Celebrating faith and life in East Kent
Faithful to the call
Photo credit: Emma Freeman.
Meet the new Bishop of Dover
ISSUE 41 WINTER 2019 Gifts with heart / Meeting God in the silence
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keeping compassion alive Lyndall Bywater, Changing Lives Prayer Network Co-ordinator On the main approach to the Cathedral in Durham there is a prayer centre called Sanctuary 21. In the earliest days of its ministry, the team were looking for a way to invite passers-by to stop and pray, so they put a table in one of the doorways to the street, complete with post-it notes and pens, and suggested people stop to write a brief request for prayer. Not wanting to throw those precious prayers away, they began sticking them up on the wall. Fast-forward a few years, and the place was covered in them: thousands of them, on the walls, the doors, the ceilings and even in mosaic patterns on the coffee tables. You’d think a building covered in people’s heart-felt needs would be a depressing place, but instead it became a wellspring of compassion. The more the prayers came in, the more the hearts of that praying community enlarged to receive them and offer them up to God. In a world where bad news is all too readily available, ‘compassion fatigue’ is a familiar experience for many of us. How do you keep on finding it in your heart to care when yet another terrorist atrocity happens, when a civil war stretches into yet another year, or when yet another teenager becomes a victim of knife crime? And compassion fatigue can be deadly for prayer. How do you keep on presenting your requests to God, as the Apostle Paul put it in Philippians 4:6, “when the darkness of evil seems too dark and the foolishness of humankind infuriates and bewilders you?” Prayer is about making room. It isn’t solving the problems of a broken world or turning the will of a capricious deity; it is offering our hearts to become containers for compassion – places where the needs and pains of the world can be seen, honoured and offered up. Yet no single heart can ever bear the full weight of that task. Just like that praying community in Durham with their thousands and thousands of postits, we do this together. Each time we connect with each other in prayer, we make a wider, stronger container; together we can carry more; together we can care more.
Each time we connect with each other in prayer, we make a wider, stronger container; together we can carry more; together we can care more.
This Advent and Christmas season, may you find time and space to connect with others in prayer, making room in your hearts for just a little of the world’s pain, darkness and foolishness, seasoning it with compassion and offering it to the one whose mercies never fail. ● Find prayer resources at canterburydiocese.org/prayer
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Contents Winter 2019
“The times, they are a-changin,’” sang Bob Dylan – and don’t we know it? As the Autumn colours surround us, the temperature drops and the dark nights draw in, it seems there’s change afoot everywhere, not just in our seasons. In a nation facing a(nother) General Election and with the future of our relationship with the European Union unclear, so much seems uncertain. I’ve never really been one for change – I like to know where I am and – as far as possible – what might be coming down the road next. But – like the beauty of the changing colours of Autumn – some change is to be joyfully welcomed. Not least the imminent arrival of our new Bishop, Rose Hudson-Wilkin. As this magazine goes to press, Rose will have just been consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral and we’re looking forward to a big celebration in Canterbury to welcome her at the end of November. You can meet Rose, as she speaks to us of her personal story and vision for her ministry on page 8. Moving personal stories seem to be the order of the day, with the story of Jonathan Bryan - an astonishing young man who has far surpassed the expectations of every medical professional he’s ever met (Interview, p18). As we launch our 2019 Advent Justice Appeal, we also hear the stories of those displaced from family and home, seeking out new lives and friendships here and around the world (p12). We’re missing Masami as she has to get her head down and study – please do keep her in your prayers. But Avril Loveless has stepped into the breach to share her take on the Canterbury Tales for our present age (p17). And, of course, we’re getting into the festive season with lots of brilliant events (p22), gift ideas (p20) – and even Jonathan’s foolproof recipe for the perfect Christmas! Whatever change you may face, may you know God’s love and peace this Christmastime and always,
COMMUNITY NEWS 4 Headlines: News from across our diocese 12
A Place to Call Home:
Our Advent Justice Appeal 16
New Readers 2019:
New faces among our lay ministers
FEATURES & VOICES 8
Faithful to the call:
Meet Bishop Rose
Journey to a new life:
Jonathan’s green pilgrimage to Kent 17
Avril Loveless on friendship & storytelling 18 Meeting God in the Silence:
Jonathan Bryan on faith without words
2 Keeping Compassion Alive:
Anna Drew, Director of Communications
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Festive gifts with heart
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Outlook is the quarterly magazine for the Diocese of Canterbury. Editor: Anna Drew | firstname.lastname@example.org Sub-editor: Nadine Miller Photo credit: Jim Drew Canterbury Diocese, Diocesan House, Lady Wootton’s Green, Canterbury CT1 1NQ Tel: 01227 459401
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WHAT’S ON 22 Top ten things to do in Kent: Winter
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Headlines News from Across East Kent
Bishop Rose Consecrated On Tuesday 19 November, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated as the Bishop of Dover in a service at St Paulâ€™s Cathedral. Rose was consecrated alongside the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, who was made Bishop of Reading. Rose will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November. Meet Rose in our feature on page 8.
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Photo credit: Graham Lacdao / St Paulâ€™s Cathedral.
RECOMMENDATIONs Appeal is of the channel out of this islands commisSion world The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on the relationship of the Channel Islands to the wider Church of England has published its final report, including a recommendation for episcopal oversight of the Islands to be transferred to the Bishop of Salisbury. The Commission made recommendations which will allow the continued flourishing of parishes in the Channel Islands, within the wider life of the Church of England. The recommendations of the report will go forward to the General Synod and the Island authorities for consideration, and recommendation to the Privy Council. Should the proposals be approved, the earliest that the attachment to Salisbury could take formal effect would be the autumn of 2020. Until arrangements are finalised, Bishop Trevor Willmott will continue interim episcopal oversight of the Islands.
volunteer for THE lambeth 2020 The Lambeth Conference is a once-a-decade event, held in Canterbury. Convened by Archbishop Justin, this international conference is a significant and historic event in the life of the Anglican Communion. Over 1,000 active bishops and their spouses are invited from across 165 countries of the Communion for prayer, Bible study, worship and spiritual reflection. Volunteers have been integral to the delivery of the Conference over the years and as Canterbury prepares to host the conference in the summer of 2020, the role of volunteers is really important. Go to www.lambethconference.org to find out more.
Canterbury Cathedral, St Mary’s Church in Ashford, St Paul’s in Canterbury and St Martin’s in Maidstone will all play host to a rather special installation. This year, with the help of Christian Aid, guests will have the opportunity to get a sense of the displacement refugees experience by taking part in a virtual trip to the moon. The exhibition hopes to raise awareness and funds for the vital work with refugees that continues across our diocese. Read more about the Advent Justice Appeal on pages 12 & 13 and to donate and get involved, please go to www.canterburydiocese.org
Wellbeing for all November’s Diocesan Synod focused on ministerial wellbeing. Along with the national Church, Canterbury Diocese has become increasingly focused on the wellbeing of our ministers, lay and ordained, as they cope with increasing workloads, difficult pastoral concerns, complex benefice reorganisations, financial worries, as well as mental and relational health issues. General Synod this year approved a ‘Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing’ in which the Rev Dr Margaret Whipp offered a comprehensive theological reflection and she spoke at our Synod on the wider issue of ministerial wellbeing. We also welcomed guests from Living Well who spoke of their work, Janet Bates from Diocesan Counselling Service and Chris Chapman who discussed prayer and resources for the wellbeing of the inner person.
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Wild about gardens
St John’s Kingsdown churchyard team have won a silver award in the Kent Wildlife Trusts ‘Wild About Gardens’ competition. Sylvia Main and her hard working team won for encouraging the regeneration of wild flowers and pollinators to the area. They manage the grounds to ensure that cutting and clearing of grass is carried out at the appropriate time to encourage and protect a haven for wildlife. The team collected their silver award at a celebration event at Canterbury College
County Harvest Thanksgiving Our County Harvest Thanksgiving was held at Ashford Cattle Market this year. The annual celebration was led by Rural Business Chaplain the Revd Chris Hodgkins. He said: “It was an opportunity to look back and reflect on the hard work of the last year and, with God’s love, to look ahead to the challenges the next year will bring.”
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• Lift and specially equipped bathrooms • Nurse call and colour TV in all rooms • Short/long term respite care • No visiting restrictions • Full on-site laundry service • Wheelchair access throughout
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The Revd Lorraine Apps-Huggins was licensed as The Living Well’s new chaplain by Bishop Tim Thornton.The Living Well is our diocesan resource centre for healing and wholeness, based in Nonington. It provides a safe place where people can experience the healing love of Christ, offering prayer ministry in Jesus’ name with a focus on bringing Christ’s healing to those in need. To find out more, visit their website www.the-living-well.org.uk.
Kent Climate Emergency forum Canterbury Diocese hosted the Kent Emergency Climate Forum at Wye Church to discuss how we do things and how we can be the very best caretakers of God’s creation. Diocesan Environment Officer Teresa Redfern said: “Time is running out for us to just sit back and do nothing about climate change. The forum let us share ideas of what we can do and inspired people to change and share the message that we are in a climate emergency.” Find out more at www.canterburydiocese.org/environment
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Faithful to the Call Meet our new Bishop of Dover
For the past nine years, Rose Hudson-Wilkin has served as the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons – a key spiritual role in the seat of British democracy, at a crucial time in the political life of our nation. The Chaplain officiates at services held at the Palace of Westminster and its chapel, St Mary Undercroft, as well as offering pastoral care for MPs and others working in the House: “An average day started with prayers,” she explains, “after which there may be another service or I could be offering one to one pastoral care, or seeing people for marriage or baptism preparation - or simply moving around the estate and being in conversation with various staff.” Walking around the House, it’s clear that Rose knows the story of each person she passes
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– and that they know and love her deeply. She’ll clearly be missed. But in November, Rose stepped back from her role in Parliament and prepared herself to take up a very different position – that of the Bishop of Dover. The Bishop of Dover is the suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury and - unlike most suffragans – is responsible for the day-to-day life of the diocese. It’s a big change for Rose, and a very different role, so why Canterbury? “Canterbury has chosen me!” she exclaims. “It is a good feeling going to a place that wants you – where people feel you are right for them. This does bring certain expectations, however, and it is my prayer
that God will equip me for that which he has called me to.” Rose has lived a life of faith – baptised before she was four months old in the Anglican Church in Jamaica and brought up going to Sunday school and church. But it was more than just routine, she explains: “Faith was always there. At a very early age it became more than something I did ‘because that is what we do, isn’t it?’ – so I had a sense of a personal commitment to Christ and the way of life, following Jesus.”
on this, however. I reassure myself that, for those who reject me, it’s their loss! I would like to believe that at all times. I respond in a way that increases my own personal resilience, thus enabling me to hold on to the reality that I am a child of God – first and foremost. When faced with racism in the church, I try to remember the God who called me - and I do keep my eyes on the cross of Christ.”
On completion of her training, she returned home to Jamaica and worked as a Lay Training Officer in the western region of the diocese there. Kenneth Wilkin, who had been in the year ahead of her at college, followed her out there and they were married. They later returned to England at a time when Ken felt his own calling to ordained ministry and wanted to test that out, but Rose’s sense of her own calling to ministry was as strong as ever: “When women were being made deacons in the eighties, I offered for that ministry and was basically told that I needed to be at home looking after my child and my husband. I told them that my husband was capable of looking after himself and, had I not worked out how to manage with my child, I would not have offered myself for ministry!” Not content to be pushed aside, Rose continued to pursue her calling. She was eventually accepted and trained for ministry at Queen’s College in Birmingham, being ordained deacon in 1992 and becoming of the first women priests in the Church of England in 1994. It’s not only Rose’s gender that has been the source of some opposition for Rose over the years. Because of her heritage, she’s encountered hostility, both within and outside the Church – but she’s remarkable for the grace and resilience she has shown in the face of it all: “As a woman of African and Caribbean heritage I have unfortunately faced racism,” she explains. “I have never spent my energy
Photo credit: Emma Freeman.
Her calling to the priesthood came early, when she was just 14 years old – and, notably, well before women could become priests in the Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands. “I knew women were not in sacramental leadership,” she says, “so I asked God to work that out while I remained faithful to the call. It took years for the Church to say yes, but it eventually did, and I was ready.” Initially, she offered for ministry with the Church Army, as she knew that women were in leadership roles within their ministry. So it was that, at the age of 18 she travelled to England to begin training as an Evangelist at the Wilson Carlisle College of Evangelism.
Rose has served as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons during one of the most turbulent times in British political history – what for her has been most tricky? “The greatest challenge was for me – a person with strong political views – keeping these views to myself,” she reflects. “In doing this role all those in one’s care should feel able to come to you without feeling, ‘Oh I know what she thinks about this, so no point speaking to her.’” Rose says she wouldn’t dream of giving advice to her successor, but – if pressed – she’d simply say: “Love the people one is called to serve unconditionally - and pray always for them.” It’s especially important to be able to support people whatever their beliefs, Rose explains: “Parliament embraces people of all faiths and none. I was greatly encouraged by the number of parliamentarians who received me and commented on what the prayers I said meant to them. I recalled being told by a member of another faith, ‘While we are here, you are our Chaplain.’ While it was clear that I was ministering from a Christian foundation, it was obvious that I was not trying to proselytise them. I was ‘loving them into the kingdom!’”
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People of all political leanings can find the to-ing and fro-ing of political rhetoric exhausting and, at times, even depressing - but Rose is hopeful for the future of our nation: “I do know for a fact that we have parliamentarians who are genuine about wanting the best for their constituents. This gives me hope that it is more about people and the wider community - and not simply about a political ideology.” Throughout all the challenges she’s faced, Rose has undoubtedly been faithful, both to her calling and to her Church – so what it is that makes the Church of England so important to her? “I love the breadth of
Photo credit: Graham Lacdao / St Paul’s Cathedral.
the C of E,” she explains. “The liturgy done well can be a real inspiration; the fact that we have a presence in every part of the country and are available to all, whether they are signed up members or not.” Rose has certainly seen a lot of change in the Church over her years of ministry and she’s mindful of the challenges that lie ahead as it wrestles with its place in a changing society: “For me, a major challenge is around discipling and releasing those who worship - so that all the people of God can begin living out what it means to be the people of God. Some of us have lost the ability of living lives that reflect what it means to be followers of Christ – what simply being a Christian is all about; ensuring that our faith becomes ‘a way of life.’ “I believe that when we do this, we will begin to see the meaning of ‘Changed Lives, Changing Lives,’” she says, referring to our diocesan vision and strategy for transforming our parishes and communities across Kent. Part of this strategy includes encouraging people to share in conversations about their faith, by asking one another two simple questions.
Photo credit: Graham Lacdao / St Paul’s Cathedral.
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So, of course, we couldn’t let Rose get away without sharing her answers with us… How is knowing Christ changing your life now? “Knowing Christ is changing my life now because he has been guiding me through the many challenges that I face.” How do you think we can better support one another to be seven-day-a-week disciples?
Photo credit: Graham Lacdao / St Paul’s Cathedral.
“By making it normal to talk about faith and do prayer in a very natural way. So, enabling each other to be comfortable with the language of faith and ‘walking the talk’ together.” ___ Rose will be installed as Bishop of Dover in a special service at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 30 November and will begin her ministry in the diocese in December. Find out more about our diocesan vision and strategy for renewal online at canterburydiocese.org/strategy.
Rose was consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral alongside Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading – pictured here with Archbishop Justin
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A place to call home
Advent Justice Appeal
Your love and support has allowed the Advent Appeal to grow each year to help those in need across our diocese. As we launch this year’s appeal, we take a look at the gift your giving has made possible - the work of our amazing Kent Refugee Projects Officer, Domenica Pecoraro. Once met, Domenica is seldom forgotten - she is a force of nature. Not loud and brash, but burning with hope and passion with a clear desire to help, to protect and to share God’s love. Whether she’s talking to officials at the Home Office or with a group of primary school children, her manner and motive is unchanged; to draw out the empathy and understanding we can share with all men, women and children. She explains: “We work across the region and across the Channel with schools, parishes, churches, people of faith and people of no faith. We provide opportunities to deepen what is already there, to develop our understanding of what is happening all around us - and we work with such a great number of people. “Our job is also to get people out of their comfort zone and to look at things differently, to connect differently. Last year, I was talking with some Syrian mums, who traditionally are the home makers in their society. That started me thinking about ‘home’. They’re home makers and I’m a mother, how do I - how do they make a home? And what is ‘home’ anyway?”
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e sure to welcome strangers into your B home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it. Hebrews 13.2
And so, back in 2018, the Home project began, thanks to your giving, as well as an Arts Council grant and our partnerships with People United and Ashford Borough Council, Domenica was able to gather local mums from Kent to join mums from Syria in a unique arts project exploring the concept of ‘home’. Together they sewed, met together and discovered a shared connection. Domenica was also the driving force behind this summer’s ‘God Love Knows No Borders’ event, which saw people coming together in solidarity on World Refugee Day. They met en masse at St Margaret’s Bay and shone a light across the sea to Northern France, sharing their love across the Channel and beyond. A message of hope. Behind the scenes of art exhibitions and solidarity events the tireless work Domenica does with displaced families - securing funds for those seeking accommodation, immigration status, protection, food, clothes, school places, GP appointments...the list goes on and on. Domenica’s energy is boundless and she is gracious in her work but there is a sadness there at the size
of the challenge. There is so much to do, so many to help, so many who cannot be reached. Returning from a visit to France she watched as lorries were routinely searched for those trying to make the dangerous journey to the UK. She explains: “We were all waiting to board and I was watching as the dogs and guards checked a lorry and they stopped. I felt afraid about what they would find but I kept watching, expecting to see maybe some young men climb down from the back of the truck, but I didn’t. “Instead, after a little while, a small baby was passed down and a moment later, a young girl. I don’t know who they were. Mother and daughter? Sisters? I felt fear but was it fear because they were found or did I feel fear for those who never get found - those trafficked girls, women and babies who face such danger. It was a scene that provoked such feelings. I shall never forget it. “What drives people from their home and what helps them shape a new home? Can they? If they are able to find safety here, can’t we make them feel that sense of home?” A Place to Call Home is once again the theme for our advent appeal - but this year we’ve gone interactive. Thanks to our partners Christian Aid, guests will be able to take part in a virtual reality experience. Wearing a special headset, they will be able to walk on the moon, to get a sense of how it feels to be displaced, to be so far from the familiar comforts of home. Domenica explains the reason behind the exhibition: “To me, the spirit of the virtual reality experience is captured in the story of Iranian refugee Majid Adin. As an animator, Majid shows that journey he went through to find safety in the UK. In his amazing work, he captures that loneliness, deep longing, a desire to escape, and yet at the same time wanting to return.” Thanks to A Place to Call Home and Christian Aid, you can experience this too - the virtual reality experience will be at Canterbury Cathedral for the first week of Advent from Monday 2 December to Friday 6 December and then across our diocese at St Mary’s Church in Ashford on Sunday 15 December, St Paul’s Church in Canterbury on Tuesday 17 December and St Martin’s Church in
sk and it will be given to you; seek and A you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Maidstone on Thursday 19 December. To make a donation or find out more about our appeal and the exhibitions, visit www.canterburydiocese.org Or text ‘‘ADVENTMOON 5’ ’ to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a std rate msg - you can opt to give any whole amount from £1 to £20.You can also send a cheque made payable to Canterbury DBF, with “2019 Justice Appeal” on the back and sent to Advent Justice Appeal, Diocesan House, Lady Wootton’s Green, Canterbury, CT1 1NQ or use your smart phone and scan this QR code. ●
Virtual reality experience dates Canterbury Cathedral Monday 2 December to Friday 6 December 9.30am to 5.30pm St Mary’s Church in Ashford on Sunday 15 December from 5.30pm St Paul’s Church in Canterbury on Tuesday 17 December from 5.30pm St Martin’s Church in Maidstone on Thursday 19 December from 3pm to 5pm
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Journey to a New Life
The Revd Dr Jonathan Arnold, the new Director of Communities and Partnerships tells us of his Green Pilgrimage to Canterbury from Oxford.
The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out of an inner journey. Thomas Merton
Heat. Humidity. Hills. How wonderful to have such a hot and sunny Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday at the end of August. Just right for a two-day cycle ride from Oxford to Canterbury. Even at 8am as I set off, the day was warming up. I had done many long cycle rides before. Last year I cycled to the Peak District from St Giles’ Church Horspath, near Oxford, to St Giles’ Church in Hartington. But this year was very different for me, because at the end of this ride I would not be returning. The summer of 2019 was spent commuting from Canterbury to Oxford by car. Since my wife Emma became Canon Missioner at Canterbury Cathedral in March I had been completing my time as Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford. The M25 and I became old friends (or frenemies!) but my final commute needed to be slower, more reflective, more prayerful, because I wanted to make the transition to my new home and new role in the Canterbury Diocese at a gentler pace and with a more dedicated intention. This ride needed to be a pilgrimage – of thanksgiving for the past, for the present changes and challenges, and for future opportunities. I set off with a fond farewell and breakfast from the
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good people of Horspath. My ride would take me past places of personal significance – houses where Emma and I had first lived as a married couple, in Cuddesdon, Stadhampton, Cuxham, through the steep hills of the Chilterns, the affluence and opulence of the river towns and villages, and then to London and the Uxbridge road to Kensington, Hyde Park, to St Paul’s Cathedral, where Emma and I worked and met, and to Southwark, where we lived – in Tabard Street no less, of Chaucerian Inn and pilgrimage fame. The welcome I received at Southwark Cathedral as a weary pilgrim was as warm as the sun on my back. Sweaty and tired I asked for my pilgrim stamp and I was offered hospitality of food and drink. I welcomed the opportunity to sit near a sculpture of the Virgin and Child, and to rest, reflect and pray. The next day the streets were quiet in the early morning as I set out for east London and Dartford. In contrast to the leafy countryside of my first day, the landscape was now commercial and industrial. At Rochester Cathedral I received another pilgrim stamp in my book and watched people play miniature golf in in the cool of the nave. As I approached Faversham and Canterbury,
each shade of a tree became a haven. I bought bottles of water at village shops to pour the cold liquid over my head. And so, bedraggled and wrung out, I arrived at Canterbury Cathedral, and received a blessing at the shrine of Thomas Becket (by the Canon Missioner!) Pilgrimage – a journey to a holy place, undertaken as a means of affirming one’s faith. Yes, it had been such a journey. A journey in which, despite all my fear and frailty, I wanted to express my faith and trust in God’s call for the future – a call to serve the Canterbury Diocese in the work of building communities and partnerships with imagination, by means of creative conversations, compassionate acts of love and mercy, and courageous proclamation of the Gospel, to seek social justice and help those on the margins of our society, to share in the story of their own journeys, so that we all, in this wonderful place, may grow in faith and hope and love. ●
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new readers 2019 On Sunday 22 September a service celebrating our Readers was held at Canterbury Cathedral. Admissions, welcoming, licensing and the relicensing of people from across our diocese was held as well as the commissioning of two Anna Chaplains. Our new Readers are from the Guernsey, West Bridge, Weald, Dover and Ashford deaneries. Nigel Collins, Warden of Readers, said: “Our annual service gives praise for our 200 active Readers who serve across the diocese and celebrates and supports those who join us in ministry. “They play a vital role in our churches and communities; leading worship, teaching and preaching. Readers hail from all walks of life and so are able to really engage in their communities with their pastoral work.” ●
Sarah-Jane Allen Guernsey Deanery
Lucy Carvill West Bridge Deanery
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Sarah Emmanuel The Weald Deanery
Steve Saunderson Dover Deanery
Mark Taylor Ashford Deanery
REFUGEE TALES Avril Loveless
Unashamedly based on the Canterbury Tales in which people walked together purposefully and companionably listening to tales told by story-tellers, Refugee Tales is a walk in solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and people held in immigration detention. On the perimeter road at Gatwick are Brook House and Tinsley House. They are surrounded by barbed wire, secure fences and surveillance cameras. Brook House is the same design as a Category B prison, with wings, cells and netting to prevent suicide attempts from the balconies. They are two of the nine immigration removal centres in the UK. Such centres were initially established to hold people for 72 hours prior to deportation but nowadays the majority of people detained are eventually released and their immigration status is resolved by alternative means. The key feature of UK detention centres is that people can be held INDEFINITELY. When the door clangs shut behind them, people do not know whether they will be held for days, weeks, months or years. Some are released and detained again several times. We can only begin to imagine how that might affect the mental and physical wellbeing of detainees and their families. In the words of one former detainee: “After [some months] I am released from a state of specific, localised detention to a more generalised one, full of lovely, generous, friendly people, but where work, rebuilding my life and travelling abroad are banned, where waiting is my evening meal, and my guest when I fall asleep is a nightmare of bars and cells.” Volunteers with the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) visit and befriend detainees, recognising that they share lives and loves, hopes and fears beyond the questions of the Home Office. There are many reasons why people’s immigration status is queried and they are subject to detention. The detainees’ experience and trauma are not widely known and a group of visitors decided to take the stories out to communities and Parliament. By quietly bearing witness to people’s direct experience they hope that hearts and minds will be changed by hearing the Tales and seeing the community
of walkers. The project is not attempting to stop legitimate removal; detention is sometimes necessary. We do know, however, that indefinite detention is expensive, inefficient and a waste of human life. By walking together we are a spectacle of welcome, changing the landscape of the hostile environment. By telling people’s Tales we are changing the language of detention and hostility. Each evening Tales are told by authors who use their talents to illuminate and honour the stories of people’s experiences. Our writers include Ali Smith, Helen MacDonald, Kamila Shamsie, Patrick Gale, Bernadine Evaristo, Monica Ali, Chris Cleave, Patience Agbabi, David Constantine and many others. Their Tales are published by Comma Press and the most recent volume includes Tales written by people with direct experience. The evening events are free to the public. People can participate in many ways: joining the walk for five days; walking for day or two; attending the free events in the evenings or supporting local activities before the full walk. From 3rd to 8th July 2020 Refugee Tales will be walking from Crawley to Winchester, through Dorking, Guildford, Farnham and Four Marks. Refugee Tales 2020 will be launched in London on 18th January when full details of the programme will be available. In the meantime, the Refugee Tales team is happy to share publicity information and give talks and readings to local groups and festivals about the work of the project. To find out more go to www.refugeetales.org
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Meeting God in the Silence Interview: Jonathan Bryan Jonathan Bryan is an extraordinary young man. Faith, family and friends – these three sum up all that is most important to him. Home and family are his sanctuary, his joy. At thirteen years old he’s into lego, aeroplanes, music and baking. But if you met him in the street, you wouldn’t know any of these things - instead you would notice a small boy in a wheelchair, unable to speak. Jonathan has severe cerebral palsy, a condition that makes him incapable of voluntary movement or speech. He was locked inside his own mind, aware of the outside world but unable to fully communicate with it. Then, aged nine he found a way by using his eyes to laboriously choose individual letters, and through this make his thoughts known. Since that day in February 2015, life for Jonathan has been busy, life has been transformed and, crucially, life has been fulfilled. Jonathan’s family always knew that he had the potential to communicate more fully, but for many years he was ‘locked in’ because of his physical disabilities. He found the experience of attending a school for children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities
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massively frustrating: “At school I amused myself with my own thoughts often adopting a faraway look which served credence to the idea that there was nothing going on in my mind!” he says. “Whereas at home my family interacted with me instinctively knowing I was understanding everything and treated me in an age appropriate way. There is nothing more
frustrating than being treated like a preverbal toddler just because you don’t speak.” Thankfully, for Jonathan, there was the hope of change. “Literacy was the key that opened the door to being able to express myself exactly as I wanted to,” he explains. “For non-verbal children like me being able to read and write totally transforms
our lives, and it is for this reason that I have set up my charity Teach Us Too, envisaging a world where all children are taught to read and write regardless of their educational label. Many people don’t realise that learning to read and write is not a skill which is automatically taught to non-verbal children, especially those who are labelled with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Yet being literate gives us the key to life in all its fullness.” This campaigning work is a major focus for Jonathan and, he says, it starts with simply respecting children who live with disabilities, not making any assumption about what they can or cannot do or understand: “Presume competence,” he says, “and talk to us in a normal voice in an age appropriate way.” In 2018, Jonathan published his first book – Eye Can Write – which is a memoir of his journey. In it, he speaks of the ‘TV torture’ of his special school - being made to watch programmes designed for toddlers and unable to tell anyone that he hated them. Although he’s not a massive TV fan, at least now he gets to choose – and can enjoy the experience of sharing good telly with his family: “If I am given the option of watching TV or listening to a book or classical music I will always choose the latter. However, watching TV programs with my family is a bonding experience, so I watch Top Gear with my Father, Bake Off with my sisters and David Attenborough with anyone who will watch it with me. Through Attenborough’s programs there are many wonderful, awe inspiring things he has brought me the experience of in our sitting room.”
Jonathan come from a ‘church family’, but his writing suggests that faith is not just something he’s acquired from his parents rather, he’s always had a sense of God’s presence with him, well before he could speak: “God is most richly encountered when we lay aside words and engage with Him through our being. Although words enable me to interact with people at a whole new level, I have personally decided not to be restricted by them in my thoughts and instead I continue to think in colour, emotion and drumbeats. So God’s presence with me has been continual as we have journeyed together, but trying to frame that relationship in words has been a new challenge since I started writing.” But that doesn’t seem to have held him back – Jonathan’s faith comes through strongly in everything he writes and he’s passionate about Jesus. His favourite Bible story is what he calls the ‘Story of the Four Friends’ – more commonly known as the healing of the paralysed man (Mark 2:1-12). He explains: “Throughout my life I have been blessed with wonderful friends who have accepted me as I am.” Unusually for most 13 year olds, Jonathan is comfortable reflecting on his own mortality – in fact, he urges people to break the taboos around death. In his book, he speaks of almost playfully asking doctors “How long have I got?” - and of the uncertainty that comes with that. But for him, it’s a question rich with promise: “When I think of Jesus’ garden or sing songs about heaven, I get very excited and my family roll their eyes when I say, ‘I can’t wait.’ But when I think about my sisters, I feel sad for them, and I often ask
people I meet, who might know the answer, how I can best help and prepare them for when I am no longer a brother for them here. So I live life to its fullest, and look forward with excited anticipation.” Jonathan’s writing is stunning – it’s beautifully lyrical and yet packs a powerful punch. It’s also clearly an expression of who he is – so what’s he planning to write next? His response is predictably coy - “Wait and see!” he says. Christmas is Jonathan’s favourite time of year, and baking is a favourite pastime – so what’s his recipe for the perfect Christmas? “3lb Jesus soaked in the Holy Spirit 9oz excitement beaten with 9oz anticipation (you will know this is ready when the grown-ups start panicking that they aren’t ready) 10oz family 4 large congregations 1 tablespoon Handel’s Messiah 1½ teaspoons present sharing “You can use these measurements (with different ingredients!) to make Mary Berry’s Christmas cake, which I do every year for my sister to decorate.” Read Jonathan’s blog and support his campaign online at www.eyecantalk.net. Jonathan’s book, Eye Can Write: A memoir of a child’s silent soul emerging is published by Lagom (RRP £12.99).
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Gifts with heart The Review
Welcome to The Review where, for this edition, we’re taking a different approach. No, we haven’t had one too many sherries, but as it’s Christmas we thought we’d take a look at with three charities and their festive online offerings (so naturally five stars all round!) We hope to show how you can get some great bargains, give great gifts and do something great, all at the same time. These are just three of thousands of charities out there so we want to inspire you to explore, and Merry Christmas everyone!
Christian Aid -
This incredible charity provides hospice care for children with terminal conditions. They focus on the love and life the families share and strive to make sure every child and young person gets the most they can from the time they have.
This global charity works tirelessly to shine a light on those who cannot be seen, to challenge and tackle poverty across the world and fights for justice and equality for all.
Their website has a great choice for all kinds of shopper. If you wish to make a donation, it is quick and easy to do and under the heading of ‘Our Shops’ a range of different options becomes available. They have an eBay shop that offers a whole host of goodies. If you want to get out and about it directs you to the nearest high street store, how to donate goods yourself and finally, a Christmas card section. It’s a great and easy to use site and offers many ways to get involved and get giving. Explore more at www.demelza.org.uk.
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They have different campaigns throughout the year and right now it is their Christmas Appeal to help mothers use their God-given gifts to escape poverty. On their website you can read the stories of women who have experienced incredible suffering but are determined to change their lives for the better. Online you can see lots of ways to get involved, donate and sign up to get all the up-to-date news. Well worth a visit to www.christianaid.org.uk.
British Hen Welfare Trust www.bhwt.org.uk Set up in 2005, the trust now saves more than 50,000 hens from slaughter each year and finds them caring pet homes so they can enjoy a free range retirement. On their website not only will you discover some incredible gifts (who doesn’t want a chicken umbrella?) but you may well find yourself thinking about adding to your brood. They offer cards, gifts and donations too. You can also give a unusual gift of sponsoring a hen and there are three glamorous ladies to choose from. The site is very easy to navigate round and will provide you with lots of ways to support the charity and learn more about the work they do. Cluck www.bhwt.org.uk to discover more.
MAF is the world’s largest humanitarian airline, bringing help, hope and healing to those in need.
FIVE LIVES, ONE FLIGHT What began as an impossible day for flying became a blessing in disguise when a delayed MAF flight meant more lives were saved In Papua New Guinea, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) receives a call requesting an emergency medical evacuation flight (medevac) for Ester — a young woman fighting for her life after a difficult labour earlier that day. A frustrated crew returns to its base unable to complete the flight due to bad weather. Pilots Mathias Glass and Ryan Cole pray that she will survive the night. In the morning, as Mathias and Ryan prepare to depart, MAF is radioed again. Osa is struggling to deliver a breeched baby; both mother and child are in serious trouble. Kolina, another young patient, is experiencing chronic intestinal issues and needs to be referred to the main hospital in Tabubil. Around 7.30am, one patient becomes five when another request comes in for TB patient Lucy, who needs life-saving medical care. Thanks to our pilots’ expertise, MAF’s ability to respond and the Lord’s perfect timing through bad weather, all five patients reach Tabubil hospital. Each woman receives the treatment she so desperately needs. Could you help us be the difference between life and death? Help MAF, the world’s largest humanitarian airline, by funding more life-saving flights.
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE THIS CHRISTMAS — FUND A MEDEVAC It costs just £60 to fuel a life-saving flight like the one Ester, Osa, Kolina and Lucy were on. Please consider giving a gift today.
Here is my gift of: TITLE
£30 other £ PLEASE USE BLOCK CAPITALS
Please use where most needed I enclose my cheque made payable to MAF UK Please debit my card account CharityCard, MasterCard, Visa (please circle card type)
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POSTCODE GET THE INSIDE STORY! Tick the box to join us on a journey of discovery and, every two months, you will receive inspirational updates from our pilots, stories from the field, interesting country profiles and much more! We are committed to protecting your privacy, and promise to respect your personal information and do all we can to keep it safe. This includes not selling or sharing personal details with third parties for marketing purposes. You can find out more about how we process your data at www.maf-uk.org/privacy. You can withdraw your consent at any time by calling 01303 852819 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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To make a gift by telephone, please phone our Supporter Relations team on 01303 852819, or you can give securely online by visiting www.maf-uk.org/savealife
Make your gift go even further with Gift Aid I want to Gift Aid this donation and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past four years to Mission Aviation Fellowship UK. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference.
Please return this form to: FREEPOST RTKH–HJEY–BTJL, MAF UK, Castle House, Castle Hill Avenue FOLKESTONE CT20 2TQ Registered charity in England and Wales (1064598) and in Scotland (SC039107) ® Registered trademark 3026860, 3026908, 3026915
Winter 2019 Outlook Magazine|21
Top 10 things to do in Kent… ....Winter
Walk on the Moon
Canterbury Cathedral will play host to a virtual reality installation for the first week of Advent to share the experience of displacement. In support of this year’s Advent Justice Appeal, the immersive experience asks people to step out of their comfort zone. Thanks to the support of Christian Aid, our fundraising partners, visitors will be able to wear a headset, put on hand-held controllers and leave the comfort of Canterbury to try life on the Moon. See pages 12-13 for more information about the appeal. The installation is also travelling to St Mary’s Church in Ashford on Sunday 15 December (from 5.30pm), St Paul’s Church in Canterbury on Tuesday 17 December (from 5.30pm) and St Martin’s Church in Maidstone on Thursday 19 December (from 3pm to 5pm).
PubTalk is run by local churches in Ashford as an opportunity to discuss issues of faith and life over a drink in a relaxed setting.
Monday 2 December, 8pm – 10pm, Singleton Barn, TN23 4TY
Living Well Deeper Healing Day
A day to reflect, be listened to and prayed with individually in order to bring release and peace
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through prayer. £30 minimum donation - refreshments and lunch provided. Places are very limited – call 01304 842847 or email contact@the-living-well. org.uk to book. Friday 6 December, 10am – 4pm, The Living Well, Nonington CT15 4JT
Wye Christmas Tree Festival
Get in the festive spirit and vote for your favourite from 30 decorated trees, while enjoying mulled wine and mince pies. Planned to coincide with Wye’s Christmas street party on 6 December. Programme £2. Friday 6 – Sunday 8 December, from 10am, St Gregory & St Martin’s Church, Wye TN25 5BL
General Election Hustings
A chance to hear from and grill the five political candidates for Thanet South on their plans and policies. Don’t forget to check out other hustings events in your area. Monday 9 December, 7:30pm – 9pm, St Luke’s Church Ramsgate, CT11 7JX
Sing for Syrians
Unlike any other carol service in London this year, Hands Up presents their star-studded flagship Singing for Syrians event.
Tickets from £10 - money raised will go towards projects that support people in Syria. Book online at singingforsyrians.com. Tuesday 10 December, 5:30pm, St Margaret’s Church Westminster, SW1P 3JX
Community Carol Singing with Ignite
Gather at the Church and head off to the local shopping areas to sing and get everyone singing along in the Christmas spirit. The evening will finish with a delicious warming meal and hot drinks afterwards at the church. All are welcome and all is free. Monday 16 December, 5pm at St Martin’s Church Maidstone, ME15 7LP
All are welcome to attend our annual diocesan safeguarding conference, which has been rescheduled to January. This year there will be two workshops from PREVENT and BORDER FORCE UK available for all participants. Register for your free tickets by 20 December online at canterburydiocese.org/safeguarding. Saturday 11 January, 9:30am – 3pm, Seasalter Christian Centre, CT5 4AX
Check out more events and submit your own online at canterburydiocese.org/events.
Canterbury Cathedral Carol Service
Two opportunities to enjoy the popular Carol Service, which includes a reading of seven lessons with seasonal music performed by the Cathedral Choir. Both events are un-ticketed and seated on a first-come-first-served basis. Monday 23 December, 7:30pm – 9pm & Tuesday 24 December, 3pm – 4:30pm, Canterbury Cathedral
Whether you’re happy or sad to see the kids go back to school (or whether you don’t have kids at all!), enjoy a free breakfast at St Francis’ Church, hosted by the Ignite team. Monday 7 January, 9am – 11am, St Francis’ Church, Ashford, TN23 5AS
Rediscover your Cathedral Over 1400 years of history nestled in the heart of a UNESCO world heritage site. @No1Cathedral
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Prayer God who shines light in our darkness, we rejoice in your coming and find renewing strength as you dwell among us. May our lives tell stories of hope, and our churches reflect the light of your love and justice in our communities. As the year turns, renew our vision for a world where every person may find their way to a place of trust and safety. Amen.
More prayer resources: canterburydiocese.org/prayer
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Image by Primrose Northrop, â€˜The joy of Christmas,â€™ acrylic on cloth 2019
In this edition we celebrate the arrival of our new Bishop, Rose Hudson-Wilkin.