday. Liturgical dress is the simplest possible. Churches are kept bare of flowers and decoration. Gloria in excelsis is not used. The Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetareor Refreshment Sunday) was allowed as a day of relief from the rigour of Lent, and the Feast of the Annunciation almost always falls in Lent; these breaks from austerity are the background to the modern observance of Mothering Sunday on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

As Holy Week approaches, the atmosphere of the season darkens; the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, and the reading of the Passion Narrative gave to the Fifth Sunday its name of Passion Sunday. There are many devotional exercises which may be used in Lent and Holy Week outside the set liturgy. The Stations of the Cross, made popular in the West by the Franciscans after they were granted custody of the Christian sites in the Holy Land, are the best known.

St John’s, Llangwm – TEMPORARY CLOSURE

Unfortunately we have been advised to temporarily close St John’s following the Quinquennial Inspection until part of the  porch can be made safe.  Section 6.7 of the report says:

….there is significant sign of structural movement, and decay in the stonework, both of which are significant. The west gable of the porch presents a DANGER to users of the building and it is recommended the the church
should be CLOSED until the gable can be propped and then repaired.

The full report can be accessed here: 1062_St John’s_Quinquennial Inspection Report

Holy Matrimony

Getting married in church is personal, meaningful, spiritual and beautiful, just as you want it to be. 


So here are some of the reasons to choose one of the beautiful church buildings in the Usk Ministry Area for your wedding.

A church is so much more than simply a venue for your wedding. Unique and special things become part of your marriage, on the day itself and beyond:-

  • A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. The ceremony includes God and looks to him for help and guidance. God’s blessing is the main attraction for many couples, whatever their beliefs.
  • You can make amazing vows, or promises, in a church. You can only make vows this big in a church. These vows, made in public, will help you to stay together and grow together. God and your church are there for you to help you keep your vows.
  • The Vicar has a very particular role to play in your wedding. They can blend ancient tradition and modern experience to reflect your story. Because of the relationship with the Vicar, your wedding can be made personal, memorable, meaningful and beautiful.
  • Church buildings offer outstanding beauty. Old, intimate or grand, our buildings are some of the most stunning wedding venues, with all being listed buildings.
  • Church buildings offer centuries of history. Imagine all the couples who have married in your local church, some of whom may well be your family. You can feel you’re becoming part of history itself, the bigger plan, by marrying in the same place as your relatives. We know these sorts of connections can make your day even more special.
  • You can be involved in making choices about your ceremony.
  • For some people, a church simply seems like the proper place to get married. Churches can be described as ‘peaceful’, ‘serene’, or having an atmosphere that makes marrying there a particularly special experience.
  • And after your wedding, you’ll realise that a church is more than simply a wedding venue.

Getting married in the Church in Wales

The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God.  The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union between a man and a woman, and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross.

Image result for wedding ring finger

Marriage is a gift of God through which husband and wife may grow together in the knowledge, love and service of God. It is given that, united with one another in heart, in mind and in body, they may increase in love and trust. God joins husband and wife in life-long union as the foundation of family life (in which children are born and nurtured and) in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love. Marriage enriches society and strengthens community.

from the Church in Wales order for Holy Matrimony

Jesus therefore sets the greatest example of unconditional, self-sacrificial love – a model that husband and wife can seek to follow in the way they love one another, each putting the other’s needs first.  At the heart of the marriage ceremony is the exchange of vows, in which a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, whatever the future may bring.

Christians believe that in marriage we find the proper expression of our sexuality, a secure environment for bringing up our children, and an important element of stability for the wider community.

You have a right to be married in your local parish church.

The law requires that at least one of those to be married should:

  • resides in the parish where the wedding is to take place, or
  • be a regular worshipper in the parish and to have your name entered on the church electoral roll, or
  • have a ‘qualifying connection’. A ‘qualifying connection’ as described in the Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 is that you were baptised or confirmed in the parish, that you or a parent formally lived for at least six months in the parish, that you or a parent formerly habitually attended worship in the parish for at least six months or that a parent or grandparent had been married in the parish.

If you are under the age of eighteen, you must have your parents’ consent to marry.

There are special guidelines on church marriage if you have been divorced (see FAQ).

The normal preliminary to getting married in the Church in Wales is by banns, the procedure of notifying people of your intention to marry. There are circumstances in which some form of licence, such as a Common Licence or Special Licence, is more appropriate. Your vicar or rector will advise you about this. More information about the various legal preliminaries to marriage is available from the Faculty Office website.

If you are thinking of a church wedding, you should contact the Vicar for an initial discussion and fill out the application form which you can download here:  Wedding Application Form

Contact Us

Baptism

Baptism

Christian Baptism has been carried out by the Church for around 2,000 years.  It is an occasion of great joy for the Church and a defining moment in a person’s life.  In the UK we take baptism for granted, but in some parts of the world being baptised requires immense courage as it can lead to imprisonment and persecution.

Baptism is an outward act with an inward and spiritual meaning.  Very simply it is about…

  1. Identity.  A Christian is someone who identifies with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection.  They have a relationship with him, follow him, and do what he would do.
  2. Cleansing.  During the service the candidate(s) will have water poured over them.  Water is a powerful symbol to show how Jesus Christ washes away a person’s sins and gives them a new fresh start.
  3. Initiation and belonging.  It marks the beginning of membership of the Church, the family of God.

Adults and older children who are baptised make their own statement of faith and promises to follow Jesus.  Younger children however are too young to do this.  Therefore parents and godparents make promises on their behalf until such time as the children are old enough to own the promises for themselves.

Parents and godparents therefore have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that the promises they make for the child are taken seriously and come to fruition, which is why they themselves should be practising Christians.

Further information about Baptism (sometimes known as Christening) please follow this link to the Church In Wales Website: http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/life/baptism

Baptism takes place during a regular Sunday morning service.  If you are interested in arranging a Baptism in any of our churches please contact one of the Vicar