N E E D TO K N OW
I S T O R I E S I A R E A U P D AT E S I E V E N T S N E A R Y O U
Arc hdeacon’s View By Ven Elwin Cockett, Archdeacon of West Ham BACK in the dark days of December 1939, when our country was facing war with Germany, the young Princess Elizabeth, aged just 13, gave her father a copy of a poem that so moved the King that he quoted it in his Christmas Broadcast to the Empire. Known now as 'The Gate of Year', it originally had the title 'God Knows,' and has inspired countless people in the years since then. The poem challenges the reader to ‘go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God’ which ‘shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’. At the time of that famous broadcast, no-one knew what was to come. Memories were still strong of the carnage of trench warfare in the Great War little more than 20 years earlier. The Spanish Civil War and the bombing of Guernica had given a taste of what a modern war could be, and many people feared devastation if Hitler were to launch a ‘Blitzkrieg’ against us. Britain really was going ‘out into the darkness’ of the near year, 1940. When better to put your hand into the hand of God? As 2016 rolls into CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
Bring the kids to light a candle for Christ’s birthday
Who is the bearded stranger who walked the path to Santiago de Compostela?
Emily and Matt are Bishops for a day in the Takeover Challenge event
Find out on Pages 6-7
■ Wishing all our advertisers and readers a peaceful and prosperous New Year
THE MONTH January 2017
month — Log on to try out the sample resources in February
Popular CCS course goes online in 2017
BY REVD DR ELIZABETH JORDAN IT’S an amazing fact – the Course in Christian studies will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. Thousands of people have completed it and it has made a significant difference to the confidence with which people can share their faith and act in Christ’s name. But some have found it hard to attend a group each week – they have had children or older relatives to care for, or a long commute that allows no time for evening study. So from September 2017 you have a new option: follow CCS via the Internet, learning with others at times and places that fit your schedule. If you are interested in helping to pilot the module on Spirituality in February, or in joining the full course later, read on. CCS is a 12-unit, two-year programme with the critical sub-title Learning for Life. It’s about how to live your faith on a Monday morning, in whatever corner of God’s world you find yourself. The online version is developed from the face-to-face course, with elements such as teaching, discussion, thought-showering and worship happening online using tools such as forums, wikis, quizzes, questionnaires and multimedia learning and
worship materials. You will ‘journey’ through each week’s ideas with a facilitator and a group of a dozen or more learners, learning from teaching material, from each other, from the facilitator, from your own developing inner resources – and, we pray, the Holy Spirit. The website hosts a powerful ‘virtual learning environment’ (Moodle, for those who like to know these things). Though very versatile, it is simple and intuitive to interact with. Can you browse a website and send an email? You’ll be fine. Christian eLearning courses have been running for 15 years or more, and evaluation responses show that people find it “easy” to navigate, to read and to contribute and, when asked about learning, most report “very good, at least as much
The Month, incorporating NB and East Window, is the free circulation newspaper of Church of England in Essex and East London (Diocese of Chelmsford). www.chelmsford. anglican.org/themonth ● Find Chelmsford Diocese on Twitter @chelmsdio ● Find Bishop Stephen on Twitter @cottrellstephen ● Subscribe to our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/ChelmsfordDiocese ● Like us on Facebook: www. facebook.com/chelmsdio ● Like our Ask an Archdeacon Facebook www.facebook.com/ askanarchdeacon ● View our photostream on Flickr www. flickr.com/photos/chelmsford-diocese
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as I would have learned in any other mode of learning”. Unit A Encountering God has just been piloted; it went well. Starting at the end of February, we want to pilot Living Spirituality, which is somewhat different in feel and focus. And we’re looking for a dozen or more learners to participate. As a guide, three to five hours a week would allow you to do justice to the material, and you will be encouraged to log on to the website every other day (to participate fully in ongoing forum discussions and other interactions with fellow learners). The online material aims to be tablet- and smartphone-friendly, so if you commute, you can learn as you go. If you’re an owl, log on late at night. A lark? Do it before the kids get up. ● If you are interested, you can try out the material for the launch in the autumn, when a sample course goes live on February 20. Go to chelmsford.cofelearning.org. Enter the username ccsguest and Feb17-trial as password. Then follow the link to the Sample course; the guest entry password is diochelm. ● To sign up, email Elizabeth Jordan (ejordan@chelmsford. anglican.org) or ask Peter Nicholls any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to meeting you virtually in 2017.
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Emily and Matt are bishops for a day in Takeover Challenge
By MARK TIDDY, Bradwell Area Youth Adviser TWO young people from Chelmsford Cathedral joined in with many others from across the country with Takeover Day on November 18, a national initiative from the Children’s Commissioner that encourages organisations to give young people a chance to take on adult jobs for a day. In the Diocese of Chelmsford, Matthew Miller and Emily Shordon (above) took on the role of Bishop of Bradwell for the day. In the lead up to the day Bishop John said: “I hope the Takeover Challenge I am offering the young people who are taking over my job as Bishop will challenge their preconceptions about the Church of England and how we relate to the wider community. "But I am also up for a challenge. I want to have my preconceptions challenged about what it takes to be a Church leader and who can do this job”. The day started off at Bishop’s House in Horndonon-the-Hill with morning prayer and Matthew and Emily being presented with their Ecclesiastical rings and
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Bishops wear purple socks
purple socks (below) which are essential wear for all bishops according to Bishop John. The morning saw Bishop John, Bishop Emily, Bishop Matthew, Anne Sentance (Deanery Youth Champion for Thurrock Deanery) and myself visit the Brentwood Schools Worker Christian Trust for their prayer meeting and to hear about their work and a visit to the Grays station of the Essex Fire & Rescue Service to hear about the history of the service, the importance of the chaplaincy work in the service and to meet staff. Matthew and Emily were then taken in the firetruck to Thameside School in Grays where we joined the school for part of their Anti-bullying week, Children in Need and Movember day, enjoying school dinners with some of the children and a tour of the school from head teacher Jonathan Fish. There was also the opportunity of a Skype call with Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield during lunchtime. In the afternoon we paid a visit to Chelmsford Mosque where we were given a tour and a fascinating
presentation. This was followed by Evensong and the College of Canons at Chelmsford Cathedral where Matthew and Emily met a variety of people from across the diocese including fellow bishops. Throughout the day our activities and car journeys gave Matthew and Emily a chance to reflect on the role of a bishop not just within the Church but in the wider community alongside gaining an understanding of some of the work churches are involved with beyond the walls of their buildings. As a diocese, the day served as an opportunity to strengthen our links within the community but more importantly to remember how important it is that we listen to young people and give them the opportunities to serve within our churches and to use their gifts. Bishops Emily and Matthew finished the day with their final tweet on Bishop John’s twitter (@ johnwraw) which read: "Thank you so much to everyone that’s done anything for today, especially +John, Mark and Anne. Such a worthwhile experience!”
THE MONTH January 2017
month — Back to school opportunity in New Year
Bishop Stephen is opening door to School for Disciples
WHY do you go to church? We would all express it in different ways, but I think most of us would answer by saying that we go to worship God, to be part of his community, the Church, and to be put in touch with some big realities about ourselves and the world. But what if we also thought that coming to church meant learning to be a follower of Jesus, learning how to be his representatives in the world? And what if we gave this greater focus? How might it change us and how might it change the world around us? How might the church be transformed? The Lambeth Conference of 1998, that ten yearly gathering of the
Bishop Stephen will open the School for Disciples at St Mary's Saffron Walden on January 18
bishops of the Anglican Communion, said that “unless Christians are encouraged to ‘go to school’ with Christ, to be nourished by his teaching and sacraments, and to grow into his likeness (Ephesians 4 vv11-16) they cannot bear the fruits of discipleship.” So this is why we want every church in Chelmsford Diocese to be a school for disciples. We want every church to be a place where people discover how to be a missionary disciple, learning from Jesus and being sent out by him to serve the world In the first half of this year, and with the help of many colleagues, I
Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? Ex 15:11
HOME DELIVERY am going to be leading a roadshow around the diocese in order to open up a discussion on what this might look like and suggesting ideas for every church to try. Many good things are already happening. I want to find out more about them and share them with others. I also want to challenge every worshipping community to think more intentionally about how it teaches and nurtures people of all ages so that we can all be disciples of Christ on Monday just as much as Sunday. This is all part of our Transforming Presence initiative, looking particularly at how we inhabit the world distinctively, so as to live out our Christian vocation in daily life.
'They will be enjoyable, stimulating and challenging events' For if every church was a School for Disciples we would grow in our faith and have a much bigger impact in the world. And how the world needs this at the moment. So please come along to one of the evenings. They are free of charge and there is no need to book. They will be enjoyable, stimulating and challenging events. There is a list of dates and venues in the panel (left). I am specifically hoping that clergy, churchwardens and PCC members attend, but everyone is welcome I look forward to seeing you. + Bishop Stephen
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THE MONTH January 2017
month — Bishop Peter voices his concern for genuine asylum seekers
#LondonUnited celebrates the welcome offered to strangers December 7 to share their grave concerns about the growing refugee crisis. They are concerned at reports of harassment and abuse, connected to heightened tensions around the subject of immigration, across the capital in recent months. The church leaders have stated their desire to celebrate the capital's status as the most diverse city in the world and its role as a beacon of racial harmony. John Perumbalath, the Archdeacon of Barking and Chair of the London Churches Refugee Network, addressed the meeting. Christian church leaders are inviting other religious communities to add their suport to #LondonUnited.
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PETER Hill, the Bishop of Barking, has joined a social media campaign to celebrate welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and destitute migrants to London. Churches are sharing stories of community cohesion using the hashtag #LondonUnited. Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Bishop Peter said: "#LondonUnited is a great initiative celebrating faith and community support for refugees, migrants and genuine asylum seekers in so many of our parishes across London and further afield. “It will be great to use social media to celebrate the breadth and depth of the welcome being offered to the strangers in our midst so that they are strangers no longer." London’s church leaders met the capital on 3942 in FF_Autumn_Cornerstone
nd more every day to be ou THE
THE MONTH January 2017
month — 'Mina has been a fantastic ambassador'
THE Venerable Mina Smallman, Archdeacon of Southend in the Diocese of Chelmsford, has announced her retirement from December 31, 2016. Bishop Stephen said: “Mina (right) was appointed Archdeacon of Southend in September 2013, becoming the first female Archdeacon from a minority ethnic background. "As such she has been a role model and a pioneer for the Church of England, and I am particularly grateful for the work she has done to rejuvenate the work of the Committee
for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) in this diocese as we seek to encourage and grow leaders that fully represent the diversity of the diocese. But most of all Mina has been a fantastic ambassador for the Christian faith. She is a passionate communicator of faith and this has been and will continue to be an inspiration to others. "Mina has also shown herself to be a great pastor to the clergy, especially to those in need or sickness. “I respect and regret Mina’s decision to retire for health reasons.
By MINNIE LOUISE HASKINS And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
Things have not turned out as any of us expected and ill health has prevented her from developing her ministry in the ways we all hoped. "However, her ministry as Archdeacon of Southend has still been very significant, and I am sure that in retirement other doors of opportunity will open for Mina to use her considerable gifts and experience. "We will miss Mina’s contributions to the life of the diocese and the Bradwell Area in particular. "I wish her and Chris a very happy and fulfilling retirement.”
God's hand is ready to guide
“Give me a light that I may tread safely
FROM FRONT PAGE
into the unknown.”
2017, many people are fearful about the world around us. Whatever we feel about Brexit and the new President of the United States, some very ugly emotions have come to the surface in our society during 2016 and in many ways we have become polarised and divided as a nation. There is a risk that we are labelling and deriding each other rather that seeing each other as those who are made in the image of God, whatever our differences. We seem to be building walls rather than breaking down the barriers that divide us. Our Lord Jesus Christ reached out across barriers, and goes on doing so.
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still: What need our little life Our human life to know, If God hath comprehension? In all the dizzy strife Of things both high and low, God hideth His intention. God knows. His will Is best. The stretch of years Which wind ahead, so dim To our imperfect vision, Are clear to God. Our fears Are premature; In Him, All time hath full provision. Then rest: until God moves to lift the veil From our impatient eyes, When, as the sweeter features Of Life’s stern face we hail, Fair beyond all surmise God’s thought around His creatures Our mind shall fill.
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IN MY VIEW And he calls his followers to do the same. There will be bad days in 2017, and times when it feels that evil has the upper hand, but for every Good Friday there is an Easter. The love of God trumps all and it is in the love of God that we must place our trust, seeing others as those who are as beloved of God as we are. Whatever the challenges of the new year, whatever our fears, God invites us to put our hand into his hand and to live our lives in the light of his love for all people, in the knowledge that that way lies true peace.
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Build a better future from the past... 'RING out the old, ring in the new!' goes the saying – as though the old year was something to be chucked into the nearest rubbish bin. Of course the New Year gives us a chance to plan and hope for what it may bring. But we all know that nothing mystical happens at the stroke of midnight. Nothing removes the challenges we may need to face, the world we witness in its brokenness as well as its beauty, with all its separateness and disunity as well as its love and togetherness. Might there be another way of looking at the old year? Instead of just throwing it away, perhaps we should try sorting the items from the past that can be recycled into a separate bin so that we help make a better future. So as well as a time of looking forward, the New Year can also be a time to pause, reflect and take stock of what has gone before. A time when we can think about our own personal share in building a better place to belong, when we can pray for peace, act to end suffering and show friendship with each other, our families and the communities we live in. Then, as the New Year dawns, we
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can be refreshed and rejoice in celebrating our own contribution to building a better place for all God’s creation. And, if we place God at the heart of our reflections, we will be strengthened in our resolve: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4 v13). Wishing you a peaceful and blessed New Year . +Bishop Stephen
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There is none like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
1Ch 17:20 (ESV)
THE MONTH January 2017
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Road to S de Comp
month — Bishop Stephen's Presidential Address to the N
AS many of you know, over the past few months I have enjoyed the gift of some extended study leave. I return to the diocese I love, refreshed, challenged and re-invigorated. I certainly want to say to the clergy I have the privilege to serve: if you are entitled to study leave, please take it. It will do you good. I want to reflect on four things that have emerged for me during this time away and seem to merit wider consideration. My study leave had two main parts. I spent a month in France writing and resting. I have been particularly thinking about the role of ordained ministry in a Church where ministry belongs to everyone, wanting to recover and explore some of the rich biblical imagery which underpins the Anglican Ordinal, words like messenger, sentinel and steward which describe the priestly vocation. Re-imagining Ministry is a central strand of Transforming Presence, but also important for our debate about vocations.
'I fulfilled a long held dream to step out of my front door one day and walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela' I believe one of the reasons that numbers of those coming forward for ordination is increasing in our diocese is because of the coherence of our theology of ministry which both emphasises the ministry of all God’s people, but does not neglect or undermine the importance of ordained ministry within this. I, therefore, want to take this opportunity of expressing my deep gratitude to Philip Need and our vocations team for their vision and dedication. Needless to say, as I continue my reflections on priesthood a book is being written. I hope something may be published next year. Secondly, I went on pilgrimage, fulfilling a long held dream to step out of my front door one day and walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. This I did in September; and arriving by ferry in Santander – I haven’t yet mastered the art of walking on water – I then walked the 600km of the Camino del Norte. Between these two parts of the sabbatical, I went to Sweden for Bishop Esbjörn’s farewell and for Bishop Sören’s – the new Bishop of Karlstad’s – consecration, and to Kenya to spend time in our link dioceses, particularly spending time in study and prayer with their five bishops, and renewing the covenant between us. So the first thing I want to reflect on is thanksgiving. The Greek word for this is Eucharist. It is at the heart of Christian faith. I am filled with thanksgiving for the gift of the time itself, but also for the many
Refreshed by several months of study leave and fufilling his dream of walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela (pictured above), Bishop Stephen (left) gave his Presidential Address to Diocesan Synod on November 12 things I have experienced.The walk to Santiago was a wonderful, wonderful experience. Pilgrimage is about travelling. It reminds us that life is a journey, and it requires us to think carefully about what is and what is not essential. I didn't take much with me. I had 8kg of stuff on my back. But it still turned out to be more than I needed. This was a salutary lesson. And on the way not only did I meet some glorious people, I received some wonderful hospitality and was given a new delight in things I usually take for granted: like the cup of tea I was given in Miraz – the first I had had for three weeks; and the man in Pendueles who washed my clothes for me and cooked Bishop Stephen addresses Chelmsford Diocesan Synod on November 12
me dinner and told me in his broken English that his life now was to serve pilgrims. And in Kenya it is always humbling and exhilarating to receive hospitality from the poor. Visiting a remote rural community in the diocese of Mbere, Rebecca was given a cockerel. I'm glad it was her not me. This was an extravagant honour and an utterly humbling example of self-forgetful generosity. If the gospel is a full measure pressed down and overflowing, and if Jesus saves the best wine till last, I experienced this profligate gospel joy in a little church made of sticks and mud in the middle of Kenya. I've tried to think what an equivalent gift might be for us: perhaps to give and honoured guest something vital for our economy, like a computer or a car. I return to the diocese overwhelmed by the generosity I have received and overflowing with thanksgiving. I hope it lasts. Secondly, I have learned something about trust. Like most people in our society – though not all – I know where I am going to sleep tonight and I know where my next meal is coming from. Walking to Santiago gave me just a little glimpse of a more vulnerable life, and this was very good for me. I even think I might at last be learning to trust God for his good provision for my life. For I did find a bed each night – usually in a dormitory in a hostel with fellow pilgrims of all ages and nationalities. I did eat each day. Actually, the food in
THE MONTH January 2017
November meeting of Chemsford's Diocesan Synod Chelmsford Diocese to be places of welcome and reconciliation for all people. I want us to be more thankful, more trusting and more loving. I want to change the tone of our debate – as a church and as a nation - so as we stop talking about some groups of people – immigrants, refugees, gay and lesbian people for instance – as if they are somehow a problem. They are not. They are our fellow-pilgrims. They are not hypothetical. They are human beings made in the image of God. They are brother and sister. And while I certainly do not want to stifle debate about what sort of church and what sort of nation we need to be, I do want this debate – whatever our views – to be conducted in a spirit of reverent respectfulness for the image of God we see in each other. This is the lead the Church must take. Finally, these last few months have been for me filled with a tremendous joy. In the blog I wrote during my pilgrimage to Santiago (on www. stephencottrell.org/pilgrimage), I reflected on a passage from one of Douglas Coupland's books. In it he muses on the simple childlike pleasure of walking along a beach collecting beautiful shells and stones. He says – and here I am quoting from memory – "the more I look, the more I realise all the stones are beautiful".
'My own wellsprings of thanksgiving and trust in God have been refreshed and renewed' northern Spain, especially along the coast, was fantastic. I didn't get lost. The route of the Camino is marked with yellow arrows and these were a marvellously welcome reminder of this basic truth: I walked with others; and I walked a way that others have trod before me. In my thinking and writing about ministry I have also come to the obvious, but often neglected, conclusion that God is the leader of the church; that Jesus leads by coming to meet us, walking before us, and walking with us; and also that ministry must therefore be a theological task, sharing the ministry of Christ and following him, but also interpreting and commending his way to others. Whilst in Kenya, it was therefore very good to spend three days with the five bishops of our link dioceses thinking and praying together about leadership and ministry in our different contexts. This discussion was facilitated by our own Roger Matthews, our Dean of Mission & Ministry. I am very grateful to him for his wisdom and leadership in this area. This diocese has benefited from his ministry hugely. So has the church in Kenya. All of this has helped me loosen my own grip on my life; to relinquish control of what I too easily call "my ministry", when it is, of course, God's; and I must put my trust in him. Thirdly, I have learned that I cannot choose my fellow travellers. This was literally the case as I walked across northern Spain and shared bunkbeds and enjoyed the snoring of all sorts of pilgrims. But this is also true of the whole church. We are pilgrims together. We may powerfully and profoundly disagree with the views and actions of other Christians, we may not even think they are Christian at all, we may work hard to exclude them from the Church, or at least make a Church which is more made up of ‘people like us’, but we cannot stop them following Christ. They
are on the road with us whether we like it or not. In a year of shared conversations in the Church of England; in a week of disturbingly polarised politics in the United States and an outcome that at the very least appears to question and challenge some of the values of respect and toleration which we hold so dear and which have their roots in Christian faith; in the difficult context of our own post-Brexit Britain, we need to remember that "loving neighbour" is the non-negotiable heart of Christian living. Yes, there is great mistrust in our leaders and in many of our institutions, the church included,
there is a rise in nationalism and populism, and a fearfulness of each other that leads us to pull up drawbridges or even build walls. But this is not the way of Christ. As we look forward to our School for Disciples initiative next year – and I do hope each deanery is getting on with the practical plans and invitations for their event – we face – as ever – the uncomfortable challenge of Jesus to love: to love God; to love ourselves; to love our neighbour, and also to love our enemy. “Love one another as I have loved you," says Jesus (John 15 v9). This is what defines us, and it will be by the quality of our generous and self-forgetful love that people will know we are disciples of Jesus. This is also who we will change the world more than ever before, I therefore want the churches of
If someone were to ask me what I have learned on my study leave, and particularly on pilgrimage, this is what I would reply: I have learned that all the stones are beautiful. I've walked on many beautiful pathways. I've walked along the beach and I have walked on mountain trails. I've seen the beauty of the dawn day after day. I've eaten many lovely meals. I have seen beautiful views of the coast and spent days gazing upon beautiful mountains. I have crossed many beautiful rivers, and stood on many bridges and marvelled at the waters beneath me, whether they were tiny little streams running off the mountains or the mighty estuary I crossed when I walked from Asturias into Galicia. I have seen fig trees and lemon trees, and walnut and chestnut trees. I have seen many beautiful birds of prey, and in Kenya had a wonderful day at a game reserve seeing nature in all its brutal fury, astonishing diversity and magnificent beauty. On the road to Santiago I watched flocks of swallows and sparrows playing in the hedgerow. On my last day I even had a little robin sit on my rucksack (pictured left) as I said Morning Prayer by the side of the road. I met some very beautiful people and received astonishing hospitality. I have found friendship on the road and my own wellsprings of thanksgiving and trust in God have been refreshed and renewed. At first I wanted to take photographs of everything. But that is ridiculous. I can’t capture every moment, just as every stone cannot be picked up. Rather I have to be thankful and joyful for the God who has made this beauty and given me eyes to see it and a heart that is capable of love. For I believe that as we come closer to Christ, we will come closer to each other, and we will see the world and each other as God sees us, with great mercy and grace, forbearance and love. All the stones are beautiful.
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THE MONTH January 2017
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THE MONTH January 2017
month — What’s on near you during January
Every Sunday (except Christmas Day) ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. See advertisement on back page for complete list of main services in the cathedral. Monday-Saturday ● Kings Cafe (above Aldi), London Road, Lexden, Colchester. Monday-Friday 10am-4pm; Sat 10am-2pm. Thursday, December 15 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. The Welsh Society meets in the Chapter House. Friday, December 16 ● Beers and Carols at The Cricketers Pub, Danbury. The Cricketers Pub, Penny Royal Road CM3 4ED. 8.45pm. Join Revd Clive Ashley and the St John’s Choir for some festive singing and a few drinks! Sunday, December 18 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. ● St John the Baptist Church, Danbury, CM3 4NG. Noon. Come and sing at Christmas. Do you enjoy singing? Do you love Christmas? Then please come and join your parish choir.To sing at our Traditional service of lessons and carols. We are a friendly and welcoming group. We would love you to join us. For rehearsal details, call Paul on 01245 400079. ● St Mary's Buttsbury on the Ingatestone road between Stock and Ingatestone CM4 9PA. 3pm. Crib and Christingle service. ● St James' church, Beatrice Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1LE. 3pm. Community Carol Service. Come and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. Traditional carols & readings, with St James’ Choir and the Salvation Army Songsters, accompanied by the Salvation Army Band and organ. Refreshments after. Monday, December 19 ● Sing the Season at St Laurence, Blackmore CM4 0RN. 10am. Wednesday, December 21 ● Mothers’ Union Christmas Carols and Tea at St John the Baptist, Danbury CM3 4NG 2pm- 3pm. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the cathedral's Chapter House with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Thursday, December 22 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. Friday, December 23 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30pm. Carols for Everyone with mulled wine and mince pies, free entry. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 6.30pm. Nine Lessons and Carols. A traditional service of reading, carols and beautiful music from the Cathedral Choir. Saturday, December 24 ● Christmas Eve at St John the Baptist, Danbury 5pm Christingle Carol Service. 10.30pm Christmas Music for Organ. 11pm Midnight Mass. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 2pm. Crib Service. A lively celebration for all the family ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 4pm. Nine Lessons and Carols. A traditional service of reading, carols and beautiful music from the Cathedral Choir. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 11.30pm. Midnight Mass. An awe-inspiring celebration of the birth of Christ. Christmas Day, December 25 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 8am. Holy Communion ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 9am. Family Eucharist for Christmas morning. A lively celebration for all ages ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.30am. Choral Eucharist for Christmas morning. A great celebration led by the Bishop of Chelmsford. ● Christmas Day service at St Mary's Buttsbury on the Ingatestone road between Stock and Ingatestone CM4 9PA. 8.45am. After the service mince pies and mulled wine will be served. ● Christmas Praise Service at St John the Baptist Danbury CM3 4NG10am. Wednesday, December 28 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. Thursday, December 29 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. Sunday, January 1 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. ● St George's Church, Ongar Road (near Robin Hood roundabout), Brentwood. 6.30pm. New Year's Day Carol Service. Yes, praise Jesus on his Name Day and the New Year - with Carols and Bible Readings and Christmas/New Year items. And there are New Year drinks and nibbles afterwards.Tel 01277 213618. Wednesday, January 4 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. ● Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock. 1-3pm. Café Theology. Meet at the Food Court. ● Library at the Diocesan Office, 53 New Street, Chelmsford. 1pm. The Chelmsford Christian Bookshop Reading Group. Everyone is welcome and it is free to join. For details and encouragement, please contact the bookshop on 01245 294405 or email email@example.com Thursday, January 5 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10am. Mothers' Union Corporate Communion in St Cedd’s Chapel.
CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL will host the Salvation Sculptures from January 16 to February 20. Six life-sized pieces will be on display. Iranian Christian sculptor Saloomeh Asgary has created pieces entitled ‘Jonah in the Fish’ (above), ‘Motherhood’, ‘Repentance’, ‘Salvation’, ‘Maturing’ and ‘Christ is Born’. Saloomeh was studying at University in Tehran when she had an encounter with Jesus which changed her life and brought a new sense of purpose to her work. Saloomeh said: “Each piece is a meditation on salvation through Christ. The designs were conceived during time spent in prayer and worship." The exhibition is free and open every day. Chelmsford Cathedral. 8pm. Mothers’ Union Evening Section meets in St Cedd’s Hall. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. ● St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by Philip Prior, organ. Retiring collection. Car parking available. Saturday, January 7 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10am-12 noon. Cathedral Coffee Morning in the Chapter House. Come and enjoy fresh coffee, home-made scones and a bring & buy. Sunday, January 8 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. ● Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Street, Maldon. 6pm. Epiphany Carol Service with Blessing of a plough by Bishop John. A service of music and readings for the Epiphany season, with the Bishop of Bradwell, concluding with the Blessing of the Plough. Wednesday, January 11 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am. Baby and Toddler Group. Thursday, January 12 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 2pm. Mothers' Union Afternoon Section meet in St Cedd’s Hall. ● St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by James Parsons, organ. Retiring collection. Car parking available. Friday, January 13 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert. Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Sunday, January 15 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. Monday, January 16-Saturday, February 20 ● Chelmsford Cathedral will host the Salvation
Sculptures, six life-sized pieces by Iranian Christian sculptor Saloomeh Asgary(see panel left). The exhibition is free and open every day. Wednesday, January 18 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am. Baby and Toddler Group. ● St Mary’s, Saffron Walden. 7pm. School for Disciples 2017. Roadshow around the diocese to open up discussion, part of the Transforming Presence initiative. These stimulating and challenging events are free of charge and there is no need to book (see story on Page 3). Thursday, January 19 ● Becket Keys School, Brentwood. 7pm. School for Disciples 2017. Roadshow around the diocese to open up discussion, part of the Transforming Presence initiative. These stimulating and challenging events are free of charge and there is no need to book (see story on Page 3). ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. ● St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by James Parsons, organ. Retiring collection. Car parking available. Friday, January 20 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert. Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Sunday, January 22 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. Wednesday, January 25 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am. Baby and Toddler Group. Thursday, January 26 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 7.30pm. The Welsh Society meets in the Chapter House. ● Church Langley, Harlow. 7pm. School for Disciples 2017. Roadshow around the diocese to open up discussion as part of the Transforming Presence initiative. These stimulating and challenging events are free of charge and there is no need to book (see story on Page 3). Friday, January 27 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 12.30-1.15pm. Lunchtime Concert. Admission is free, but we welcome your contributions, which are divided between various charities and Cathedral expenses. Light refreshments are available in the Cathedral from 12 noon, or you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Sunday, January 29 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 3.30pm. Evensong. Wednesday, February 1 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 1-3pm. ‘Welcome on Wednesday’ in the Cathedral with our lay chaplain Jean Standen; tea/coffee and cakes. All welcome. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 9.30am. Baby and Toddler Group. ● Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock. 1-3pm. Café Theology. Meet at the Food Court. ● Library at the Diocesan Office, 53 New Street, Chelmsford. 1pm. The Chelmsford Christian Bookshop Reading Group. Everyone is welcome and it is free to join. For details and encouragement, please contact the bookshop on 01245 294405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, February 2 ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10am. Mothers' Union Corporate Communion in St Cedd’s Chapel. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 8pm. Mothers’ Union Evening Section meets in St Cedd’s Hall. ● Chelmsford Cathedral. 10.45am. Faith and Fitness. A free fitness class with a difference for all ages and abilities. The session will include a prayer, a workout and meditation to improve your physical and spiritual health and well-being. ● St Laurence church, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster. 1.05pm. Free lunchtime concert by James Parsons, organ. Retiring collection. Car parking available. Cathedral Services ● Chelmsford Cathedral. Please see advertisement on back page. AChristmasNearYou.org ● Check out AChristmasNearYou.org for all the #JoyToTheWorld Christmas season events taking place in your area. More information on centre pages February 2017 diary deadline ● Submit event details at www.chelmsford. anglican.org/eventsform or call Sarah Newman on 01245 294443 by January 3 for inclusion in The Month and on the diocesan website. Latest events ● You can find the latest events online at www. chelmsford.anglican.org/faith/calendar ● Cathedral events can be viewed online at www. chelmsfordcathedral.org.uk/ events-diary.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 1 (ESV)
THE MONTH January 2017
The scale of drug and alcohol problems in the UK According to figures from the National Treatment Agency, it is estimated that 293,879 people age 15-64 are opiate or crack cocaine users in England. The Office for National Statistics reported in November 2006 that the alcohol related death rate in the UK doubled from 4,144 deaths in 1991 to 8,386 deaths in 2005. Gilead Foundations, working in collaboration with RECIC, has a continual success rate of 85%* for people measured two years after completing our rehabilitation programme. *Surveyed in 2014
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THE MONTH January 2017
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THE MONTH January 2017
month — Course maintains tradition of being a spiritual companion
Essex faith groups working together
FAITH groups from across Essex came together to develop new ways they can work together to improve the lives of people in their communities. Organised by Essex County Council, the multi-faith event, which took place at the Firstsite Gallery in Colchester, gave people the opportunity to discuss the important role faith groups have to play in establishing strong, healthy and resilient communities through social action and volunteering. Workshops were held to help attendees better understand how inter-faith activity and better links with the council could improve the support available to the county’s most in-need residents. The event also gave groups the opportunity to showcase examples of local and national community work, share ideas and perform cultural inspired dance and song pieces. Bishop John Wraw said: “I very much welcome the lead Essex County Council has taken in bringing together people from the different faith groups across the county. “There is much that we have in common, much we can learn from each other and much that together we can offer in serving the wider communities in Essex.”
Papal speaker booked
REFRESH, a three-day diocesan gathering for licensed ministers, will be held in July at the University of Essex with the aim of encouraging licensed ministers’ growth as disciples of Jesus and their role to form others as missionary disciples. Speakers will include Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household.
CHRISTMAS 2016 CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL
Friday 16 & 23 December 12.30pm Carols for Everyone Sunday 18 December 6.00pm Ceremony of Carols with the lighting of the ChristmasTree Friday 23 December, 6.30pm Nine Lessons and Carols
Christmas Eve 2.00pm 4.00pm 11.30pm
Crib Service Nine Lessons and Carols Midnight Mass
Christmas Day 8.00am 9.00am 10.30am
Holy Communion Family Eucharist for Christmas morning Choral Eucharist for Christmas morning
For more information visit www.chelmsfordcathedral.org.uk
Dioceses link to teach spiritual direction skills
By FRAN McEVOY MANY people today are benefiting from the opportunity to spend time with a ‘spiritual companion’, 'guide’ or ‘director’, who is there to help them on their journey through life. The tradition of spiritual director goes a long way back in the Church, but has mostly been associated with monks and priests. These days, however, more and more people, lay and ordained, are becoming involved in the ministry. Some 25 years ago, an ecumenical course was established – based at Pleshey and supported by both Chelmsford and the Roman Catholic Brentwood dioceses. It is directed at developing the skills of those who experience themselves being called to such a ministry. You may well be the kind of person who is already a ‘listening ear’, who is there for those who may be struggling with a difficult decision or questioning their faith. People gravitate to you, seek your counsel or simply like to share with you their joys and cares.
In such circumstances, you may not be formally engaged in ‘spiritual direction’, but you are nevertheless being graced by the Lord to ‘be there’ for those who need some support and/or encouragement. The next course in Spiritual Direction starts next September. It is an 18-month ecumenical course, during which participants meet once a month on Thursdays during the school terms, and it includes three midweek two-night residentials. As an experiential course, it is designed to develop the participant’s self-knowledge as well as their ability to understand others and their life’s journey in faith.
● If you are interested in getting
more information, including costs, application forms, interview procedures and anything else that would aid your discernment, please make contact with Fran McEvoy, the course administrator, on 01702 330178 or email franmcevoy@ hotmail.com.
Vocations Days 2017 will help you answer God’s call to serve
VOCATIONS Days are an opportunity to consider God’s call and find out more about the different types of ordained and licensed lay ministry from Church leaders. Revd Canon Philip Need, the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, (pictured right) said: "My work sees people constantly making connections between their faith and wanting to offer themselves to God. "There are so many ways now in which we can serve him as faithful members of the Church and we are trying to make it possible for people to answer their sense of calling in new and exciting ways."
VOCATIONS UPDATE All Saints, Inmans Row, Woodford Wells IG8 0NH
● Register for the day by
sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning Revd Stuart Batten on 020 8550 2669. Bradwell Vocations Day Saturday, February 25, 2017, 9.15am to 3.30pm
Vocations Days - Dates and venues Barking Vocations Day Saturday, February 4, 2017, 9.30am-3.00pm
St Nicholas’ Church, Long Road, Canvey Island, SS8 0JR
● Reserve your place for the day by contacting the
Bishop’s PA, Amanda Robinson, at arobinson@ chelmsford.anglican.org or 01375 673806. Colchester Vocations Days Saturday, February 25 10.00am to 4.00pm
Christ Church, Ireton Road, Colchester CO3 3AT Saturday, November 11 10.00am to 4.00pm Holy Cross, Felsted CM6 3DQ
● To register for a Colchester Area Vocation Day, please contact Revd Geoff Read atgread@chelmsford. anglican.org.
'The Things He Did' hot off the press
By RACHEL ORFORD SO the tree has been packed away, the tinsel taken down, the turkey eaten and now you are wondering what to spend those Christmas book tokens on. Well, before you know it, the season of Lent will be upon us, so why not treat yourself and your bookshelf to the latest title by Bishop Stephen Cottrell – 'The Things He Did'. Not specifically a Lent book, it can be read at any time of the year, but it revisits the events of Holy Week and, as you would expect from Bishop Stephen (right), this is done in a very insightful and impactful way. The book draws out the significance of the happenings of this final week before the crucifixion – in particular the influence
of Jesus’ actions – and weaves them into the familiar compelling story right up to the arrest and betrayal. With plenty of prompts for reflection, questions to ponder along the way and Bishop Stephen’s easy-to-read
style, this is sure to be a best-seller in 2017. ● You are warmly invited to the book’s official Diocesan launch at the Diocesan Office at 12.30pm on Friday, January 27, when the author will be talking about the book, answering your questions and signing copies of book. ● The book will be available at the special price of £7.00 (RRP £7.99) from the Chelmsford Christian Bookshop. There is no need to book your place for this event, but if you would like the bookshop to reserve you a copy or are unable to attend, but would like a signed copy, please contact the bookshop on 01245 294402/5 or by email to bookshop@chelmsford. anglican.org
Published on Dec 20, 2016
In this issue of the month: Back to School - Bishop Stephen's invitation to his School for Disciples in 2017, Who is the bearded who walked...