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The difference discipleship makes This Briefing is a snapshot of how lives and communities in East London and Essex are being transformed through the presence of Jesus Christ. It presents examples of progress under four priorities set out in Transforming Presence our big vision to transform and be transformed.

Children and young people are meeting Jesus Christ and are exploring what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus.

Transforming Presence: Inhabiting the world distinctively

Thousands discover every church can be a school for disciples

More than 2,500 people took part in our School for Disciples evenings at 19 venues with Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford. The Bishop said that if we read our Bibles and provide opportunities for learning and growing in faith this will have a transformative impact. At the end of each evening, every parish was given a bag with booklets, leaflets and a jar of pickled onions made by the diocesan Mothers’ Union. “Making a disciple is not unlike pickling an onion,” said the Bishop. “You put the onion in the pickling vinegar and wait. With making disciples you take a Christian and put them in the right environment and slowly they get pickled.”

Churches get Refreshed 550 clergy, licensed lay ministers, ordinands and deanery lay chairs came together with Bishop’s Council for ‘Refresh’, their first gathering in more than 20 years. A generous legacy and sponsorship covered general costs. Many parishes contributed towards the costs of hosting guests from partner dioceses. Participants donated more than £8,800 towards ministry in our partner diocese of Marsabit, Kenya. Services and videos from Refresh are available at •

Transforming Presence: Evangelising effectively

Growing pioneers from and for local places Image: Johnny Sertin/Church Mission Society

The St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission, based at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Collier Row, is training Christians as pioneer ministers in line with our Synod’s decision that every Mission and Ministry Unit should have at least one Fresh Expression of Church such as ‘Messy Church’. Once trained and authorised, pioneers are sent out by their parish to bring transformation in their communities, call others to become missionary disciples, and create Fresh Expressions. Formation is by reflective practice on a pioneering project with teaching from the Church Mission Society.

St Cedd pioneers are focusing on the world

Could this be a ministry for you?

as it could be rather than the church as it is.

Find out online at

Putting new money where new people will be New church communities are going to be planted in four strategic areas of new housing – Barking Riverside, Beam Park near Rainham, Chelmsford North and Colchester North – thanks to an award of nearly £2 million from the Church Commissioners. A group, chaired by the Bishop of Barking, is giving the project oversight. Artist’s impression of how the completed Barking Riverside development will look. Image courtesy of Barking Riverside Limited.

We are working with our pioneers and church planters towards a strategy

that will draw together church planting, pioneer ministry, Fresh Expressions and evangelism. Local church leaders are delivering the plants. The re-shaping of an advisory role has enabled Joel Gowen to be recruited as our Director of Church Planting Projects.

The Church supports new communities as well as established ones.

Transforming Presence: Serving with accountability

Transforming your finances The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a 21st century solution to offset one of the greatest threats to parish income static giving. Have you considered it for your parish? Since the diocese entered the scheme just over two years ago, the 60 parishes using PGS have seen the number of donors increase to nearly 700 with

income of around £600,000 a year. Add to that the Gift Aid claim of around £150,000 and it is good news all round! PGS is not a replacement for standing orders or envelopes but another way to donate that some find useful. One parish reports that, along with a stewardship programme, PGS has transformed its finances.

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Church councils are picking and planning their priorities A new ‘Toolkit for PCCs’ given out at each School for Disciples (see page 1) is helping PCC members set priorities for exploring discipleship themes like nurture, Bible study, and Christianity 24/7 with a series of questions. Each member works on the toolkit ahead of the meeting, ticking relevant boxes in a context of prayer. When the responses are collated, the most pressing goals should become apparent. Once the goals are clear, what needs to be on the PCC agenda and how soon will be revealed. Download the toolkit at

Transforming Presence: Re-imagining ministry More sustainable outreach Nine new Licensed Lay Ministers were welcomed in 2017 and a further 35 are in training. The ministries of Pastoral Assistant and Local Preacher continued to be popular with 18 and 28 respectively commissioned. Eight more Evangelism Enablers were commissioned alongside 10 Newham Deanery Parish Evangelists. 31 candidates were ordained as Deacons. Nine more Mission and Ministry Units were approved in 2017, bringing the total to 18. This is our way of making sure each community is served, resources are deployed strategically and there is room for incentive and growth.

A Mission and Ministry Unit commissioned at St Mary’s Church in Kelvedon will see 11 parishes working together.

In other news...


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ordinands are in training, with 32 expected to be ordained deacon in September 2018. candidates are going to selection conferences and hoping to enter training in September 2018. people are starting to explore a call to Ministry.

Our cathedral is your church Chelmsford Cathedral is the National Church’s free gift to East London and Essex. It is a thriving centre of worship but so much more: a place where three days a week groups of refugees learn basic English; where on Wednesdays marginalised people meet to share coffee and conversation; where civic leaders rub shoulders with street pastors.

From great crowd scenes at confirmations to students training on Thursday evening for ordination, this special place is at the service of our networks and communities. A new education team is welcoming school visits. New visitor guides lead parish pilgrimages and tours. Day by day the heartbeat of the Cathedral is the simple offering of daily prayer.

In a year that saw many changes Vanessa Herrick succeeded Martin Webster as Archdeacon of Harlow.

Bishop John Wraw 1959 - 2017

The Bishop of Bradwell, Right Reverend John Wraw, died peacefully on 25 July 2017. Bishop Stephen Cottrell said: “Bishop John was a wonderful servant of the Gospel. He not only spoke about the wonderful inclusive hospitality of God’s love, he lived it to the last. I could not have wished for a better colleague”.

A life enhancing encounter with Jesus Children and young people are meeting Jesus Christ and are exploring what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. More than 100,000 youngsters are experiencing Christianity in schools and colleges thanks to our 139 church schools, Vine Schools Academy Trust, Sparrows childcare settings, school outreach projects and chaplaincies. Popular initiatives like ‘Open the Book’ Bible storytelling are reaching children in many primary schools. ‘Messy Church’ and other Fresh Expressions of Church are engaging more children and families in creative ways adding an estimated 6,800 people to the attendance figures reported below. 800 more children are attending a school service in church each week according to the latest national Statistics for Mission published last October.

One of the highlights of 2017 was making a new policy for young people in partnership with young people. Our Synod (or parliament) approved priorities for youth ministry that will challenge young people to be transformational in their communities and the wider world in keeping with the diocese’s own priorities set out in Transforming Presence. Young people were included in a year-long consultation ahead of the new strategy and made presentations to the Synod (above).

Another amazing year in numbers 340

stipends of curates and clergy were financed.

425 houses, principally for clergy, were maintained and improved. An estimated 34,300 people attended services in our churches each week.


children attended church or school services in church each week.

48,380 attended Easter worship. 117,000 attended Christmas worship. 3,700 children were baptised or had a service of thanksgiving.

1,507 couples married in churches. 5,601 families supported through grief including funeral or cremation services.

Pupils from Wickford Church of England Primary School visited St Catherine’s Church.

Putting your money to work for God’s mission Income in 2017: £22,894,000

Expenditure in 2017: £23,779,000



Parish Share - £14,625

Mission & Ministry - £18,422

National Church - £3,198

Support for Ministry - £3,044

Other Income - £2,835

National Church - £1,161

Investments - £2,236

Support for Schools - £620 Other expenditure - £532


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The Annual Briefing for Parishes is published by the Chelmsford Diocese Communications team 53 New Street, Chelmsford CM1 1AT • • • 01245 294424

Annual Parish Briefing for Parishes 2017  

This Briefing is a snapshot of how lives and communities in East London and Essex are being transformed through the presence of Jesus Christ...

Annual Parish Briefing for Parishes 2017  

This Briefing is a snapshot of how lives and communities in East London and Essex are being transformed through the presence of Jesus Christ...