Sunday, July 15, 2018

Messy fun!

Despite the World Cup and the Wimbledon Mens singles finals we had a good turnout for Messy Church this afternoon, and a lovely relaxing time being creative together. We talked about what we had made at the end, and thought about the story of God making the world and loving what he had made, inciuding us. We decided that if God loved what he'd made, so should we!

Lots of creativity happening.

We made a card to welcome the new residents and staff of Lavender Fields care home, which opens son.

Sometimes you just have to punch shapes in things...

We made pictures by pulling painty string. It was messy, but the results were beautiful.

It was very hot, so some water play was welcome. We particularly enjoyed playing with water beads.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

News from Rochester Diocese July 2018


Thursday 4 July, 2018

Welcome to the July edition of Rochester Diocese's monthly e-newsletter.  You are receiving this newsletter, either because you have previously subscribed, or because you are a role holder within the Diocese.

Bishop of Tonbridge consecrated at St. Paul's Cathedral

People from across the Diocese and beyond travelled to see Simon Burton-Jones consecrated as the new Bishop of Tonbridge in St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday 3 July. Read more about it here. In three short visual podcasts, Simon talked about the personal significance of the items he received during the service symbolising his new office - the episcopal ring, the pastoral staff and the pectoral cross. All were made by local craftsman Andrew Lapthorn. You can also read Simon's first pastoral letter to the Diocese here.

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

Celebrations bring Church schools together
Five school celebration days brought pupils together in Rochester Cathedral and Bromley Parish Church
Watch here 

First 'Funeral' Lay Worker
Tonbridge sees first lay worker in the Diocese permitted to conduct funerals. Read more
21 students gain Bishop's Certificate
Moving testimonies in Pembury as students complete two years of study. Read more

Bexley mark Windrush
Local church helps support weekend marking anniversary of Windrush. Read more

Diocesan Update
All you need to know this month from the Diocese and National Church

Bishop James' July message
On the occasion of the consecration of Bishop Simon, Bishop James speaks in his July video message about the role of the bishop as a connector of people. Watch here

2017 Finance & Annual Review ONLINE
We're delighted to introduce the Annual Finance Report and Accounts for 2017, as well as a new Annual Review, giving you a snapshot of life around the Diocese over the past year. Fully online and available to download, this is a new way of sharing this information with you, which we hope you will find easy to navigate and interesting to read. Look out for a full mailing next week, but if you want to take a look now, view them here.

Past Cases Review - our response
The independent report into the Church of England's handling of its 2007-2009 Past Cases Review (PCR) was published on Friday 22 June. The Diocese has been identified as one of several diocese that should repeat its Past Cases Review. Read our response here

Diocesan Synod
Diocesan Synod met in June. On the agenda included items on the Dignity at Work Policy, presentation of the 2017 Finance Report and Accounts, a new Annual Review, and group work on the work of the Diocesan Support teams. In his Presidential Address, Bishop James reflected on the Windrush anniversary. Read more here.

Anti loan shark award & charter signed
Civic and community representatives joined Bishop James in signing a charter committing to help foster a zero-tolerance attitude to illegal money lending in our communities. The signing was organised in conjunction with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) who also recognised the work of the Diocese so far with a highly commended award. Read more here.

- First World War: There But Not There Silhouettes - The deadline to apply for a grant to fund a There But Not There silhouette has been extended until 16 July.  Inspired by an original Art installation at Penshurst Church in 2016, as part of the application you will need to host a community event. For details and to apply, click here
- First women ordained in Kondoa Diocese - The recent ordination service of our companion partnership Diocese of Kondoa was particularly special this year as four of the ordinands were women - the first women to be ordained in Kondoa Diocese. Read more here. 


The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults in our churches is of utmost importance and the Diocese takes its responsibilities in this area very seriously. We have a range of policies, forms and advice notes as well as a regular programme of training to assist parishes with their safeguarding needs.

C2: Leadership safeguarding training 
  • Monday 16/07/18 at St Philip’s Church, Birken Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3TE Book here
  • Tuesday 07/08/18 at Christ Church, 40 Lubbock Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5JJ Book here
  • Thursday 23/08/18 at Christ Church, 40 Lubbock Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5JJ Book here
  • Wednesday 05/09/18 at St John’s Church Centre, Foxbush, Hildenborough TN11 9HT Book here
  • Saturday 29/09/18 at Diocesan Offices, Boley Hill, Rochester ME5 1SL Book here
C3 Clergy and Lay Ministers Safeguarding Training
  • Saturday 10/11/2018 St John’s Centre, St John the Baptist, Wrotham Road, Meopham DA13 0AA Book here

Online modules: The C0 and C1modules are available online and are recommended for anyone who needs a basic level of awareness of safeguarding

If you have any questions about Safeguarding, or need to report an issue, please contact the Safeguarding team here or call them on 01634 560 000.


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

New Centenary prayers and liturgy
This year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. A variety of new ideas for worship, prayer, and remembrance have just been launched by the National Church’s Liturgical Commission, to help communities to remember those who were lost, and to pray for peace. The materials can be downloaded from the Church of England website here.

Prayer Festival - help spread the word
This day of prayer to help you learn about prayer, experience different ways of praying and learn how to help others to pray is now open to booking. A number of resources including a poster, article and pew sheet text have been produced to help you spread the word. Why not also explore the Prayer Pack? Our daily intercessions are also available here.

Ride + Stride resources
Ride + Stride takes place on Saturday 8 September this year. This annual sponsored bike ride or walk is all about raising funds to  help save historic churches, chapels and meeting houses for future generations by helping to fund urgent repairs and the installation of modern facilities. Share this video to help promote the event or visit the national site, or the Friends of Kent Churches for more details and resources.

Events and Training

A range of courses can be found in the Diocesan Online Course Directory here You may also be interested in exploring the courses available at the St. Benedict's Centre here and St. Augustine's College of Theology here.
  • Called Together Bromley and Bexley Roadshow - Saturday 14 July, St. Olave's School. Your chance to hear more about the five year Called Together vision for the Diocese and discover local stories of churches and organisations Growing disciples, Enriching communities and Resourcing our mission and ministry. Book here

  • Mission With People Who Are Spiritual But Not Religious - 17 July 2018 at Church Mission Society House in Oxford. A conference to give regular church goers and pioneers in mission greater confidence to enter into conversation and connect with spiritual seekers or new agers. £20 Book at

Social Media - 7 Virtues Webinar - Friday 13 July 12pm to 1pm Getting to grips with the many social media platforms can be daunting. These two one-hour webinars will help set you on the right path.  Delivered by Nick Clarke Media £12.50 to £20 Book here

  • How to change the church without doing anything - Saturday 24 July, 7.30pm - Tonbridge Parish Church. Sometimes simple things can have the highest impact on people’s lives and perceptions. An evening to share some simple but very profound ways to change people’s thinking and approach to faith and life. Led by The Rev Canon Mark Brown Vicar and Area Dean of Tonbridge. Details here

  • Creative Arts Day -  6 October, Christ Church, Orpington £20 (£15 before 1st August) Workshop on music, dance, flower arranging, painting and more. The day will begin with a time of worship and end with a creative sharing session in the context of worship. Contact Liesel Stanbridge: For a flyer click here.

Vision and Aims

RESOURCE: New and remissioned places is about how we establish and renew Christian presence in response to the significant predicted population growth over the next 30 years.
  • WATCH: The Diocese is engaging in creative thinking around developing a Christian presence in new and existing communities. This short film shows the story so far.
  • Church in a nightclub? While renovation work of St. John's Church in Chatham takes place, a new opportunity for 'church' has been found in the next door night club. Read more

Vacancies and appointments

Positions vacant in each archdeaconry
Lay and Volunteer posts. Click here

Other opportunities: Click here

Welcome to....
  • Michael Payne Vicar at Gravesend St Aidan from 08.09.18
  • Nick Cornell Associate Vicar at Southborough Christ Church from 05.09.18
  • Lisa Cornell curate at Yalding w Collier Street from 29.09.18
  • Laura Faturoti curate at Christ Church, Dartford from 29.09.18
  • Nicola Rawlins curate at St Augustine, Gillingham from 29.09.18
  • Jessica Smith curate at St Francis, Strood from 29.09.18
  • Luke Bacon curate at Christ Church, Beckenham from 29.09.18
  • Judi Hammill curate at St James, Tunbridge Wells from 29.09.18
  • Gordon Taylor curate at Trinity w Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells from 29.09.18
  • Anthea Harris-Faulkner (SSM) curate at Greenhithe from 29.09.18
  • Simon Walker (SSM) curate at St Mary, Swanley from 29.09.18
  • Simon Burton-Jones Suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge  from 03.07.18

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