Deanery News 







When Faith Gets Shaken

St. John’s Church, Colchester are hosting one of the evenings of the 'When Faith Gets Shaken' Tour, with Mark Regan and Andy Flannagan, at 7:30pm on Friday 23rd March. Tickets are £5 from the Church website - www.stjohnscolchester.org.uk. Patrick explores themes from his latest book ‘When Faith is Shaken’, and Andy performs some of the songs from his highly successful album: ‘Drowning in the Shallow’. Come along to be challenged, refreshed and inspired. This poster will help market the event.


CYO Celebration

Christian Youth Outreach, Colchester have a Celebration Evening at Kingsland Church on Sunday 25th March at 6:30pm. The speaker is Brian Heasley, International Prayer Director of 24/7 Prayer. Brian now serves as the International Prayer Director after leading 24-7 Ibiza and has been part of the prayer movement since it began. He is a gifted communicator with passion for prayer, mission and justice. He is married to Tracy and has two teenage sons. The family live in Norfolk and are involved in a Christian community there. Brian’s other passions are Liverpool football club, tapas and photography. You can read about the incredible story of 24-7 Ibiza in Brian's book, 'Gatecrashing'. It should be quite an evening!


Holy Week and Easter in Wivenhoe

There is a full programme of events organised by St Mary's Church in Wivenhoe, from Palm Sunday until Easter Day. Highlights will be Alan Bullard's Wondrous Cross, performed by St. Mary's Singers and soloists at 7:30pm on Good Friday, 30th March, and Easter activities for children up to age 12 on Holy Saturday, 31st March from 2pm to 4pm including Easter garden, crafts, drama and a party! Here's a poster for that event, and a poster for all the week's services and events.


Latest Deanery Youth news

Beks Korniej has just published her latest Youth Update, which can be viewed on the Deanery website at www.colchesterdeanery.org.uk/youth, and tells us that it will be our new Colchester Area Youth Adviser, Dot Salmon, who'll be sending out future updates. Beks, of course, continues as our much-valued Deanery Youth Champion!


Good Friday Walk of Witness

There will again be a Walk of Witness in Colchester Town Centre this Good Friday, 30th March following the Cross as a silent act of witness, and praying for the town as we go. Meet in Essex Street (off Headgate) at 11:45am for the walk to start at 12noon, which ends in Lion Walk. This artwork can be used as a poster or in PowerPoint to advertise the Walk.


Good Friday in the Mercury Theatre

'Poured out for many' is the theme of this year's gathering at the Mercury Theatre on the evening of Good Friday, 30th March. Revd Lynsey Heslegrave is to be the guest speaker; the event begins at 7:30pm. Here is a poster for publicity purposes.


New appointment for Revd Canon Ian Hilton

It has been announced that Ian, Rector of St. Stephen's New Town with the Hythe, is to move on to become the Colchester Area Adviser for Continuing Ministerial Development. He joins the Area Team in the summer, after 21 years at St. Stephen's during which he was our Area Dean for eight years. The Deanery of Colchester is so grateful for Ian's ministry with us, his wisdom, his gentle guidance and his pastoral care. At least our ministers will continue to benefit from these attributes - and more!


Residential developments

You can’t miss  the 'Say no to West Tey' signs around Marks Tey, campaigning against the private developers’ 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.  The latest consultation has just been extended to 2nd February, which gives everyone a further chance to contribute. 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.


Become a Bellringer

Have you ever wanted to learn the skill of bellringing - campanology? You can! Barry Gibbons, Bell Captain at St. Andrew's Church, Wormingford, is planning to hold training evenings for people who would like to learn. No previous experience is necessary. There are bells and bellringers in many of our Churches, and there are vacancies for ringers at most of them. If you are interested, ring or email Barry to have a chat on 01787 227744 or barrybellringer@btinternet.com.


Bishop Roger introduces a new regular prayer time

Our Bishop has organised a new regular time of prayer for the town and for our church leaders. The first of these will be at 7.30 am in the Oak Tree Coffee House (4 Highwoods Square, Colchester CO4 9BB) on Tuesday 30 January. 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!"


Come and Sing in Wivenhoe

On Good Friday, 30th March, St Mary’s Singers will sing 'Wondrous Cross' by Colchester based composer Alan Bullard. Rehearsals have started in St Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe and continue every Thursday at 7.30pm until the event. More singers are needed to perform this work well - particularly men, although all voice parts are welcome. Contact graham.wadley@tiscali.co.uk for more details or just turn up on 1st February.


Revd Robert Hughes

We were saddened to report last June the death of Revd Robert Hughes, who had for some years ministered in Myland and also been very much a part of Colchester Clerical Society. Revd Canon Hugh Beavan has written recollections of Robert as an Obituary; it is available to read and download here.


Colchester Clerical Society

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


Important new Data Protection laws

New Data Protection legislation comes into force on 25th May of this year which affects all organisations which hold data – and that includes Churches. Each Parish will need to comply – so watch out for training events early in the New Year. Churchwardens, Secretaries, Treasurers, Group leaders and many others will need to be involved in this, so we strongly recommend that you mention this to them now. Ahead of the training, we suggest you also view the guidance at http://www.parishresources.org.uk/gdpr/ from which you may glean how deeply this will impact your Parish.


Revd Geoff Read is on the move

It has been announced that Revd Geoff Read, Associate Priest at St. John’s, Colchester and the Colchester Area CMD Adviser, has been appointed Chaplain/Vicar of the Anglican Church of Luxembourg. We are delighted for Geoff but will certainly miss him. Geoff says: “I have greatly enjoyed working with clergy in the Colchester Area and in the whole Diocese. I am at heart a parish priest and I hope that has come across in the way I have worked in my role as CMD Adviser. It’s also one important factor in our decision to move back into that role and now back into the Diocese in Europe. Marie-Louise and I plan to move in the first week of March, and I hope to have had the opportunity to say farewell to people personally at upcoming events.” Please pray for them as they make preparations for this important step.


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.


Check out the 2018 Deanery Calendar

Welcome to the New Year, and to a new calendar of meetings and events within the Deanery. Our online calendar carries dates and details of Synod and Chapter meetings, plus lots of other information. It's still 'work in progress', so please view it online at  www.colchesterdeanery.org.uk/calendar.htm so that you always have the up-to-date version. See you soon!


Graham Wadley, BEM

We are delighted to learn that Graham Wadley, organist at St. Mary's, Wivenhoe, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List. Graham has been organist at St. Mary's for over 50 years, and is honoured for his services to Church music. He continues to be a mainstay of Church life in the Parish and is an inspiration to many. So if you would like to learn the organ, why not make it your New Year's resolution? Organists are in high and increasing demand. And in 50 years' time, a BEM could be yours!


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


Important dates for your 2018 diary

Let's continue to pray for more vocations in the coming year, and also do something practical about it - by inviting people to the Colchester Area 2018 Crossroads (Vocation) days. The next one in our Archdeaconry will take place on Saturday 12th May from 10am to 5pm; and there'll be one in the Stansted area on Saturday 10th November. Both events are open to people from the whole Colchester Episcopal Area. Venues are yet to be decided, but we'll let you know as soon as we can.


Team Vicar and Pioneer appointed to Greenstead

The good news has been announced that the Revd Sue Howlett has been appointed Team Vicar (Pioneer) in the parish of Greenstead with Colchester St Anne. Sue is currently Lead Pioneer Minister of Beaulieu Church Chelmsford and Assistant Curate at St Andrew, Boreham. Sue is married to Philip who is a self-supporting Assistant Curate at Black Notley, Great Notley and Rayne. They will move to Greenstead early next year. Sue and Philip have three grown up daughters: Becky, Alice and Millie. Please pray for Sue and Philip and their family as she prepares to take up this new ministry.


Youth Newsletter

Beks Korniej, the Deanery Youth Champion, has published her latest Newsletter, which is available on the Deanery website here, and there's an amazing array of events for young people and training opportunities to enthuse us. See the youth pages of the website to see them all; pray for our young people, invite them to take part in the events, and also pray that the Lord will continue to raise up leaders to inspire our young people in the Name of Jesus.


North Colchester MMU going ahead

It has been confirmed that the North Colchester Family of Churches will be the first grouping in the Deanery to become an MMU. The Parishes of Myland, Langham & Boxted, West Bergholt, Great Horkesley, Little Horkesley, Wormingford, Mount Bures and Highwoods will be commissioned as a unit in the coming months. We pray that the Lord will bless their mission and future.


And remember:


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......


Essex Integration needs Befrienders

Essex Integration is a Colchester-based Christian charity which provides practical help to refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers. They are looking for new befrienders for clients as they continue to help build on their integration development to date. Befrienders help support families with everyday activities and hope this will help expand their clients' local knowledge and social circle. Whether you have only a few hours or several days spare you will make a big difference. If you are interested please click to download the Application Form and Declaration, and send them to Info@essexintegration.org. There's also a Handbook to view, here.


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