Thursday, December 06, 2018

December News from Rochester Diocese

Having trouble reading this? View it in your browser

For a printed version to pin to your noticeboard please click here

Thursday 6  December 2018

Welcome to the December edition of Rochester Diocese's monthly e-newsletter. 

Our new quarterly magazine Together has now arrived to shine a spotlight on the life, faith and work of the Church locally.

With a fresh, modern design and in a convenient ‘handbag’ size format, there is plenty to interest churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike. Read more about it here

We've been getting some great feedback: "I think the new magazine is great. Much more readable, in fact I read it from cover to cover." Click to read it online

If you haven't seen it in your church or community, please let us know so we can look into it for you:

News in brief
Stories from around the parishes

Advent Quiet Day...At Home!
Advent peace offered online in Tonbridge ahead of Christmas bustle. Read more

First interfaith awards in Bexley
Churches among those recognised at faith awards. Read more
Lost sheep
Knitted sheep overrun church in woollen welcome. Read more 

#FollowTheStar hits Matfield
Locals share their Christmas journey for BBC radio series. Read more

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

Bishop James is encouraging churches to make sure their Christmas services are updated on the national A Church Near You (ACNY) site.  Every church has a free ACNY page and with half a million visitors expected to the site in December alone, now is the perfect time to start. Find out why here.

Just over a year ago the new vision for the Diocese, Called Together was launched. Much progress has already been made around our three aims. Read an update on each aim here: Grow, Enrich, Resource. Or download a full round-up here

Bishop James has welcomed news that the Very Revd Dr Farai Mutamiri (pictured), former Dean of Harare Cathedral will be the next Bishop of Harare. Bishop James is in Zimbabwe during December, with whom we have a valued companionship link, to mark the retirement of the current bishop, Bishop Chad Gandiya. Read a Church Times article here.

From tea and coffee making facilities, to glass doors that invite people to come in, if you are part of a congregation thinking about changes to your church building, take a look at our case studies from across Rochester and Canterbury dioceses to inspire and encourage you. More here

Clergy houses often hold a significant place in the hearts and minds of the local church and community, as well as for those that live within them. Following a consultation, a new Clergy Houses Strategy has been developed, inspired by the Called Together vision. Find out more here

The tables in the Chancel at the Diocesan Offices are due to be replaced. The current ones are available though to a good home! You must be able to collect and a small donation is welcome. Please contact: Mark Trevett on 

Video of the month: Bishop Simon's Advent message

"All young people want for Christmas is peace: peace of mind." Watch Bishop Simon Burton-Jones' Advent message as he talks about the rising prevalence of mental health issues among young people and the role that churches can play in supporting them. Read the full story 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 28/01/19 at  All Saints Church, Church Green, Frindsbury, Rochester ME2 4HE Book here
  • Saturday 09/02/19 at Diocesan Offices,St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester ME5 1SL Book here
  • Thursday 14/02/19  at The Anglican and Methodist Church of St Andrew, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6DZ Book here
  • Monday 18/03/19 at All Saints’ Church, Bark Hart Road, Orpington BR6 0QD Book here

C3 Clergy and Lay Ministers Safeguarding Training

  • Tuesday 15/01/19 at St John’s Church, 251 Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3JN Book here
  • Wednesday 27/02/19 at St Nicholas Church, Rectory Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1JA 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.

Children's Christmas book reviews
Our new magazine - Together - features resources and books. Mike Harrowing, Team Leader for High Hopes – a Christian project that runs faith-fuelled activities for schools and churches in Tonbridge – entered into the Christmas spirit and reviewed three children’s Christmas books. Take a look here

Book for Church Wardens 
“Churchwardens are the great unsung heroes of the Church of England” says the Bishop of Lichfield, in his foreword to this newly published book - Rotas Rules and Rectors. Written by former church warden, Matthew Clements, the book shares his experiences to encourage others in this role. Visit

Events and Training

View local and Diocesan events in our What's On Calendar. Add your own event too! Explore the courses available at the St. Benedict's Centre here and St. Augustine's College of Theology here.

  • Advent and Christmas Services - Throughout December, Rochester Cathedral - Make Rochester Cathedral part of your Christmas this year with a variety of services and events. Click here for full details

  • Christmas Unwrapped Sunday 9 December 6pm to 8pm, KICC, Buckmore Park - Join J.John for a festive celebration to kick off Christmas. A FREE event hosted by the organisers of JustOne at Priestfield Stadium. More details here:

  • Bethlehem: Town of Hopes and Fears - December 9, 6pm, St Matthew’s Church, Wigmore, ME8 0NX An opportunity to remember and pray for those living in 21st Century Bethlehem, with pictures and recent reports from the place itself - organised by the Diocesan Friends of the Holy Land.

  • Dementia Friendly Carol Service - 12 December 2.30pm to 4.30pm, St. Matthew's , Wigmore, ME8 0NX This is an informal service for those who find it difficult to take part in more traditional Carol Services. We will sing favourite carols followed by refreshments and time to chat.

  • Christingle 50 Years - Saturday 15th December,  12.30pm, Rochester Cathedral.  The Children's Society is celebrating 50 years since the first Christingle service. Join this special service led by the Diocesan Youth Council.

  • Comedians and Carols - December 22, 7:30pm-10pm Christ Church, Chatham. An evening of laughter, sing-songs and mince pies. Compered by Paul Kerensa (writer for BBC1’s Miranda and Not Going Out) Advance tickets £7.50 Call 01634 907055 or visit:

Vision and Aims

  • As the year draws to a close, view an update of what has been achieved so far with Called Together here

Vacancies and appointments

Copyright © 2018 DIocese of Rochester, All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment