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Becoming the people God calls us to be

Bishop’s Letter – 5th May 2018

The Bishop writes

4th May 2018

Dear Friends,

A sign of a healthy church is when we can plan for the future with the anticipation that other Christians will continue our mission. This also applies to Church leadership.  I would like to encourage both clergy and lay ministers to look around and look for potential candidates for vocations. Many of us can relate our own journey towards Ordination starting from our school days and I believe an important factor is that young people be taken seriously in their vocation, even in their early teens.  God starts early and doesn’t let go! With this in mind, the Revd Rebecca Stevens has been doing an excellent job in encouraging young vocations through a variety of interesting initiatives.

I am pleased to announce that Rebecca is now taking on the role of Assistant Diocesan Director of Vocations working alongside Canon Paul Thompson, our Diocesan Director of Vocations. Canon Paul has been providing an invaluable discernment programme for the diocese for many years and it is good that Rebecca will be able to help him take this forward.

Additionally, Rebecca’s previous role of Young Vocations Advisor  will now be taken up the Revd Wendy Tayler who will be joining us in June.  Wendy had already held this role in Llandaff Diocese and so comes with experience as well as energy!  We are so fortunate to have such talented young clergy who are good role models for young people.

 Diocesan Residential last week

 Diocesan Residential last week

Figures 1 & 2 – Photos from Diocesan Residential last week

Please keep our Vocations Team, including all of our Vocations Advisors, in your prayers as we discern God’s plan for his people for the future.

Pam Summers

 I am sorry to share that Pam Summers, wife of the Revd Canon Ray Summers, has unexpectedly passed away this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ray at this difficult time. Pam was a lovely lady and will be missed by many.

Thy Kingdom Come

Archbishop Justin Welby and the Church of England are keen to support a time of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost for the promotion of God’s Kingdom again this year. This period of the church’s year is set apart for the invocation of the Holy Spirit so that we can join in God’s mission to the world.

In Wales, we are also supporting this endeavour and all the Bishops in Wales, both Anglican and Roman Catholic, are encouraging all our congregations in Wales to use a method of prayer and reflection in this season from the 10th May until the 20th May 2018.

Prayer cards and bookmarks are available at the Bishop’s Office if you would like to collect some! (Please remember that the office will be closed on Monday due to the bank holiday.) Otherwise, please see the Thy Kingdom Come website for a variety of resources for churches, individuals and families and young people. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/prayerresources.

 

GDPR

Many of you will have heard that there will be a change in the data protection laws with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) at the end of this month. The Representative Body have made a number of template documents and guidance notes available on their website. We encourage everyone involved in ministry, PCCs, and any lay leadership, to take time to familiarise themselves with this. This is an important piece of legislation that all churches will be expected to follow. https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/resources/parishes-and-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/. These documents will made available on our Diocesan website very soon. A training event is also in the process of being planned, so please do look out for this in the near future.

 

Message Sent On Behalf Of The Independent Review Panel

“The Independent Review Panel on Community and Town Councils are looking to seek more views from members of the public on the future role of Community and Town Councils – They need your help.  Please click here for further information on the review

We know you have strong links within your communities. We are asking for your support in holding a national “pop-in” session across Wales.

We are asking you to open your doors on Thursday 24th May 2018 to collect views from your community and promote the event in your area (by putting up posters and asking partners in the area to do the same). You would not have to host your session for the whole day (providing you clearly publicise the time when people can come) and if evenings are better for your community, then please feel free to host a session in the evening.

We will provide bilingual marketing materials; feedback sheets and pre-paid envelopes to post everything back in. We would also be able to offer reimbursement should you wish to offer refreshments for those who pop-in.

We would like to keep a list on the Welsh Government website of those who we know are hosting a “pop-in” session – in order to help publicise them.

Please contact or 0300 062 8189 by Tuesday 8th May if you are willing to host a session and we will send you the resource pack and add you to the list.” Thank you.

 

For Our Prayers

 

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.

Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

 

INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving—

for vocations blossom in the

good soil of faithful people.

 

INSTILL those in parish

ministries with the confidence

and grace to invite others to embrace

the bold and noble path of a life

consecrated to you.

 

UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament,

so that we may cooperate

with you in building your reign of mercy

and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.

 

Prayer from Pope Francis (adapted)

 

With Every Blessing,

Bishop Richard