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Vocations Day

Our next Area Vocations Day is on Saturday 6th April at Christ Church, Ireton Road, CO3 3AT, from 10am to 3:30pm. It includes a free lunch. Did you think there's no such thing? Then come along and feel no pressure, just a new awareness of how the Lord may be leading you through your Christian life. Bring along anyone who may also benefit! Register with Ian Hilton by Monday 1st April, by email at ihilton@chelmsford.anglican.org. There's more information on the Diocesan website here.

 

Our new Archdeacon

It has been announced that our new Archdeacon is to be Revd Ruth Patten, who is currently the Priest-in-Charge of the Parishes of Great Dunmow and Barnston. We are looking forward to welcoming Ruth at the service of Collation and installation on Sunday 12th May at 3:30pm in the Cathedral. Ruth has always served in the Colchester Episcopal Area, having served her Curacy in Witham before taking up her current role in 2014.

 

Discipleship Year 2019

Bookings are now open for the New Wine Discipleship Year; a new group of 18-24 year old Christians will begin studying in September at the New Wine Training Centre, based at St. John's Church, Colchester. Learn more at https://www.new-wine.org/mission-areas/new-wine-discipleship-year and contact nwdy@stjohnscolchester.org.uk.

 

Who cares?

'Who cares?' is the name of a national organisation leading a mission initiative which comes to Colchester later this year. The task is to mobilise Churches to listen to communities, and ask the question: 'What hurts you the most?', then to respond in ways that are appropriate for their own context with the hope we have in Christ. There will be a meeting at Plume Avenue URC at 7:30pm on Wednesday 27th March for leaders and members of Churches who would like to hear more, and who might wish to become involved from this autumn. The organisation's Director, Rob Tervet, will tell how 'Who Cares?' runs simply and well in other areas. Check out their website at https://run.who-cares.org.uk/ and book in to the meeting by emailing hugh.pearce@redeemerchurchcolchester.org

 

40 years of Fairtrade

Fairtrade Fortnight is almost upon us, and on Saturday 2nd March at Lion Walk Church Hall there will be a celebration of Traidcraft's 40 years. It will be a late Fairtrade Breakfast (9:30am onwards) with an opportunity to purchase a bargain from some of Traidcraft's existing stock. John in to celebrate, buy... and eat!

 

Employment opportunity at St. Peter's

St. Peter's Church in Colchester are currently seeking to recruit a suitably qualified and experienced Development Director, to oversee the development of their Church and Hall. Closing date for applications is Thursday 28th February. Why not download the Job Description, and if it could be you, apply - and if it can't be you, then pray!

 

Advance notice - Carol Singing!!

Great news, so mark your diary - it is planned that the Churches in Colchester will be singing carols in Castle Park on Saturday 7th December, to bless the town and get Christmas moving! More details to come.

 

Deanery Youth News

Beks Korniej, our Deanery Youth Champion, has just published the Spring Newsletter - read it on the Youth section of the Deanery website, and download the Newsletter from here to hand to people in Church. There's so much going on, so do make sure our young people and their leaders are part of it all!

 

The next Deanery Synod meeting

Deanery Synod next meets on Wednesday 27th February at St. Stephen's Church Centre, Canterbury Road CO2 7RY. As usual it's 7:15pm for refreshments and a 7:45pm start. Come and hear some practical ways in which Parishes can help one another, and can be involved in new kinds of ministry. Car parking for the meeting will be in the playground of St. George's school.

 

Revd Aella Gage moving on

We are delighted for Revd Aella Gage, Associate Minister of St. Peter’s and St. Botolph’s, Colchester, that he has been appointed Chaplain of Cothill House, a preparatory boarding school in Abingdon and Vicar of the Parish of Dry Sandford, where the people of St. Helen’s Church are looking forward to his arrival. We thank Aella for all he has done in the Benefice and previously in Fordham and Eight Ash Green. Revd Mark Wallace says: Aella’s work as an evangelist has helped many in and around Colchester to hear of the good news of Jesus Christ for the first time. We are grateful for his partnership in the gospel, we remember fondly his kindness and cheerfulness, we stand in awe of his skate-boarding antics -- and we wish him and Liza well as they move to their new ministry in Oxfordshire.” Aella's last service here will be on 7th April, and his Licensing is on 5th May.

 

Course in Spiritual Direction

A new Spiritual Direction course is starting at Pleshey in September 2019. That may seem a long way off, but bookings are already open and applications should be received by Friday 15th March. It's an experiential learning opportunity for those who listen and pray with others. Our own Revd Jackie Sams will be one of the members of the core team leading it. Please let people in your churches know, who may be gifted in working with individuals in prayer and listening. Here is the brochure for the course. More information on this on the Diocesan website here plus lots of other training opportunities too.

 

C2 Safeguarding Training events

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team have organised two face-to-face training sessions in our Deanery. They're for those who have safeguarding leadership responsibilities or responsibility for leading activities involving under 18 year olds and/or adults who may be vulnerable due to age, illness or disability. Unless you've done C3 training in the last 3 years, you should attend one of them - they're at St. Leonard's, Lexden on Saturday 16th March and the John Owen Barn in Fordham on Saturday 30th March from 9:15am to 12:30pm. Book online at https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/safeguarding/c2-training

 

Confirmations 2019

The full list of Confirmation Services in our Deanery has now been published for 2019. If you'd like to present Candidates at any of these services, just make contact with the Incumbent:

Sunday 3rd March, 10:30am: St. Mary, Wivenhoe

Sunday 12th May, 10am: St. Luke's Highwoods

Sunday 29th September, 10:15am: St. Michael, Myland (and the North Colchester Family of Churches)

 

Be a Brick, Buy a Brick!

Colchester Foodbank charity works in partnership with Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea Foodbanks to provide emergency food to local individuals and families in crisis. The biggest cost is operating the warehouse, at about £20,000 a year. That's where the army of volunteers welcomes clients, as well as receiving, sorting, storing and redistributing food. For the same cost of renting, they could pay to buy a building if they could raise enough for a deposit first. So far, people have generously donated £32,804. Donate £10 and they will add your name to the Foodbank's wall of gratitude - and an organisation or generous person could buy a window for £500, or a door for £1,000! Donate through Facebook or Just Giving https://www.justgiving.com/colchester-foodbank or directly by downloading either a one-off donation form or a regular standing order from https://colchester.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money and taking it to your bank. Also see this poster.

 

Bishop Stephen's TP Doodle

Just before the November meeting of Diocesan Synod, Bishop Stephen 'doodled' his understanding of Transforming Presence, and circulated it to members. Here it is; it's surely the most concise summary of our vision, and we commend it to you and the Churches!

 

Offer your skills to a worthwhile Project

Colchester Korban Project is looking for 2 exceptional people who can help support our work with their unique skills on a part-time voluntary basis. Are you amazing at admin, or awesome at DIY? Korban really need someone to help in their busy office and also need someone to do various repairs/oddjobs in both Korban properties. Both of these voluntary roles are for just a few hours a week. Go to www.korban.org.uk/vacancies if you are interested or email Mark Wood at: korban.manager@outlook.com for the role descriptions.

 

Deanery Dates for 2019

The Deanery Calendar of dates for next year, including Synod, Chapter and the Committees, is now on the Deanery website Calendar page. Venues and topics for meetings have still to be decided, but publishing the dates will help you fill in your new 2019 diary! Other relevant dates are also listed there, with links to the dates of Diocesan committees and Essex school holidays.

 

Could you be a Street Pastor?

There is an increasingly urgent need for Street Pastors in Colchester. Our Lay Chair Roger Ennals would be pleased to speak to Churches to promote this valuable ministry amongst our congregations. Contact him on 01206 579148 rogerennals@gmail.com with an invitation.

 

The Deanery needs a new Secretary and a Treasurer

We have been blessed by the service and expertise of Christopher Parkinson and Simon Prestney, and we now need to appoint people to succeed them. And those people will indeed succeed - whilst Christopher and Simon have been so good that it will be tough to follow them, even they would say that the jobs are not big, and we will give every support. They needn't be members of Synod already - we can co-opt people. So please do two things - pray that the Lord will show you who to ask, and have the courage to ask them!

 

Colchester CAP Debt Centre has just seen it’s 100th client go debt free!

Christians Against Poverty has also been in the news nationally - the BBC documentary about the work of CAP “The Debt Saviours” aired on BBC 2 on Friday 5 October 2018. See it on catch-up! This week also sees the publication of a report on Christians Against Poverty (CAP) by the London School of Economics (LSE). It found that every pound spent by the charity on poverty relief leads to almost four times as much benefit to society - equating to £6,493 per household receiving debt help from CAP. The report says: 'CAP is required to make explicit the faith that underpins its mission but avoiding any sense of requiring clients to share this faith is critical. However, because churches in general are long established community anchors, they are widely trusted to be on the side of helping communities, even among people who are sceptical of their purpose.' And because faith underpins everything counsellors do, 'their job often goes far beyond a paid role'.

There is no joint celebration planned to CAP Sunday in 2018 but Centre Manager Paula Goddard paulagoddard@capuk.org  is very happy to speak to churches about CAP in Colchester and how people can get involved.

 

Bishop Roger's regular prayer time

Our Bishop runs a regular time of prayer for the town and for our church leaders, at the Oak Tree Coffee House, Highwoods Square, CO4 9BB. 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). Bishop Roger says: "A lot of exciting things happened when Christians in the Town just got together to pray and I am confident that will continue to happen. Please do buzz this around your networks - and if people wanted to let me know if they are coming then that would be great!"

 

A Retreat for your Parish or MMU?

Revd Jackie Sams, part of the Diocesan Spiritual Direction Team and a leader of Individual Guided Retreats at Pleshey, can be available to lead a quiet day or retreat for a Parish, team or MMU. If you would like to explore the opportunity, contact her on 01206530586 or by email at revjackiesams@gmail.com.

 

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