Friday, April 06, 2018

April News from Rochester Diocese

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Thursday 5 April, 2018

Happy Easter and welcome to the April edition of Rochester Diocese's monthly e-newsletter. 

New Bishop of Tonbridge Announced

Simon Burton-Jones speaks of his hopes for his new role and the Diocese. (This film can be downloaded from and used locally)

The Venerable Simon Burton-Jones is to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge. He currently serves as Archdeacon of Rochester and Canon Residentiary at Rochester Cathedral.
As Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon will focus on evangelism and growth. This aspiration and intention to grow is rooted in “Called Together”, the Diocese of Rochester’s vision. He will also have oversight and leadership of the educationyouth and children, and community engagement work of churches across the Diocese of Rochester. In relation to education, he will chair the Diocesan Board of Education, supporting the work of the 89 Church of England schools within the Diocese.
Read More 

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

Tribal Chief visits Gravesend
St George’s, Gravesend welcome USA visitors to mark the anniversary of Princess Pocahontas who died in the town. Read more

Royal Maundy Money for 'honoured' four
An 'honour and privilege' as four members from across the Diocesan family receive Maundy Money from The Queen Read more
Communities meet Bishop 'to be'
WATCH: The Bishop of Tonbridge-designate met communities on a whistle-stop tour on news of his appointment.

Got a story or event? Let us know!
We would love to share your news and stories. Let us know what is happening in your parish. Email: 
Diocesan Update
All you need to know this month from the Diocese and National Church

Have your say - new publication for the Diocese?
After a number of years and numerous editions, this May will mark the final edition of the Rochester Link newspaper. An online survey has been created to give you the opportunity to share your views on what might replace it. If you know someone who would prefer to contribute their thoughts by post, please see a cut-out survey on page 11 of the April edition of Link. Read more here.

Bishop signs Modern Slavery letter 
Bishop James was one of 15 Church of England bishops who issued a call to the public to “open their eyes” to slavery in their midst in a letter to the Times over the Easter weekend.  It comes ahead of a Modern Slavery Conference the Diocese is holding on 16 June to equip parishes to know the signs of this modern social issue. Read more

Called Together Event - New date
The Bromley & Bexley Archdeaconry Called Together event will take place on Saturday 14 July. Join us to hear what different parishes and people are already doing to respond to the challenge to Grow Disciples, Enrich our Communities, and Resource our Mission and Ministry. There will also be an exhibition of useful and interesting organisations. (This is a rescheduled date from the event planned in March). Click here to book.

Card readers for churches now available
With many people no longer carrying cash, allowing them to make payments in the way they choose is becoming increasingly important. One solution is a card reader. Following a national trial, of which a couple of parishes within the Diocese were involved, the Parish Buying service now has contracts with two companies to allow parishes to buy card readers at a discounted rate. Read more:  

  • Synod 'an eyeopener' Read Diocesan Youth Council member Olivia Best's account of visiting General Synod when it met in London last month. Read more  

Like what you're reading? Why not share with a friend?

Top resources to support you in your work, life and faith - or just to share with others.

Thy Kingdom Come - family resources
Thy Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury's global movement of prayer, is now only 5 weeks away. There are lots of free resources available, including those aimed at families.  Why not try a downloadable Family Prayer Journal, to help you and your loved ones pray together from Pentecost to Ascension? Find more ideas here.

The Great Vocations Conversation
Vocations Sunday is just around the corner (22 April). God's calling might be to anything from lay readership, to becoming a church warden, to bringing the gift of hospitality by joining the tea and coffee rota. There are a whole heap of resources from the Church Support Hub to support exploration of vocations and there's the Diocese's own 'It's Your Calling' leaftlet too.  Details of the next It's Your Calling  exploration day can also be found in the Events section below.

Podcast - Minority ethnic clergy in the Church
In this Renewal and Reform podcast from the National Church team, they speak to those responsible for supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people as they follow their calling to ordained ministry. Listen here.

Forthcoming Events and Training

A range of courses can be found in the Diocesan Online Course Directory here

  • It's Your Calling -  Saturday 12 May 2018 (9.15am to 3.45pm) – Christ Church Orpington. A chance to explore where God may be calling you. Not just ordained ministry, but the considering the gifts that God has given us.  Meet others on a similar quest  Book here 

  • Dying Matters - Meeting Myths, Discovering Facts and Exploring Implications, Friday 18 May 2018, 9.30am – 2.30pm, University Hospital Lewisham. A friendly and relaxed morning of presentations and discussion about end of life, palliative care, organ donation and medical ethics. Open to faith, belief and community leaders across the Diocese. Details & booking here.

  • Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse – 26 May, 10.30am to 4pm. Causes, Impacts and The Future, with Peter Williams from Kent Community Domestic Abuse Programme. Details and booking here  #Hope2018

  • Leap of Faith 2018 Women’s Retreat Weekend - Friday 15 June to Sunday 17 June (Please register by 9 April) An invitation to all women over the age of 18 who want a weekend away to take time out and come closer to God whilst having a bit of fun in the process. Details and booking here

Vision and Aims

CHAPLAINCY: Part of the Enriching Communities strand of Called Together, this priority is all about encouraging more people to consider chaplaincy and seek to create collaboratively energised ministries
  • Visit our Chaplaincy pages to discover how we are beginning to take this work forward and ways to explore chaplaincy.
  • WATCH Bishop James has spoken about the importance of chaplaincy - the often 'hidden' part of the church's mission.
  • Please pray for chaplains. Download a prayer here

Vacancies and appointments

Positions vacant in each archdeaconry
Lay and Volunteer posts.

Welcome to....
  • Ian Smith Vicar at Blendon from 03.03.2018
  • Jessie Daniels White Vicar at Cray Valley from 21.03.18
  • Stephen Niechcial Vicar at Petts Wood from 19.04.18
  • Nathan Ward Vicar at Rainham from 21.04.18
  • Cathy Knight-Scott Priest-in-Charge at Sidcup, St John (S) from 29.05.18
  • Cathy Knight-Scott Priest-in-Charge at Footscray w North Cray (S) from 29.05.18

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