Deanery News 






Upcoming events:


Touching Heaven - creative approaches to prayer through music

Richard Hubbard, who has contributed much to musical worship in our Deanery, is leading a Training Day just over our border at St. Mary's Church, Bures on Saturday 8th September from 10am to 4pm. The Day will explore ways in which music can help us connect with God and one another through prayer, with practical ideas for Churches great and small, with a wide range of music styles. More information on this poster The cost is £10; book through music.development@stedscathedral.org.     


Course in Christian Studies

This year's Course in Christian Studies begins in September, and our local course will be held in St. John's Community Centre, CO4 0HP. The first weekly session is on Wednesday 19th September, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. It's a fantastic course for anyone who wants to learn more about the Christian faith, and it can also be a foundation course for those who may in future consider a vocation to a licensed ministry. To enrol for the course, email Diane Hardy at the Diocesan office - dhardy@chelmsford.anglican.org


Don't take yourself too seriously!

That's the typically light-hearted title of an evening with Church cartoonist Dave Walker, at St. Mary's Church, Wivenhoe on

Thursday 20th September at 7:30pm. Promote the event using this poster, and book early on 01206 822511.


Jesus' female disciples - the new evidence

St. Mary's Wivenhoe are delighted to have been able to book Dr Joan Taylor, Professor of Christian Origins and Second temple Judaism, Kings College London, to present the newest academic position on Jesus' female disciples, in the Church on the evening of Friday 28th September. This poster can be downloaded to encourage others to attend. Admission is free; there will be a retiring collection.


St. George's Flag for free

Little Horkesley Church have discovered that they have a St. George flag which is too large for their flagpole - it's 3.9m x 2.6m. If anyone can use it, contact Churchwarden Christopher Orme at christopheraorme@gmail.com.


Bishop Roger inspires on Innovation

At an evening of 'Pimms and Puds' with a number of Deanery ministers on 19th July, Bishop Roger spoke inspiringly on the need for the Church to be innovative, whilst also keeping up the good work. He likened it to doing a refit whilst a ship is out at sea - we can't stop what we're doing and come into dry dock! We have his whole talk to download and read here.


Evensong in August

Some of our Churches are sharing evensongs in the area during summer Sundays, as in previous years. Itís a good opportunity to meet people from other congregations and worship together. They all start at 6.30pm Ė and finish with refreshments. Come alongÖ bring a friend. Here's the schedule for the coming weeks: Shrub End. August 19th St Albrightís, Stanway. August 27th St. Leonardís, Lexden. September 2nd St Maryís, Wivenhoe.


Part-Time Youth Worker opportunity

St. Luke's in Highwoods are advertising for a part-time Youth Worker, 20 hours per week on an initial one-year contract. The closing date for applications is Friday 17th August. Here's the advertisement; and for more information, see stlukescolchester.org.uk or contact hannah@stlukescolchester.org.uk.


A very public Eucharist

A service is to be held at the oldest known Church in Colchester on Saturday 18th August at 9am. It's at the remains of the Roman Church next to the Police Station at the Maldon Road roundabout, dedicated to St. Helena - and the service, which will be led by Bishop Roger, will fittingly be held on St Helena's day. All are welcome; let's make a very public statement of the history and future of our faith. Refreshments with fellowship will be offered after this Service at the new Beacon House in Crouch Street. Family activities for children will be offered in the staff area at Beacon House.


Free Family Fun Day
Saturday 15th September is the date of the annual Free Family Fun Day in Colchester's Castle Park. The day has been growing in popularity with the public, and growing in size, too - with more Churches coming on board each year. May we encourage Churches to bless the community by taking part, and also publicise this important and effective outreach. Keep up to date on Twitter @Colch_FunFest and www.facebook.com/colchesterfunfamilyfestival/


More news and events:


New Diocesan CEO announced

It has been announced that the new Chief Executive of the Diocese of Chelmsford will be Joel Gowen, currently our Director of Church Planting Projects. Joel takes up his duties on 1st October; the full press release can be viewed here. Please pray for Joel and his family as he prepares to take on this new calling at a very challenging time for the Diocese.


Can we make a Labyrinth?

Revd Ian Scott-Thompson and Revd Wendy Pagden of Marks Tey & Aldham are thinking of making a portable Labyrinth. They say: 'We want to make a Labyrinth out of white sheets, for prayer and worship, that could be used by anybody in the Deanery/Colchester area. The trouble is, we need somebody with the sewing and painting skills! Do you have sewing/painting/craft skills, and could help us this summer?  This lady offers instructions how to do it.  There are companies selling them, but large size is expensive (here and here). Contact either of us at ian.scott-thompson@virgin.net or wendypagden@gmail.com


Deanery Safeguarding Training Event

A number of people in the Deanery have asked if we could hold a Safeguarding Training event locally, and I am pleased to say that we now have a confirmed date for the event. It will take place on Saturday 27th October at Christ Church, Ireton Road, Colchester CO3 3AT from 9:45am to 12:45pm. This training is suitable for those who have safeguarding leadership responsibilities or responsibility for leading activities involving children and/or adults who may be vulnerable. Itís an excellent opportunity to ensure that all appropriate people in our Parish have received C2 training. Here's a poster to promote the event. To book places, visit the Dioceseís Safeguarding Training webpage, scroll down and click on the Christ Church event, or contact me direct at paul.nozzer@btinternet.com.


Diocesan Synod Elections

We are delighted to announce that Deanery Synod has elected Roger Ennals, David Gentry and Hugh Thomas to serve on Diocesan Synod. One vacancy remains for a representative to the House of Laity; may we consider whom we should nominate, ready for a further election to take place at the next meeting of Deanery Synod. We also congratulate Revd Ray Gibbs, Revd Canon Paul Norrington, Revd Tim Platts and Revd Mark Wallace who were elected to the House of Clergy.


East Colchester MMU approved

Formation of a Mission and Ministry Unit serving East Colchester has been approved by the Area Pastoral Committee. This brings together the Greenstead Team Ministry and the Parishes of St. John Colchester and Wivenhoe. We pray for them as they continue to work together and serve the community.


Deanery Synod Secretary to retire

It was announced at Deanery Synod that Christopher Parkinson, who has served the Deanery so well for more than 15 years, is to retire from the role of Secretary to the Synod at the end of the year. We are so grateful to Christopher for his skill and efficiency in the role, and we ask that we all now consider whom to appoint as his successor. He says that it's not a big job, and that he will gladly meet with anyone interested to explain how it's done.


A New Discipleship Year Hub in Colchester

St. John's Church, Colchester are planning to develop a New Wine Discipleship Year Hub, which will start in September 2018. It's for people aged 18-24, who will be trained and equipped to grow as disciples of Jesus and to be effective in their ministry in their local Church. Read more here, and if you would like to express an interest or know more about having a young adult as part of the hub, contact Revd Andy Sachs on andy.sachs@stjohnscolchester.org.uk


New Incumbent for Lexden

It is announced that the Revd Matthew Simpkins has been appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Lexden. Matt is currently Chaplain to the Bishop of Chelmsford, in addition to being the Assistant Curate in the Wickford and Runwell team Ministry - and is very much looking forward to taking up residence and duties in Lexden. His Service of Licensing is to take place on the evening of Thursday 6th September. Please pray for him and his family as they prepare for this important step in their lives and ministry.


Mission Shaped Ministry Course comes to Colchester

The MSM Course is known nationally as a very effective course for the development of Pioneer ministry, and it's excellent news that it will be held in Colchester beginning on Saturday 22nd September. Individuals can book, but it would be good for a small group from a Church to attend the course. Places are limited, and we understand that they are in high demand - so waste no time in speaking to others about this opportunity and sign up quickly! All the information you need and a booking form are in this leaflet.


Harvest Flower Festival in Lexden

St.Leonard's Church, Lexden, invite us to their Harvest Flower Festival on Saturday 6th October and Sunday 7th October. On Saturday, the Church is open and refreshments will be served from 10:30am to 5pm., and there is a concert at 7:30pm by Lexden Choral Society featuring Vivaldi's Gloria. On Sunday the Church opens at 2pm; refreshments will be available; and the evening ends with a Harvest Songs of Praise at 5pm. Everyone is welcome; more information at www.stleonardslexden.org.uk.


Aldham Harvest Flower Festival

The Aldham Harvest Flower Festival is on the theme 'God's Wonderful World' and will be held in the Church on Saturday and Sunday 6th and 7th October from 11am to 5pm on both days with members of the Colchester Group of Flower Arrangers. In the Village Hall there will be 'Framed' an Art Exhibition featuring framed works by local artists, all day refreshments and various stalls. In aid of Aldham Church Fabric Repairs. Postcode for the Church: CO6 6RE. More information in due course at www.aldham-church.co.uk

Let's bless Archdeacon Annette

By now you will know that Ven Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester, will be retiring in November after 14 years' service to the Parishes in our Deanery and the other Deaneries in the Area. Annette has been a blessing to us; there will be opportunities to thank her, and one way will be to attend her Farewell Service which will take place in Chelmsford Cathedral at 3:30pm on Sunday 18th November.


Bishop Roger's regular prayer time

Our Bishop now runs a regular time of prayer for the town and for our church leaders. Bishop Roger says: "My plan is to make a regular thing of this on the last Tuesday of every month. Coffee etc can be available from 7.30 am when we will also have a short time of worship and a brief reflection on Scripture. We can then spend some time praying and - if your diary allows - have a bite of breakfast at the end (from about 8.30-ish). A lot of exciting things happened when Christians in the Town just got together to pray and I am confident that will happen again. Please do buzz this around your networks - and if people wanted to let me know if they are coming then that would be great!"


And general information:


Residential developments

You canít miss  the 'Say no to West Tey' signs around Marks Tey, campaigning against the private developersí proposals for housing.  Meanwhile Tendring, Colchester and Braintree Councils have to build houses and follow planning procedure, and have been consulting with local communities at meetings and online: www.ne-gc.co.uk is a good website to check. One key point to make is that churches can contribute to building new community involvement - the plans avoid mentioning church volunteers.  There are many rumours, and even the future routes of the A12 and A120 are still under debate. We can make sure the Church's views are heard, and by keeping up to date with proposals we can respond to the challenge in the Lord's name.


Colchester Clerical Society

The Society are well into their 2018 Programme of meetings, events and speakers - and an interesting programme it is, too! View it and download it by clicking here.


Revised Churchyard Regulations and Forms

The Diocesan Office has just published a revised Churchyard Handbook, with new versions of forms for authorising headstones and monuments. Copies have been sent to Clergy and to all the Funeral Directors based in the Colchester Deanery. To make sure your Church has the right versions, you can download these for documents by clicking on them: Churchyard Handbook; Headstone Application; Memorial application; Gravespace reservation.


A Retreat for your Parish or MMU?

Revd Jackie Sams, a trained Spiritual Director and experienced leader of retreats, can be available to lead a quiet day or retreat for a Parish, team or MMU, and we are pleased to attach a letter from Jackie which explains more. If you would like to explore the opportunity, contact her on 01206530586 or by email at revjackiesams@gmail.com. Her letter also contains a plea re weddings......


Sharing equipment

Here's a new kind of 'Parish Share'! One Church in the Deanery recently asked if there's a way of sharing items of equipment, rather than having to hire or buy it. For instance, we know of another Church where there's an easy-to-construct tower which could be loaned out for changing light bulbs etc. What have you got that others could use, and what do you need? We think there's a Biblical principle in this too.... Let us know!




The Church of England Deanery of Colchester is part of the Colchester Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Chelmsford.

The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance is a registered Charity, no. 249505