Recognition for long service to the Diocese of Lincoln
Social media demystified and the choices made easier
Ministering to the world’s top athletes
page 2 No 35 Spring 2012 FREE Diocese of Lincoln newspaper www.lincoln.anglican.org
Churches in crisis after VAT rule change Will Harrison
arishes which have begun work on making their churches suitable for community use face a 20% hike on their bills after a decision by the Treasury to impose VAT on alterations to listed buildings. The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a VAT increase from zero to 20% on alterations to listed buildings, which will cost the Anglican church and its congregations up to £20 million pounds next year, and it is claimed that the decision will jeopardise the future of historic churches and listed buildings. The Treasury has stated that, to help churches tackle the much-increased costs, the scope of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme will be extended; an extra £5 million has been specified for the scheme though it is expected that consequently the current available funds will be divided into smaller amounts among a larger group of claimants. Even under the previous scope the grant scheme was only able to pay out 43% of the amount claimed. Transitional arrangements are in place to mitigate the impact of the proposed introduction of VAT at 20% for works presently zero-rated. Works with a signed contract in place by 21 March 2012 will be exempted from the 20% rate of tax for works done by 20 March 2013. Works after this date will pay VAT at the standard rate. Works contracted after 21 March 2012 will incur VAT at the standard rate for the parts of the contract performed after 1 October 2012. Lincoln’s Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) Secretary, Keith Halliday, said that despite the transitional arrangements, the hard work of parishes to restore their churches to the centre of the community has suffered a severe blow. “The churches that have gone through a programme of fabric repairs, funded by English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, other grant funders and local fundraising, are now trying to bring these buildings up to a standard where the community can use them,” said Keith. > Continued on page two
Future work such as this, completed at Aslackby Parish Church, has been thrown into doubt by changes to VAT rules.
crosslincs Crosslincs 01522 50 40 27 email@example.com
PHOTOGRAPH: WILL HARRISON
Petition against VAT changes < Continued from page one “This usually means installing toilets and serveries. “The DAC and English Heritage work carefully with parishes not to allow works that are too intrusive to the fabric but always balance the need of the community with the conservation of the building. “Those churches which are under threat are currently trying to bring community use back to their church and are looking at similar proposals, thus involving the community in a building that otherwise they tend to ignore.” Urgent support is needed to overturn the damaging Budget VAT change and to support the future of our historic churches. The Government is in consultation on the changes until Friday 4 May, and a petition has been set up on the Downing Street petitions website, which has already had more than 13,000 supporters. If the petition receives at least 100,000 supporters, it will be debated in Parliament.
the Church and to the community in York, and to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This year recipients for the Royal Maundy Money were also chosen from each of the 43 Dioceses in the country. “When the Bishop rang me I had to ask him if he was genuine,” laughed Jim (80). “My wife, Lesley, was a teacher, and we used to receive a lot of prank calls!” He said his one sadness was that Lesley, who died last year, was not able to share the occasion. “She would have been so proud,” he said. Jim, who worked for a fertiliser company
Will Harrison n the Diamond Jubilee year, The Queen’s annual distribution of the Royal Maundy included a representative from each Diocese of the Church of England. During the Royal Maundy Service in York Minster the Queen distributed the Maundy money to 86 women and 86 men – one for each of The Queen’s 86 years. Each recipient received two purses, one red and one white. In recognition of many years of service to the Diocese of Lincoln, particularly as a trustee of the Diocesan Board of Finance and a member of Diocesan Synod, the Bishop nominated Jim Peacock to receive the Maundy gift. Jim, of Bottesford, Scunthorpe, said that he was overwhelmed to have been chosen to receive the gift from the Queen. The red purse contained a £5 coin commemorating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a 50p coin. Both coins have been minted this year. The white purse contained uniquely-minted Maundy Money − silver one, two, three and four penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years the Monarch has years of age. This year 86 pence was distributed. All these coins were also newly minted this year. The recipients were all pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of service to
PHOTOGRAPH: YORK MINSTER
until his retirement in 1983, was accompanied to York Minster for this year’s service by his daughter, Joanna. “On receiving the Maundy purses, I stood up, bowed, and replied ‘Thank you your Majesty’,” said Jim, who had never met the Queen before. “I then said that I hoped that her Majesty would enjoy her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, to which she said to me ‘Thank you very much’. “It was a wonderful service and very well organised. “I shall remember it for the rest of my life.”
PHOTOGRAPH: HM TREASURY
James Peacock was nominated by the Bishop to receive Maundy money from HM The Queen in York Minster.
Chancellor George Osborne Churchgoers in the Diocese are also being encouraged to write to their MP to protest at the change in rules. “Churches that have already embarked on projects, have funding and deadlines in place but whose work will not finish until after the deadline of 1 October are facing huge challenges making up the extra 20% and some, like Wakefield Cathedral, may have to stop works, lose funding and start again,” said Keith Halliday, Church Buildings Adviser. The wife of the Dean of Wakefield, herself a tax consultant, has even written and performed a song in protest against the changes. “More than 90% of the Diocese of Lincoln’s 650 churches are listed, and this ruling is a real blow to those seeking to maintain and develop their churches, enabling often-impractical buildings to be more easily accessible and usable by congregations and communities,” said Keith. Details of the petition, and sample letters to Members of Parliament, are available on the Diocese of Lincoln’s website at www.lincoln.anglican.org/vat
Crosslincs 01522 50 40 27 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire-hit church rededicated
Fenland support I solation, poverty, health, the elderly, ‘new arrivals’, families and young people are among nine topics in the spotlight for a parish priest as he seeks to tackle social issues. The vicar of Long Sutton, the Revd Jonathan Sibley, is taking a fresh look at easing social troubles in the Fens, and has drawn together church and community leaders strategically to solve the problems faced by people in the area. those contributing are Among Lincolnshire County Council, South Holland District Council, Lincolnshire Police, the NHS, South Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service and Spalding’s Agape Care Foodbank. Jonathan and Canon Andrew Vaughan, senior chaplain for Lincolnshire Chaplaincy Services, have already received responses from the 80 Church of England parishes within South Holland and The Deepings and Boston which were asked to detail problems faced by local people, and possi-
Fr Jonathan Sibley ble ways those problems could be alleviated. In October they widened the project by inviting statutory and voluntary agencies to the University of Lincoln campus at Holbeach – and held another meeting there in March. “It’s not a talking shop; it’s an example of ‘the big society’ at work,” said Jonathan. The work began at the suggestion of The Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Revd Tim Ellis, and is supported by South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes.
Change discussion hurch schools are in a period of rapid change with the rise of the academies system, funding cuts and difficulties in society, and the changing role of religious studies in education. In this context 130 headteachers and chairs of governors of diocesan schools met recently in Lincoln to take part in a day of workshops, discussions and speeches. The day was designed to help school leaders come together to consider the rapidly changing political and societal landscapes church schools are facing today. The conference opened with an act of collective worship, led by children from Bardney Church of England and Methodist Primary School. They performed three songs they had learned in “Pop Connection” − a music and community project that has recently been piloted in Bardney and a handful of other schools. The Rt Revd David Rossdale, who chairs the Diocesan Board of Education, gave the first keynote speech in which he argued that school leaders should not spend time full of nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ but should embrace current changes and use them to good effect. He argued schools have a responsibility to develop relationships and further the mission of God, and that government initiatives, parent choice, technology, and consumerism can’t be controlled, so schools should use their influence to live out Christian values in schools and pro-
PHOTOGRAPH: WILL HARRISON
Fr Bryan East and the Bishop of Grimsby at the rededication of St Peter’s Humberston. Inset: The church shortly after the fire last year. North East Lincolnshire church reopened at Easter for the first time since it suffered a disasterous fire last
year. The 15th century bell tower of St Peter’s Church, Humberston, was badly damaged by the blaze on 7 March 2011. Worshippers were forced to use a nearby school while the church underwent a halfa-million-pound refurbishment. The Bishop of Grimsby, the Right Revd David Rossdale, re-dedicated the church at a special Easter service. Father Bryan East, vicar of Humberston, said it was appropriate that the re-dedication service took place on Easter Day. “We are delighted with our newly re-decorated and re-opened church building.
Easter Sunday was a double celebration as we rejoiced in the resurrection of our Lord and the resurrection of St Peter’s,” he said. “Quite apart from our church members we have had huge support from the local community, the Cleethorpes Chronicle, Grimsby Telegraph, and Radio Humberside. “We owe very special thanks to Humberston Church of England Primary School’s head teacher Richard Dawson for allowing us the use of the school hall every Sunday morning. “The people of Humberston have a very beautiful place of worship that I am sure will enrich the lives of many as the years unfold. For myself, having seen the restoration through, I can now retire to be with family in Gloucestershire.”
PHOTOGRAPH: GRIMSBY TELEGRAPH
mote peace and justice for their children’s future. The question Bishop David posed to Heads and Chairs was, ‘Can you do it God’s way?’ A wide range of workshops followed this, in which delegates considered the challenges and opportunities facing schools today and in the future. Current headteachers, advisers, and consultants put forward their personal perspectives on issues such as academies, governance, and the new inspection frameworks, and discussion was thought-provoking and supportive, helping school leaders to approach the future as a united church school family. Nicola Sylvester, Head of School Effectiveness for the National Society, gave the second keynote speech. In it she talked about the wider national perspective on the future of church schools and about her work in conjunction with the Department for Education for delivering the best outcomes for church schools. Nicola echoed and further emphasised the earlier message of schools needing to work together to convert challenges into opportunities. The day’s activities ended with a lighthearted look at how world technology has changed in the last ten years and the inevitable way in which it has changed how school leaders, teachers, and pupils communicate and learn – it was concluded that the day oranges, blackberries and apples were just ‘things the children are reluctant to eat’ has long passed.
crosslincs Crosslincs 01522 50 40 27 email@example.com
Mysteries performed he Lincoln Mystery Plays return this summer, bringing to life the timeless truths at the heart of humanity. With the plays cast, rehearsals well underway, tickets on sale and the new Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson assuming patronage of the Trust which produces the four-yearly cycle, preparation is moving apace. The show will be presented as a promenade at the Medieval Bishops’ Palace and Cathedral in uphill Lincoln on ten nights between 10 and 21 July. This year they will begin at the Bishops’ Palace, where art installations and picnics can be taken before the show, moving on a journey to the Cathedral Cloister to conclude with the Passion and Doomsday. Artistic Director John Bowtell said: “The sense of journey is an important element of the Mystery Plays, and especially so in 2012 when I hope the audience will join the actors in experiencing a journey of their own, both physically and personally.” The plays have their origins as a medieval telling of Bible stories in a humorous and easy-access format for the uneducated masses to understand the mysteries of Latin liturgy. “Centuries ago the full cycle of 42 plays would take several days to perform, using carts to transport the action around the city,” said John. “Audiences will be glad to know that while keeping to the true spirit of the medieval manuscript, I only intend to deliver scenes from 22 of the plays across a performance time of barely two and half hours.” The new Mystery Plays use digital media, light, sound, imagery and art installations to assist in the exploration of both wellknown and more obscure stories to appeal on both spiritual and secular levels. “I think that we all have a stronger understanding of both theatrical and religious traditions now than those original medieval audiences, but still the plays have the power to provoke, awe and inspire. “I want to convey the aspect of Everyman in the role of Jesus, for people to feel that he could be anyone of us, with something of every one of us in him. “That’s why our publicity images show four different people in this role. Similar considerations have inspired the casting of a woman as God, a refreshingly young, teenaged Jesus and a trio representing Satan,” said John. “Central to my vision for a contemporary and accessible telling of the Mystery Plays for 2012 are the concepts of community,
integrity and diversity, and those are the motivations for cast and crew as we work to achieve something fresh and vibrant, while remaining faithful to the plays’ traditions.” Tickets are being sold exclusively through the Lincoln Drill Hall, with availability on the door from 6.30pm for a 7.30pm show. Performances are on 10 to 14, 16, 17, 20 and 21 July. The show will last around two and a half hours in total, with an interval. The entire performance will be open-air and the company recommends that warm and waterproof clothing is worn. Those with mobility issues and other specific needs are asked to make these known when booking to ensure they are accommodated appropriately. Tickets are £15, with £13 concession, or £49 for a family ticket for two adults and two children. One free ticket will be given for every block booking of ten. They can be bought online, on the phone and in person − www.lincolndrillhall.com, 01522 873894. The plays are produced and performed by the Lincoln Mystery Plays Company, which is a charitable organisation dedicated to the revival of the medieval tradition for contemporary audiences for more than 30 years. Further details can be found at www.lincolnmysteries.co.uk and at www.lmp2012.co.uk Bishop Grosseteste University College is also hosting the Plays for an evening in celebration of its 150 year anniversary on 7 July.
Awarded for service to community stalwart Lincoln churchgoer has been recognised with a prestigious award from the mayor of the city. Olive Musson from St John, Ermine, received a Mayoral Medal from the Mayor of Lincoln at the Guildhall on 18 April. One of six people selected to receive the medal, Olive was nominated by St John’s for her outstanding service to the church and the community. “Olive’s is a hidden ministry and not one that makes the headlines,” said the parish priest, the Revd Stephen Hoy. “She makes the tea and serves the refreshments at church services and at every social and community event; she is always the first to arrive to get tables and cutlery sorted out and always the last to leave. “This ministry of hospitality supports the development of fellowship and friendship
both in the church and community and enables so much else to happen. “She is a key leader in our two monthly lunch clubs and regularly visits people on the estate. “She walks everywhere and everyone on the estate knows her. “She does all this despite being in her late 70s and having a disability which restricts movement in her hands.” Olive, pictured left with the Right Worshipful Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Kathleen Brothwell, was not aware that she had been nominated for a Mayoral Medal and so it came as a big surprise when the letter dropped through her door a couple of weeks ago. “I’m incredibly proud to be able to bestow this honour on each individual, recognising their achievement,” said the Mayor.
Crosslincs 01522 50 40 27 firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise on the coast or many people the week after Easter was a time of rest and a chance to get back to normal with work and other commitments. At Butlin’s in Skegness the celebration of Easter was continuing with more than 5,000 people from across the country attending the annual conference Spring Harvest. The event exists to ‘Equip the Church for Action’ and is passionate to help people of all ages encounter God. Through this encounter the organisation hopes that people will be changed and take that change back into their local communities. The theme for 2012 was Church Actually and each day this theme was unpacked through children and youth work, Bible studies, seminars, worship and celebration. Alongside this Spring Harvest run useful workshops on a range of topics from parenting and marriage, to leadership and supporting volunteers, worship leading and technical support through to social media and the church. In 2013 Spring Harvest returns to Butlin’s from Tuesday 2 April to Sunday 7 April. The Revd Pam Costin, Community Chaplain in the Horncastle Deanery, said: “Having not been to Spring Harvest for many years because of other commitments, it was wonderfully reassuring to see that faith and community was still going strong with fresh energy.”
PHOTOGRAPH: PHILIP CRAVEN
Nightwatchmen Ray Beal (left) and Bob Scott (right) took turns with Neil Wells, Malcolm Lawn, Geoff Quince and Roy Perdue while they awaited the installation of the church’s roof alarm.
Foiling the thieves hurchwardens and congregation members from a church in south Lincolnshire were forced to take their church’s security into their own hands after a series of lead thefts left significant holes both in the roof and in the bank account. Between August and February the church of All Saints’ Church, Hougham (a beautiful but isolated hamlet located off the A1 just north of Grantham) was subjected to three lead thefts; first, in August last year when £5,000 worth of lead was stolen from the north aisle, and then in September and February when around £10,000 of lead was stolen from the chancery roof. Following the third theft on the 25 February the churchwarden of All Saints’, Ray Beal, and members of the congregation felt compelled to form a night watch until the alarm they had ordered after the summer thefts was installed in early March. For ten days the six selfless watchmen
braved the cold nights in pairs and took turns to spend a night on watch in the church from 10 o’clock until dawn. “It wasn’t a question of deciding to do it,” said Ray. “We had to do it. When I told the acting rural dean about the theft on 25 February he said that thieves often returned for several consecutive nights and the alarm wasn’t going in until 8 March, so we had to do it,” said Ray. While on duty Ray and the night watchers sat in deck chairs with a small heater in the north aisle, left lights on in the church and parked their car in front of the churchyard gate. “The police popped in on the first night and flashed their lights on a few other nights but we did see a car come down the road between 1am and 1.30am on a couple of occasions and then turn around. So it wasn’t all in vain,” he said. “It was desperately hard, especially from
4am onwards when it was incredibly cold and staying awake was difficult.” Since August last year the total cost of lead thefts has been in excess of £15,000 (of which only £9000 was covered by insurance) and the new alarm system, installed on 8 March, has cost the church a further £3,000. The alarm, from E-Bound (the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s recommended supplier), protects the entire roof and, if tripped, sets off a flashing blue light in the tower, a police-style siren and a voice which booms across the churchyard informing the thieves (and local inhabitants) that thieves are trespassing and the police have been contacted. As well as acting as a deterrent, the alarm means that All Saints’ Church, Hougham receive double the annual financial cover from Ecclesiastical, and Hougham’s Nightwatchmen can rest safe and secure in their beds rather than deckchairs.
Sponsor this page. Advertise your business* and support Crosslincs for £200 per edition. Contact 01522 504033 or email@example.com for more information. *Terms and conditions apply. Call for more details.
Open gardens in support of churches een gardeners, and those who appreciate a beautiful garden, can now find a list of Lincolnshire’s open gardens online. Mr John Ketteringham, of Lincoln, has taken over the task of listing all the open gardens since the demise of Visit Lincolnshire, the local tourist board. The National Gardens Scheme, British Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance and the Lincolnshire Churches Trust all receive funds from open gardens in the county. John has also included village gardens open to raise funds for the local parish church. “I’m willing to include any village gardens provided I receive the information at least two months before the event,” he said. “I received around 3,000 visits to the site last year.” The list for this season can be found at johnketteringham.me.uk/opengardens
crosslincs Children and Young People 01522 50 40 67
Children and Young People
New youth council for Diocese ince the new year, the Diocesan Youth Animateur has travelled extensively around the Diocese meeting children, young people and youth leaders. In his travels, Mark Eades-Jones has met with church-based youth groups, schools, and clubs from both the Anglican Church and the wider Christian community. “I have met some fantastic young people and very committed volunteers recently, and have seen them in a wide range of settings,” said Mark. “However, I’ve only had time to see just the tip of the iceberg and look forward to meeting many more groups and people in the coming months.” Mark has been working with young people on the redevelopment of the young people’s website, consulting with youth groups on a new name, content and look − voting has resulted in the selection of the name www.yodl.org.uk − standing for Youth Organisation for the Diocese of Lincoln. It is hoped that site will launch shortly and will complement and draw together the existing YouTube channel, Twitter account, and Facebook pages. Mark said, “We want the young people of the Diocese to really feel part of a community, and believe that social networking is an integral tool in achieving this. “Social and online media reaches out to young people in a way that they are very familiar with and through it we can learn a
lot about what we need to do.” Every group and club will be able to create its own page and share information with others on the new site. Safety is of primary concern and the website will be moderated, and entry controlled, by the Diocesan youth team to allow safe interaction. Once the social media and new site are up and running Mark will be working closely with cluster groups of young people to develop new structures to allow them to express their views and link up with decision makers in the Diocese. There are several youth synods and councils up and down the country and these models will form the basis of the Diocese’s own. Mark said, “I believe we have a genuine opportunity to re-engage with young people and our approach needs to be as dynamic and flexible as possible so children and young people will be encouraged to explore all we have to offer and feel a part of the diocesan structure and community.” If you are working with children or young people, principally in the 13-19 age group and Mark and the Youth team haven’t been in touch yet, please let them know. The Diocese wants its work with young people to be truly representative of all the young people in the area. You can contact the Youth Animateur at: firstname.lastname@example.org 01522 50 40 69 www.facebook.com/youthanimateur
Awarded by bishop
Three members of the Dynamos Youth Group in Goxhill, North Lincolnshire, received their Bishop’s Award certificates from the Rt Revd David Rossdale, Bishop of Grimsby. Becky Hutson, (left) received her higher award. Adam and Samantha Kirby both received their standard award.
Kieron Stannage is a member of the Riddings Brigade.
Scunthorpe’s pride A recently-started youth project in North Lincolnshire has celebrated its success with a visit from the Bishop of Lincoln and national leaders of a church youth organisation. The Rt Revd Christopher Lowson presented awards and uniforms to members of the Riddings Brigade − the Church Lad’s and Church Girl’s Brigade division based at the Riddings youth centre in Scunthorpe. Caroline Ridgway, formation commander for the Diocese, said that the brigade has filled a big gap in the area. “There was nothing for the young people in the area,” she said. “The Riddings Brigade has proved very popular, with almost 50 young people
attending every week.” As reported previously in Crosslincs, the Brigade’s commanding officer is Karen Boothman, who leads the group every Wednesday. The Bishop paid tribute to Karen and the work of the Brigade as he presented youth achievement awards and sweatshirts for the new members. Also attending was the national Brigade Secretary, Lt Col Martin Lambourne, who praised the Riddings brigade as an example to other communities around the country, and the work of Hilary Strong of North Lincolnshire Youth Service for her work towards the group, which is for eight to 11year-olds.
The Bishop presenting one of many Youth Achievement Awards.
Firing-line to fire front line
Former military chaplain the Revd Peter Vickers now supports the fire service. incolnshire Chaplaincy Services, in association with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), have announced the appointment of the first Brigade-wide Chaplain for the service. The Revd Peter Vickers will provide and co-ordinate chaplaincy cover across an area from Goole in the west, to Bridlington in the north, down to Cleethorpes in the south; including the major towns of Hull, Scunthorpe, Immingham and Grimsby as well as vast rural areas. Although this brand new role with HFRS is currently voluntary and part-time, Peter is responsible for chaplaincy to all fulltime and retained fire fighters as well as the service’s civilian staff. Peter’s past experience within the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department will stand him in good stead in this new role. Peter left the army last summer, having served as a Chaplain in Belfast and Bosnia, Canada and Kenya, and numerous places in the UK and Germany. He has begun visiting fire stations in order to make himself and the chaplaincy service more widely known. The plan is that he finds and identifies people willing to be chaplains to individual local fire stations, so that a network of local, trained contacts that can easily be used by all per-
sonnel is established. Although Peter is Anglican, the network will be ecumenical and multi-faith in nature to enable a response to the whole service. Lincolnshire Chaplaincy Services enables and resources chaplaincy in various sectors, including the Fire Service in northern Lincolnshire, yet this is a new venture for them too, as it covers a wide area and through negotiation extends their work beyond historic Lincolnshire. “This is a wonderful opportunity to respond to a service that is available to all and to offer the fire-fighters and staff that still small voice of calm in a job that is often dangerous and demanding,” said Peter. “Much like all other chaplaincies, HFRS Chaplains will be there to provide a listening ear, to engage with the real issues of the context, and, in association with the HFRS’s Equality and Diversity department, provide a signposting service for all personnel.” Chief Fire Officer, Richard Hannigan, said: “Over many years I have known chaplains from North East Lincolnshire and have benefited from their support. “I hope that staff from all parts of our Service will now also gain such benefit.”
PHOTOGRAPHS: WILL HARRISON
Passion for the seaside Will Harrison
had not acted before, the play proved an impressive spectacle for the crowds. “It was really quite remarkable,” said Chris. “There were people from eight different churches in the cast, and more than 20 churches gave their financial support. “We were also very grateful for a grant from the Diocesan Mission Initiatives Fund.” The play was written by the Revd Annabel Barber, and directed by Anne Spalton − who routinely directs the play in Brigg. “Part of the pay-off for Anne coming to Sutton-on-Sea was that I will go back to Brigg to direct the nativity play,” laughed Chris. The part of Jesus was played by John Nasowski, deputy head teacher of Chapel St Leonard’s primary school “By doing this play, Churches Together in the area have developed as a group,” he said. “People loved doing something in mission together.”
A consorted effort
or several years, it has been a traditional feature of the Holy Week observations in the north of the Diocese. But an outdoor Passion Play, which takes place every four years has moved to coast, taken there in retirement by a former parish priest. Canon Chris Lilley retired to Sutton-onSea two years ago, and decided to stage the Passion Play on the sea-front promenade with other churches in the town. The play, with the cast drawn from the local area, attracted an audience of around 400 on Good Friday. “Thankfully it was dry, but it was rather cold,” said Chris, who narrated the story. “A lot of people came back to the Methodist Church for coffee after the play and talked about it. “Some people went for counselling, and a lot of people took a copy of Nicky Gumbell’s booklet Why Jesus?” With a cast of almost 50, many of whom
incoln Cathedral is well known for its excellent choral tradition and worship, and its Cathedral Choir leads worship in the Cathedral most days. However, when the Cathedral choir is not in residence, the Lincoln Cathedral Consort − the cathedral’s voluntary choir − steps in. A diverse and friendly group of singers, ranging in age from 15 to over 60, the Consort sings throughout the year, including the particularly exciting times of Advent, Lent and Eastertide, and also on major days in the liturgical calendar, such as Ascension Day and Ash Wednesday. As well as their work within the Cathedral, the Consort makes regular trips to sing at churches and cathedrals around the area and the rest of Britain, most recently in Peterborough Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. It tours abroad biennially, and gives three concerts a year at churches in the Diocese of Lincoln. “We are really looking to develop these visits to diocesan churches”, said Claire Innes-Hopkins, the group’s director and Assistant Organist of the cathedral. “We want to bring the Cathedral’s musi-
If you are a soprano, alto, tenor, or bass interested in joining, or if you are interested in booking the choir for an event, please contact the choir’s director, Claire Innes-Hopkins, on (01522) 542090 or email@example.com For more information, visit: www.lincolncathedralconsort.net
cians and choral tradition to visit churches and other places in all areas of the Diocese. “We love making music and performing for others, and we’d really like to hear from any parishes who are interested in the Consort coming to give a concert in their local church for them, whether at a fundraising event or just a social one.” The Cathedral Consort is also available for weddings and other functions, and eight, ten or all the members can be booked for a modest fee. Being a member of the Lincoln Cathedral Consort is exciting, and the choir sings an incredibly varied and challenging repertoire at a very high standard across a range of engagements. “The Consort is completely free to join and sing in and we’re always on the lookout for new members,” said Claire. “It is an auditioned choir and good sightreading is a very useful skill in what we do – but not essential.” The Consort’s next services in the Cathedral are Sung Eucharists on Thursday 17 May for the Ascension, and on Thursday 7 June for Corpus Christi. Both services start at 7.30pm.
Letters to the editor, Crosslincs, The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PU firstname.lastname@example.org A name and address and telephone number must be supplied with every letter and e-mail. Letters may be edited for style and length.
Comment & letters Compromise is the essence of Anglicanism
Gratitude for history
From the Revd Martyn Taylor
From the Revd Graham Williams I would like to make two points about your piece General Synod rejects Compromise (Crosslincs 34). First, is it not true to say that compromise has previously always been a part of what it means to be an Anglican? Via Media and all that. Compromise and inclusion are a part of our life and ethos aren’t they? Or is that about to change? Secondly, I question the assertion, expressed in General Synod and the article, that proper alternative episcopal provision for traditionalists would result in ‘two classes of bishops’ and ‘undermine a woman bishop’s authority in her own diocese’. Consider for a moment Armed Service Chaplaincy and you will see that this assertion is wrong. Service Chaplains are licensed by the Archbishop of Canterbury (he is their Bishop), and they serve under his authority in various dioceses of the Church of England and beyond. Having, for example, Royal Air Force Chaplains, Chapels and establishments, under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury (through a Suffragan Bishop appointed by him as Bishop to the Forces), in this diocese, does not make for two classes of bishops, nor does it undermine the authority of the Bishop of Lincoln. The case would be the same with a Bishop given authority and jurisdiction to serve traditionalist parishes. Graham Williams Folkingham
Inclusivity in the Diocese of Lincoln From the Revd Canon Jeremy Pemberton A new group met in Lincoln in March at the Adam and Eve pub to discuss how the Church was facing the challenges of inclusion. In a society where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered inclusion is a reality in workplaces and homes and in social settings, and where the law offers protection for these minorities, we are asking “What is the Church doing?” The group talked about the invisibility of so many LGBT people in church, lay people and clergy; the silence over matters of sexuality; the fear among clergy that their livelihoods and vocations would be at risk if their sexual orientation were known to the church authorities; and of gay people inside marriages. We talked about the risks that LGBT young people face in relation to suicide – often exacerbated by what they perceive as the disapproval of their religious communities. There was great concern about the damage that the Church is doing to its mission and reputation by being seen as (and being?) one of the most backward institutions in the land, with an exceptional right in law to continue to discriminate. We wanted to talk theologically as well as practically, and find ways of thinking in this
hen the last General Election failed to produce an outright single party Government it provided an opportunity for a new politics to coalesce, parliamentarians putting the interests of the nation ahead of those of the Party. It was time for ‘grown up politics’, not juvenile posturing at the sixth form debating society where fiscal irresponsibility had been the collective mantra. It still seems to be chanted back and forth between the Government and opposition benches along with a new chorus line to convince us, the electorate, that our prime purpose, our very raison d’être is to comply at all costs with the production of wealth. It all smacks of utilitarianism in disguise – if we make lots of lolly we will all be happier; John Stuart Mill lives again in a rather less interesting George Osborne. The most recent fiscal initiative has been the recommendation to relax the trading laws for the duration of the Olympic Games. At one level this seems harmless enough for a period of only a few weeks when the nation will be on show to most of the world. But what kind of world might our economically driven politicians wish to see modelled after that? If it is more of the same then they should recall that this was exactly the kind of world the Iron Lady’s Front Bench wanted 20 years ago. What it amounted to then was the exploitation of the socially vulnerable disguised as the human liberty of individual choice. Then another coalition emerged. It was a powerful and remarkable alliance of faith groups including Church leaders and Trade Unions which kicked the proposed unrestricted trading laws into
touch. It was a step back towards sanity and an important reminder to the elected that the electorate were human beings and not simply economic resources. In his Easter Day sermon, Archbishop Rowan Williams alluded to our lunatic and destructive economic habits and he welcomed the growing view that Christianity had something important to say about a quality of life in a secular world. If it is a world that is struggling to find meaning and purpose to life beyond that of simply being happy, then we might do well to return to the core message of the Gospel and posit the question, ‘Is our purpose here on this beautiful planet no more than a 24/7 working lifestyle with the promise that more wealth will make us all happier?’ When Luke the Evangelist has Jesus consider the lilies of the field and charge his listeners to get their priorities right, he clearly didn’t think so. And nor do others of different faith expressions and cultures; the Dalai Lama puts it like this; “He [Man] sacrifices his health to make money then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. “Then he is so anxious about his future that he doesn’t enjoy the present, the result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future. And he lives as if he is never going to die. And then he dies having never really lived.” It’s a good message, and one that I think still resonates in the deepest recesses of the human spirit. There is nothing to be gained by complaining about the open-all-hours policy during the Olympics, but a watchful eye on the enthusiasts in the sixth form debating society in the aftermath has much to recommend itself.
Man lives as if he is never going to die. And then he dies having never really lived. The Comment is written by a different anonymous author each edition with the intention of provoking thought and debate, and is not necessarily the view of the Diocese of Lincoln. Letters are welcomed on any subject.
area that would help support faithful Christian discipleship. We wondered what the House of Bishops’ reviews of civil partnerships and human sexuality more generally would amount to, and hoped for a day when we could talk about other matters because people’s sexuality would no longer be a focus for controversy. The group consisted of lay people and clergy, men and women, people who identified as gay and straight, young and older, all of them very concerned to find a way to talk more openly about these things in the diocese. We were delighted to be joined by Revd Bob Callaghan, the National Coordinator for Inclusive Church, the group campaigning for inclusion for all in the Church. The meeting is planning a larger gathering later
in the year – very much in the spirit of the Listening Process of the Lambeth Conference of 1998. We will be inviting representatives of parishes and deaneries and other interested individuals to come together for a day of listening and sharing, of talking openly and honestly about these things and about the concerns they raise. Watch out for forthcoming announcements! If you would like to know more, or to get involved, please contact me on email@example.com or text or ring on 07894 906230. The website for Inclusive Church can be found at inclusive-church.org.uk Jeremy Pemberton Chaplain, Lincoln Hospital
I was grateful for Mark Hocknull’s recent article on the judgement clause of the Apostle’s Creed (Crosslincs 34). I would not so easily skip over the idea of condemnation as Mark seems to do when writing of judgement in terms of a process of final healing. I am so glad that it is true that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and that I have received a royal pardon for all my offences against a Holy God who is judge of the living and the dead. I am so glad that God’s law which is holy, righteous and good condemns my sin and leads me to seek Christ as my saviour. I am so glad that Christ gives me freedom to choose or accept his saving grace so that I can be transferred from being an object of wrath to an adopted child in His family. I praise Him for all he has done for me in rescuing me from my own rebellion against him, because I know that, left to my own devices and sin, rejecting Him either deliberately or in ignorance, I would be eternally excluded from his eternal presence and his wrath would remain on me (John 3:36). What a sinner I am and what a saviour I have! I give thanks that he has given us this ministry of reconciliation in making this wonderful rescue plan known to the world. Our God saves! I thank God that this is where the historic formularies of the Church of England root our doctrine and faith! Martin Taylor Stamford
Mixed views on tax From Mr Andy Wright I wonder if, like me, other readers see the tragic irony in a Government which claims to be committed to supporting communities and the so-called Big Society but which also makes decisions which effectively destroy the aspirations of a community as they plan to develop exciting uses for the oldest of their community buildings, their Parish Church (see page one). The removal of 0% VAT to alterations on listed buildings has already led to devastating responses by PCCs already at an advanced stage of readiness as they plan to develop their buildings for use by the community. This is an aspect of “Big Society” on which the Church has led for centuries and we must not let it be destroyed in this way. Andy Wright Lincoln From Mr Keith Beaumont I am a little concerned that the Diocese appears more interested in not paying its due in tax than supporting Lord Carey and others with the case in relation to Christian Persecution which is likely to be heard in Europe. If Christians cannot or will not pay for their churches then perhaps they need to close. English Heritage looks after dead buildings; the Church is here to be the body of Christ alive on earth, surely. Keith Beaumont Sibsey
Churches festival Savings for churches and promises variety churchgoers A Celebration of Open Churches in West Lindsey
scheme to save money on utilities has proved to offer the best deals available to churches and individu-
als. Established last year by the Diocese of Lincoln, ChurchSave has been doing exactly what its name suggests and saving PCCs hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds on their utility bills. The process is incredibly simple but often a PCC lets contracts roll forward without taking a few moments to see if savings could be made. At the beginning of 2012 the Church of England launched an initiative called Parish Buying to help provide better prices for Parishes. While the Parish Buying website has some excellent deals on stationery and photocopiers for parishes both small and large, we were keen to benchmark our own ChurchSave process against the utility savings scheme that they offered to see how we stacked up. Holy Cross Church in Boultham, Lincoln, kindly shared their findings with us for energy supplies to both the Church and Church Hall.
ches Festiva r u h l C
This clearly demonstrates a number of points. First, that relying on a renewal quote even if it shows a saving can be very costly. Secondly, it clearly shows that while the Parish Buying site can provide a good benchmark, ChurchSave can save you more. Savings, however great, need to come with a package of excellent service. Jo Saxby, from Holy Cross Boultham remarked: “ChurchSave highlighted the fact that we are entitled to some VAT comeback. “They were quick in sending forms to be completed, and have been very helpful in identifying where money can be saved. They were good at keeping us informed too.” Very often, because business tariffs are applied to Churches, they are charged VAT at the incorrect rate. The ability to reclaim a number of years’ over-payment can be another major saving, again running into hundreds of pounds for parishes. It really makes sense to see if you can ‘ChurchSave’ too. To find out more, visit: www.churchsave.org www.parishbuying.co.uk
& 12th- 1 3 t h M a y 2 0 1 2
Holy Cross, Boultham, Lincoln: Benchmarking results Supplier
% saving against current rates
£ saving against current rates
British Gas renewal quote
British Gas renewal quote
Bell Ringing • Organ Music • Kneelers • Exhibitions • Arts and Crafts • Flowers • Music
Community hosts quiet day community of nuns who recently set up home in a Lincolnshire village are hosting a quiet day in June. The Community of St Francis lives at ‘San Damiano’ – a former vicarage in Metheringham. The Sisters offer a place of hospitality and welcome day visitors, both groups and individuals, to share their life. The rhythm of life is based around a daily pattern of prayer in which guests are welcome to participate. As the Sisters seek to be more deeply rooted and to live a more balanced way of life they have incorporated some aspects of the ‘Franciscan Rule for Hermitages’ as
part of weekly routine and to enable this, the house is silent and closed to day visitors on Mondays. The quiet day on 16 June will be led by Sr Maureen CSF, with the theme of ‘You who alone are good’. It begins with coffee at 10am, and will end at 4pm. Those attending are requested to contribute £15 to the costs of the day, and should take a packed lunch. Hot drinks will be provided. Booking is essential, and should be made by calling 01526 321 115 or by sending an e-mail, with full details, to firstname.lastname@example.org
ore than 80 churches are taking part in an annual festival to celebrate the rich architecture and heritage of the region. This year’s West Lindsey Church Festival includes numerous activities, from organ trails to flower and art displays, from bellringing to big ‘brunch breakfasts’. And several of the churches are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. During the first week of the festival, Greetwell, All Saints Ingham or Reepham have Jubilee celebrations. The Olympics is also featuring in exhibitions, again at Ingham and also at North Kelsey Methodist Church, and there is a Olympic-themed flower display at Snitterby. Wedding festivals will be held at East Barkwith and Great Limber where there will also be a Songs of Praise featuring hymns from people’s weddings. But the most unusual exhibition this year must be taking place at Caistor, St Peter & St Paul where people are invited to find the vicar’s frogs. Other exhibitions include Gone Fishing at Middle Rasen, Colours of the Day at
Faldingworth and Be inspired by Angels at Fiskerton. There will be several self-nominated quiet churches, providing people with the opportunity to relax in the quiet of a beautiful spiritual building. In particular the church in the tiny hamlet of Friesthorpe is home to a plaque commemorating the lives of five brothers from one family, the Beechey family, who all died in the First World War. Finally, many churches will be serving refreshments to help nourish visitors. These vary from tea, coffee and biscuits to Ploughman lunches, bacon butties, even traditional cooked English Breakfasts. “We thank you for your support in making this one of the biggest and best churches festivals in the country,” said organiser Linda Patrick. “Not only are you supporting our church heritage, you are also supporting many of our small villages. “And this support will help ensure that the lovely community spirit that binds these rural Lincolnshire villages together stays forever.”
God in Olympic glory
A chaplain’s duties: Mary has... Found a Bible in a particular language because an athlete asked for it Been on duty in the Stadium Chapel Found Bibles for athletes from a country where they’re not easily accessible Helped team officials when one of their athletes was injured Provided pastoral support for teams when there have been natural disasters back home Located the nearest mosque for an African athlete who wanted to pray away from the event as Ramadan started during the event Supported various athletes and officials suffering from stress
The Revd Mary Vickers has extensive experience of sports chaplaincy, even at a number of Olympic Games. priest from the Diocese of Lincoln is looking forward to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics with particular interest. The Revd Mary Vickers has worked for Lincolnshire Chaplaincy Services (LCS) as the Urban and Industrial Chaplain in North East Lincolnshire since September 2012. An important part of Mary’s ministry in the six years before taking up this post was her work as a sports chaplain in various contexts, both internationally and in the UK. Having served as a chaplain at other major sporting events, Mary applied to London 2012 and has recently learned that she has been accepted as a chaplain for both the Olympics and Paralympics. “Since I first offered myself for ministry back in 1979, I’ve felt called to be with people where they are, in their everyday lives, showing and telling them that both they, and what they do, is important to God,” said Mary. Mary said that, although she enjoys many aspects of parish ministry, especially liturgy, she has, on occasion, been quoted as saying that she’s much happier being outside a church building than in it. “That’s a statement that’s open to some misunderstanding perhaps, but it summarises how important I believe it is that the Church has a presence in all aspects of life, not just the immediately obvious one,” she said. “Consequently, I felt that I was fortunate at theological college to be able to undertake chaplaincy placements and training modules alongside the parish ones, and then in my curacy was engaged in retail, civic, and hospital chaplaincies alongside perhaps more traditional curates’ roles.” For Mary, sport has been almost a lifelong interest, as either spectator or participant at different stages of her life. As time went on, she began to explore ways of bringing together her faith, her ministry, and her love of sport. “Some local opportunities arose through my coaching with ladies’ running clubs,” she said.
“It’s amazing what can be discussed when running alongside people training for half and full marathons! My first specific involvement in sports chaplaincy came a number of years later, when I was selected as a chaplain at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. “Through another part of my ministry, I was in regular contact with someone who attended the Anglican church in Athens and we’d been discussing what his church was doing for the Olympics. He suggested I apply to be a chaplain and the rest is history.” In Athens, as she will be in London, Mary was a member of the international, ecumenical, and interfaith chaplaincy team based in the Athletes’ Village. In London, there are three Athletes’ Villages – one in London itself, one in Surrey near the rowing and sprint canoeing venue, and one in the Weymouth/Portland area for the sailing events. With chaplaincy experience at the Athens Olympics, 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin, 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics, and 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Guildford, she is unfazed by the challenge. “As in the variety of workplaces I relate directly to daily in North East Lincolnshire, each of these major sporting events had their own special characteristics and styles of working, but there are obvious common themes and this will be the case with London,” said Mary. “Being present in an Athletes’ Village is to be in a tremendous place of privilege, and chaplains need to remember that at all times. “So we don’t rush around asking for autographs, taking pictures of athletes, or asking all the questions we’ve always wanted to a s k . Yes, we might be fortunate to meet people we’ve previously only seen on television,
In Berlin I stumbled into Usain Bolt’s birthday party.
and sometimes that can happen in unexpected ways. “In Berlin I stumbled into Usain Bolt’s birthday party by accident because it was being held in one of the public lounges in the hotel where I was based! “But, as with all chaplaincy, integrity and confidentiality are hugely important. If I ever mention an athlete by name the chances are that I’ve never spoken to them. Elite athletes are human beings too, with the same basic needs and concerns as the rest of us, and deserve to be treated as such. “Sadly, along with other famous people, they get used to only being spoken to if somebody wants to gain something from them, and so chaplains have to be distinct and different, treating them as the unique creation of God that they are.” Chaplaincy at major sporting events is largely but not exclusively pastoral or worship-based. At Olympic Games, chaplains are based at what is often called the ‘religious services centre’ within the Village. Here, all faiths will have a home and offer worship and hospitality according to their own tradition. Within Christianity, the different strands of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox are represented. “I’ll be involved in offering and facilitating daily worship at various times of day, in different languages, and in a range of different styles from simple devotionals to praise sessions, Bible studies to eucharists, testimony services to quiet meditational worship,” said Mary. “These will be offered proactively according to a timetable as well as in response to specific requests. “Often by the time they get to a major event, athletes have been away from home for ages at training camps, and so they appreciate the provision of regular and familiar worship.” Mary explained that athletes also appreciate the opportunity and space to talk; not just about issues connected with their sport, such a winning and losing, injuries, team selection, sharing rooms with people
they do not really know, and meeting expectations, but also about so called ‘ordinary life’ which goes on around them while they are focussing on eagerly anticipated aims. “My first pastoral contact in Athens was with a physiotherapist from one of the smaller nations of the world whose grandparent had died,” said Mary. “This was a great loss as the grandparent had brought her up. I stayed alongside while she worked out whether to go home for the funeral or not – professionals such as physiotherapists (and chaplains) work hard to be selected for major events too! “In the end, she decided to stay, and I agreed to be with her and lead some prayers at the same time as the funeral was going on back home – which took a bit of juggling given the different time zones.” As well as this year’s Olympics, Mary will also be chaplain in the same Village for the Paralympics. “Here, my experience in Vancouver will be valuable,” she said. “That was a tremendous learning experience as it was the first time I’d worked closely with elite athletes with a disability. “It was also enlightening to see the integration between the disabled athletes and the able-bodied helpers and coaches.” Chaplains at major sporting events are part of the volunteer workforce and so are self-funded. This includes travel and accommodation. “Mostly, I’ve stayed with host families from local churches but am exploring a workplace-based option this time as well,” said Mary. “Thankfully, there’s no huge airfare to pay this time, and I’m extremely grateful to LCS for allowing me some extra time away from North East Lincolnshire to serve as a chaplain. In the past, I’ve solely taken holiday or unpaid leave to cover my chaplaincy duties.” Mary is happy to talk about her experiences, and will send out regular private emails to prayer supporters. Contact email@example.com if you
The Social Network: a
As more people in the Diocese get fast web access, the new Communications Officer looks at the origins of social media and social networking.
PHOTOGRAPH: PHILIP CRAVEN
The Diocese of Lincoln using 140 characters in Twitter to promote interesting and relevant online resources.
The Genesis of Social Media n my work in the Diocese I regularly come across people who say, “I know the Internet’s important and I’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter. But I don’t really know what they’re about and why I should use them.” The Internet is undeniably important and is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. In the relatively short time it has been around it has changed big business and international diplomacy radically, but perhaps the greatest impact on everyday lives has been the rise of social media and social networking and the forum they have created for human expression and interaction. But what are social media and networking and where have they come from? It seems that YouTube, Facebook, and all the rest suddenly appeared and changed how people think and interact. However, social networking goes back a lot further. In fact, online networking is not even a twenty-first century phenomenon as many might expect, but has been around since the earliest personal computers. Online networking was first used by military and diplomatic organisations around the Western world in the 1970s, but it was in California where the seeds of a purely social network found fertile ground. The first networks were extremely simple in their aims and ambitions – they were small networks of computers with an electronic bulletin board system (known as a BBS) where people could post notes and have virtual discussions. In 1985 two innovative West-Coasters, Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant, combined projects and technologies they had developed individually to produce the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link, known as The WELL, which they claim to be ‘the birthplace of the online community movement’. The WELL
was never a Facebook or Twitter, it hadn’t got millions of users, but those it did have were extremely passionate about it. The Well started with Brand and Brilliant, counter-culturists themselves, who encouraged their friends to join, and they in turn invited their friends. Interaction soon went beyond just leaving messages on a bulletin board and it was used to set up parties and real-life meetings. Several members who had only met each other at these get-togethers eventually married (making The WELL the one of the first instances of online matchmaking!). In adopting this new technology and eschewing formal means of communication, the counterculture followers formed an identity with social networking at its nucleus − a univerally-accepted concept now. The arrival of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s and the “dot-com bubble” of the mid-1990s encouraged small businesses and individuals to get “online” and build up a web presence. This strengthened the idea that individuals could have more than just a passive part to play in the development of the Internet, and with that the first worldwide social networks started to spring up. Some of the earliest social networks were based on the idea of finding old school friends or people one had lost touch with; one of the first was Classmates.com, which launched in the United States in 1995. It quickly gained popularity and spawned a host of copycat sites in the US and around the world; in 2000 a British version, FriendsReunited.com, launched and was an immediate success. While these focussed on allowing old friends to get in touch with each other, other early social networks operated on the ‘small world principle’. We’ve all come across strangers who we have got chatting to and
realised that we have someone or several people in common. In America in the 1960s and 1970s the social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted experiments which found that most people in the States were separated by only three degrees and at maximum six, thus quantifying the ‘small world principle’. While many dispute Milgram’s conclusions, it has found a popular following, and in 1995 the social network SixDegrees.com was set up and operated on this principle: people within three degrees of separation could contact each other and send messages through the network, but one could also see all of those within six degrees. SixDegrees.com was incredibly popular and by 2000, when it was sold for $125 million, it had gained 3.5 million subscribers. It was clear even in its early years that online social networking was going to be a highly profitable venture and this can partly account for social networking’s meteoric rise. Despite its popularity, however, SixDegrees began to fade into the background as more innovative and advanced networks arrived on the scene; Andrew Weinreich, SixDegrees’ founder, blamed his network’s decline on the lack of pictures and widespread Internet access. It wasn’t until the rise of digital cameras, broadband, and more widespread web usage that the idea of the social network truly exploded. This happened a few years later and by 2002 the strands that make up social networking today, and the prerequisites Weinreich noted, culminated in the creation of Friendster. Friendster was an instant success with several million users subscribing in the first months. The difference between it and what had gone before was its scope and ambition. As well as putting old friends or near acquaintances in touch, it allowed members to meet new people who shared interests, form bonds and groups with them, create events, play online games together and,
importantly, share information and pictures. Friendster remained on top of the social networking world for all of two years before it was surpassed by MySpace and subsequently Facebook. Since Facebook’s meteoric rise from development in a dormitory at Harvard University to being used by almost 900 million people all over the world, there have been many assaults on its supremacy from niche companies and other technology giants (such as Microsoft and Google) but so far their attempts have been to no avail. Alongside the rise of “small world” social networking sites like Facebook, other services like Twitter and YouTube were created and found niche roles for themselves. Twitter was created in 2006 and was based on the idea of the short message service (SMS) or text used on mobile phones at the time. YouTube has gone from strength to strength and is a platform for uploading, sharing, and commenting on video content. More than four billion clips are viewed on YouTube every day and an hour’s worth of video is uploaded every second. It is evident that the rise of social media has been a long time in the making and wasn’t reached all in one go. Its development has been iterative, but increasingly rapid since the launch of the World Wide Web. Recent advances in portable technology such as the iPad and smartphones have made social networking accessible on the go twenty-four hours a day and its importance as a social and business tool should not be undervalued. It is impossible to say where we will be with social media in the next few years as no online company’s position is unassailable; however, we can say with the utmost confidence that social media will be as ubiquitous as ever. The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to communicating the word of God in the Diocese, and social media is undoubtedly an effective way of developing and extending our current efforts.
new dawn for mission The Choices: demystified ith so many social media and social networking sites available online, it can be quite difficult knowing which to use and for what purpose.
Facebook Facebook is one of the fastest growing social networks with almost half a billion people using it every day − it’s a very good place to start. Once you’ve signed up you can start filling in details on your ‘Profile’ which includes everything from your favourite quotations to which schools you went to. You can put as much or as little information on as you like, and you can make it so your information is private and only available to people you have ‘added’ as ‘friends’. Friends can be added by using an easy search tool or Facebook can scan your e-mail contacts to find out who else uses it. Once you’ve found the people you want to add it’s a simple click of a button to send a ‘Friend Request’. They are then notified and can choose to accept the request or not. People use Facebook in many different ways: some are on it all the time and put every (often insignificant) detail of their lives on it, while others take a more measured and useful approach, putting important information and photos on it and using it to aid communication with their close friends and family the world over. If you have a digital camera and have photos and videos on your PC you can upload them to Facebook and ‘tag’ your Friends in them so that they can see the photos and attach comments to them. This is particularly useful after weddings and family celebrations when you can see photos immediately, rather than the next time you see, for example, your second cousin at a family reunion. Another very useful aspect of Facebook is ‘Pages’ or ‘Groups’. In this you can create a group or page and invite people to subscribe to it. The Diocese of Lincoln has a page on which we publish news from across the
Diocese and the wider Church of England, our daily prayer focus, links to the diocesan e-bulletins and online Crosslincs, interesting videos or articles we come across, and useful websites among other things. The Facebook page is one of the most easily updateable resources that the Diocese has at its disposal, and details of grants, news, and other pressing information often goes up there first. Visit www.facebook.com/dioceselincoln Twitter Twitter is an increasingly popular online tool, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. I have heard several people say that they just “don’t get Twitter” and that they don’t see why 140 characters’ worth of what they have to say is worth saying; however, that is the beauty of Twitter − if you can’t say it or link to in 140 characters, is it really worth saying? The true value in Twitter is not, for me, in telling the world what you’re doing at any particular moment, but is in telling people what you’re thinking on a particular matter or issue. Twitter is very simple to use. You sign up and you are then presented with a blank white box in which you can then ‘Tweet’ your thoughts. These will then be sent out to all your ‘Followers’ − people who have chosen to add your tweets to what they see - or they can also be added to a conversation using ‘hashtags’, otherwise known as the ‘#’ symbol prefixing a word or phrase. Hashtags are what really drive Twitter as a social media tool. In your 140 characters you can have your say, link to a page or article, and then add it to a new or ongoing discussion using the hashtag to add it to or create a category. For example, during the London riots, there were categories set up to help with the clean up and to help vulnerable people. All it took was for one person to write a message
and include ‘#londoncleanup’ and ‘#riotcleanup’ and the categories were created. Others then used the same hashtags and the action followed. The ‘@’ symbol is also very important. It is put in front of everyone’s username and means that messages can be directed to a particular person. For example, tweets that you want the Diocese to read would include the text ‘@CofELincoln’. It is rare for people to read every article in a newspaper or magazine, rather, we look at headlines and columns by journalists we are interested in. This is another very strong plus point of Twitter: one doesn’t need to ‘flick’ though, as you will only be told about things or people you’re interested in. If Twitter were a physical magazine or newspaper, it would be one concise bespoke publication, perfectly tailored for you containing articles by all your favourite journalists from all your favourite magazines and papers. Users can follow any particular person, group or discussion by searching for them and ‘Following’ them. Users are identified with the ‘@’ symbol and discussions with the ‘#’ symbol. After you’ve found someone or an issue you’re interested in you click the ‘Follow’ button. After that, all the tweets relating to that particular issue or by that person will show up on your Twitter homepage. Tweets show up on your homepage in chronological order, which makes Twitter a great place for following discussions and live news. All of the important action and discussion that took place at General Synod this year was tweeted by members, including the Diocese of Lincoln’s Rachel Beck (@rachelb105), which made the debates easy to follow as they were happening. The Diocese of Lincoln uses Twitter regularly to post links to important news and updates, as well as to take part in national and international discussions on many issues such as debates at General Synod (#synod) and the VAT on listed buildings (#heritagetax).
YouTube and Flickr YouTube and Flickr are very useful resources for uploading content to the web. On YouTube, once you have created a username and password, you can upload video. You can choose to make this viewable by the ‘Public’ or you can make it ‘Private’, so only those you choose to let see it, by sending a link, can. The Diocese recognises that video is an increasingly viable means of communication with people in the Diocese, and it allows us to show the faces and people behind the email address or phone number. Important events, such as the Bishop’s enthronement and his first presidential address to diocesan synod, are filmed and can be made public so that everyone can see and understand what is going on. Flickr is a good tool for uploading highquality photos, and its links to Facebook mean that one can post images to Facebook; but while Facebook used to only upload low quality versions of images, it has recently updated to allow good quality images on the site and Flickr’s days may be numbered. It is difficult to know which social media services to use, but they should always be there to complement your activities and interests, not to take over your life. Different people get on with them in different ways and it will take a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you, but I would recommend everyone gives it a try; the online world is a big one, full of interesting and wonderful things − you just need to give it a go and social media will help you find what it is that interests you.
The Diocese of Lincoln’s top five social media services
What is it?
What is it?
What is it?
What is it?
What is it?
Short/Status message service
Professional Social Network
What’s it for?
What’s it for?
What’s it for?
What’s it for?
What’s it for?
Staying in touch with friends Sharing photos and videos Sharing links to websites Creating groups about interests Organising events Playing online games with friends
Getting news and updates about things and people you’re interested in Comment on events and take part in discussions Sharing websites, pictures, videos
Uploading videos Sharing videos Commenting on videos
Uploading high-quality photos Sharing photos Commenting on photos
Maintaining business profile Building business network Search for jobs/recruits Take part in discussions on professional issues and development
What do I need to use it?
What do I need to use it?
What do I need to use it?
What do I need to use it?
What do I need to use it?
Just an email address and a short sign up form. Then you can begin adding friends and photos!
Just an email address, username, and password
Absolutely nothing if you just want to watch videos and share them to Facebook or Twitter. If you want to upload your own videos then you need to create a ‘Google Account’
A Yahoo Account or you can sign in using your Facebook or Google Accounts
For basic access just an email address, username, and password or you can sign in using your Facebook account. For premium access you need to pay a monthly subscription.
Calling for ministry
Fears of declining numbers and the increasing expense of stipendiary clergy has led an action group to rally support for change.
PHOTOGRAPH: WILL HARRISON
Howard Carr and Jenny Seddon have long campaigned for a long-term commitment to professional clergy in their large rural group of parishes. n the picturesque gently-rolling hills of the southern Lincolnshire vales lie communities which epitomise the picturepostcard idyll of village life. With large greens, beautiful churches and charming cottages, they represent the best of genteel England − quiet backwaters uninterrupted by the vagaries of policy or the machinations of corporations. Yet since 1995, a group of local people has felt compelled to battle against a tide of declining clergy numbers in the Diocese of Lincoln, to safeguard stipendiary ministry in their group of parishes. “Back in 1995, the Church Commissioners warned that they would not be able to maintain their share of the funding of stipendiary priests,” said Jenny Seddon, Chair of the South Lafford Ecumenical Association for Christian Ministry. A registered charity, SLEACM began raising money and interest to help secure stipendiary ministry in the 15 parishes of the South Lafford group, which includes Folkingham, Threekingham and Osbournby. Their recent report, entitled Priest in Parish, has raised greater concerns about the general decline of stipendiary ministry in the Diocese of Lincoln. The report states that SLEACM has been “surprised by the intensity and level of often antagonistic feeling there is within the South Lafford Group towards the Diocese of Lincoln” and Jenny said that since its publication, the charity had received a wave of support from around the Diocese. “We had a large response to it,” said Jenny, “from a cross section of the community.” The expansion of parish groups upon the retirement or resignation of parish priests, say SLEACM, is both a symptom of, and a catalyst for decline.
“Priest in Parish contested the statements that the Diocese didn’t have any money for more stipendiary clergy,” said Howard Carr, a trustee of SLEACM. “We found that, far from being poor, the net worth of the Diocese has grown steadily, and it must be remembered that the wealth has derived from people who have donated it.” The charity researched the financial statements of the Diocese to quantify the claims that stipendiary ministry was increasingly less affordable. As a result, SLEACM contends that a disproportionate amount of money is spent on central services, particularly in recent years, rather than parochial ministry, where they believe the need is greatest. “People pay their Share and they expect something back. If we didn’t have a priest, I don’t see people being keen to give to the Diocese,” said Howard. He said that SLEACM is calling for three things. “First, we’re calling for real leadership in the Diocese of Lincoln,” he said. “Our big contention is that if there is leadership saying that we have got no money and can’t attract in priests, that will be a selffulfilling prophecy. “The second is for a fundamental change in attitude, particularly with respect to central costs. “And we also want to find out more about the training, recruitment and retention of priests. The Diocese should be retaining priests it trains.” To support the work of the parish priest of the South Lafford group, the Revd Charles Robertson, SLEACM recruited and funds a ministry assistant for three days a week. “This was an important step for us to
take,” said Jenny. “The Ministry Assistant is able to get to know families, visit the playgroups, and she is a trained nursery teacher, so she has an excellent relationship with young people and their families. “It means that the parish priest can get on with his job. “SLEACM thought that we should be using our money for something like this, and it is proving very successful.” It is now turning its attention to ways and means of advocating a commitment to and continuing support of the stipendiary ministry by the Diocese of Lincoln, particularly by meeting with senior clergy, and by distributing widely the report Priest in Parish and via its website www.sleacm.co.uk. One of the first projects the Bishop of Lincoln instigated on his arrival in the Diocese was a review of services provided to the Diocese from the centre − the Diocesan offices, the archdeacons and the Bishops, coupled with plans for a collective project to deepen faith and discipleship. The terms of reference for the Central Services Review include the investigation as to whether or not more of the historic assets of the Diocese should be released to fund more clergy. The review group is expected to report back to the Bishop with recommendations at the end of May, having met with representatives from parishes, Diocesan staff and the senior clergy. “Obviously, we await the outcomes of the review with great interest,” said Howard. SLEACM has denied that it is seeking a long-lost model of ministry, with a priest in every parish. “We’ve been asked by people if we want to go back to the old days,” said Jenny.
“We strongly refute that. We’re just trying to make sure that in every parish there is someone to care for the people. “Lay ministry is very welcome, but there are things which only a priest can do, and we’re worried that the Eucharistic ministry, for instance, is decreasing.” Jenny and Howard agreed that for them, the issue was not simply local, but across the whole Church of England. “We believe that the Diocese of Lincoln could be a model, and we could be the Diocese that has got it right,” said Jenny. “It has the opportunity to be a model for the rest of the Church. “We’re full of hope, and actually, there seems generally to be a lack of hope in the Diocese. “People feel a mix of sadness and anger about what’s happening in the Church generally. “We’re working with, rather than against, the Diocese.” The Chief Executive of the Diocese, Max Manin, said: “Although some of the conclusions of SLEACM’s work are based on erroneous comparisons and analysis, I do have some sympathy for parts of their argument. “For example, we have been exploring a Total Return approach to our investment income and capital growth for some time but put this on hold during a period in which the Diocese’s income was reduced by more than half a million pounds, because of the economic crisis. “Total Return could enable us to use as revenue any capital growth over and above inflation, plus a prudent margin. “The current Central Services Review will bring an external perspective to how we do things and what we do, and we’re looking forward to hearing its conclusions.”
Balancing act Ellen Wakeham
The Assistant Curate of St Lawrence’s church, Frodingham, on balancing her priestly vocation with recreation.
ome people say to me, “But you only work on Sundays!” Others assume the opposite: “Your job is 24/7; you can never switch off.” As a recently ordained priest, finding the balance between these two extremes has been a challenge! I try to emulate a Benedictine Rule of Life, which strives for a balance of work (which includes prayer), study, rest and recreation, although managing this needs a fair amount of discipline. Some complexities of the priestly life are easily observed, and are shared with others in public ministry (churchwardens, lay ministers, musicians and vergers, for example). We frequently work in the evenings, while also needing to observe regular office h o u r s . We are in church at 7.30am preparing for the 8 o’clock service on a Sunday, when most people are still asleep. This has an effect on how much partying one can manage on a Saturday night! There are, however, some challenges in maintaining a balanced life which are particular to the priesthood. The subtle difference between being a priest and doing the work of a priest can
become blurred, so that it’s tempting to think I ought to be fully available and working, day and night. This is a sure route to breakdown and disaster! Like everyone else, priests need time off for rest and refreshment, family, friends and household tasks. We especially need time to recharge after a day or week filled with people and their needs. There is received wisdom about how to manage one’s time. “Have the same day off every week, and make sure you keep it.” “Only work two out of three sessions in a day.” I am quite good at taking Friday as my day off, but working only two out of three sessions (morning, afternoon, and evening), is rarely achieved. It’s not often possible to take some time off in the afternoon if I have an evening meeting. I have found that what works for me is to work longer hours between Sunday and Thursday, then take Saturday off as well when I can. My colleagues with children tend to manage things differently: they may ‘down tools’ in the afternoon, so that they can do school collections, tea and bedtime, and then resume at 7.30pm for evening engagements. For me, it’s more important that every few weeks I’m able to spend two nights away, so that I can travel to see family and friends without becoming exhausted. One of my curate colleagues points out that the difficulty of finding a work-life balance is that what looks like ‘life’ to other people is in fact ‘work’ to us. When we are ordained we become public ministers of
the gospel. The clerical collar is an outward sign of our priesthood, and means that whenever we are out and about, we are ‘on call.’ This is a tremendous privilege. Strangers stop us in the street and ask us to pray with them. When we shop in the local supermarket, people we meet talk to us about how things have been since the wedding, funeral, redundancy or newest grandchild. Children from the primary school where we take assemblies want to know why we are buying so much beer, ice cream or loo roll. It is hugely important that we are open to these encounters, but sometimes we also need some space to preserve our sanity! I’ve had to learn that sometimes I must choose how available I will be. I can either consider my weekly shopping trip as an opportunity for pastoral encounter and wear my clerical collar, or I can go shopping (collarless) in the next town, where no-one will recognise me. Like many clergy, I now work from home. This has great advantages but it can be difficult to draw the line between where work begins and ends. Setting good boundaries becomes vital. I have separate ‘home’ and ‘work’ email addresses, and am disciplined about how often I check them. I keep my mobile number private except for family, friends, and those who may have a pastoral emergency. I try to keep my work-related paraphernalia inside my study, so that at the end of a long day I can close the door and walk away from it. Otherwise, if I go near my desk, I’ll be reminded that I have left undone those things which I ought to have done (which I
actually don’t need to think about until tomorrow). Setting boundaries to regulate my own life is one thing, but just as important are those which help me deal with the outside world. Clergy are not always very good at setting boundaries, nor are the people around us at keeping them! If I make a habit of answering the phone during mealtimes, my family or friends, with whom I am trying to spend some time, will flinch every time it rings. The parishioner who arrives on the doorstep at 9.30pm on a Friday night with some paperwork to sign is asked politely to please call ahead in future! I have come to dread the call which begins, “I know it’s your day off, but ...” On the other hand, my new life brings with it many advantages. I manage my own diary, which means that when something personal crops up on a ‘work’ day, I can usually do it. My fellow clergy with young families are often able to attend their children’s school plays and other events during the day. This life brings with it a freedom and flexibility which can only be dreamed of by my friends in other walks of life. Stipendiary clergy often struggle to justify taking time off when they minister with lay people and self-supporting clergy, who give many hours voluntarily despite jobs, family commitments and other responsibilities. However, we all need at least one day a week when we are not dealing with church matters. Modern life places high demands on people in all walks of life, and I think that clergy and lay people could do more to
Second year curates earn time to relax with a biscuit or two after a morning's training. (Left to right): Gill Barrow (Gainsborough), Peter Lister (Bourne), Jon Wright (Horncastle) and David Oxtoby (Stamford).
The joy of gardening Terry Miller
LCS Environmental Chaplain
A garden provides an opportunity to connect with God − and to keep fit.
pring is an urgent time for the gardener. There is the pleasure of seeing plants growing and flowering but there is also that sense of panic – there is suddenly so much to do! I have just taken on a new allotment and I am already hopelessly behind. This is a common consequence of the explosive life we see in the natural world, and in temperate parts like the UK it is mostly packed into clear seasonal variations. Around the Arctic Circle, of course, the growing time is even shorter and consequently more dramatic still, and in the tropics there is more of a steady state depending usually on rains and hot and cool weather. Climate, seasons, and weather – these are things of great interest to the gardener and naturalist and all who take their recreation by working with nature. Insect, bird and animal-life are also part of the pleasure of being close to nature, as we see how they fit together in the natural economy. This year there has been an early army of ladybirds which we hope bodes well for keeping the balance in the struggle with aphids. In addition we should not forget the microscopic life in the soil, with millions of life forms to a square metre, and upon which the soil fertility depends. When I moved into my present home, the front and back gardens were arranged for easy maintenance: more than 400 slabs in the back and gravel in the front, with some
well-spaced mature perennials. I set about developing the front into a cottage garden that would be a riot of plants, and in the back removing some slabs to allow space for more variety. I was particularly concerned to enrich the diversity of life at the base of the food chain and was lucky to have some logs from the felling of a dead birch tree. These became log piles out of sight behind bushes, and the piles have recently been renewed with fresh logs. The birds, especially, now have places to forage for food. I look around the streets where I live and see so many gardens disappearing to become car parking, given over to hard stands, plants and trees ripped out, and then again, ever so often, a garden still survives, bursting with life and colour. A garden is a pleasure and a joy, often hard work, but always a healthy green gym. Modern life constantly pulls us away from nature, from closeness to our organic life, and severing that relatedness. Food comes from supermarkets, animals are in
zoos or the far away ‘wilderness’, of which there is precious little left. When I was a student in London, being a country boy I was desperate to reconnect with green things, and quickly sought out the parks of which London is well-endowed, acting like the lungs of the city. It is no coincidence that the garden figures so much in Genesis, which is of course given the name Eden. The peoples of the ancient Middle East loved their gardens, and it was a sign of wealth and civilization − something that the king would have to walk in. It is an honour and a sacred duty still to have a garden, to tend it, and thereby have a little bit of Eden. You quickly recognise that you don’t own the garden, but it owns you, and that the natural world always runs away from us, and is out of control − and so it should be. As Gerard Manley Hopkins said in his poem ‘God’s Grandeur’: “And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest, freshness, deep down things...” - things which are beyond our understanding.
It is an honour and a sacred duty still to have a garden, to tend it, and thereby have a little bit of Eden.
Care for heritage he Diocese of Lincoln is deeply committed to the conservation of its historic churches, and supporting the congregations and communities who care for them. As such, the Diocese of Lincoln and English Heritage have appointed a new Historic Churches Support Officer, following the departure in March of Matt Cooper, who will continue visiting our many historic churches and advising on maintenance, funding grants, development, and conservation matters. Becky Burrows (pictured), who comes to the Diocese from English Heritage, was appointed as Historic Churches Support Officer and started work at the
end of March. Becky’s interest in heritage and history stems from her childhood when she was very interested in Robin Hood and medieval tales. This interest grew and eventually took her to Royal Holloway where she was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in History. After university Becky volunteered full-time at the National Trust’s The King’s Head, Aylesbury and then worked in a part-time role at the East Midlands office of English Heritage (EH), where she dealt with building consents, planning permission, and faculties relating to listed buildings. While at EH Becky also became involved in assessments of repair grants for places of worship,
which stoked her interest in historic churches: “I was amazed by the support and dedication of a largely volunteer community that looked after the greatest proportion of grade one listed buildings in the country,” said Becky. She also gained an MSc in Historic Conservation from Oxford Brookes, focussing on historic church architecture and development in her first year. “I am really looking forward to working with churches all around the Diocese,” said Becky, “and I hope that my work will help identify those churches at risk of a loss of significant historic fabric, and that I can work with and support the communities who tirelessly look after them.”
100 years ago From the Lincoln Diocesan Magazine, April, May and June 1912
The Titanic Disaster Preaching at St Martin’s church, Lincoln on Sunday evening April 21st, the Lord Bishop of Lincoln made the following reference to the Titanic disaster: Before I proceed to speak to you the words I had prepared from today’s Gospel, I make no apology for referring to the awful disaster that has plunged England and America into mourning and has engaged the sympathy of the world. A magnificent vessel, the pride of her builders, equipped with every luxurious contrivance and furnished on a scale of prodigal splendour that has never yet been attempted in the sea, has suddenly been wrecked on her maiden voyage bringing more than a thousand precious lives to an untimely end. The Lust of Speed Our grief is not lessened but intensified by the reflection that this appalling accident might easily (so it seems) have been prevented. For it is a matter of common knowledge that the larger the ship the more difficult it must needs be to handle, and the greater number of lives involved in one risk. It would have been obviously wise, therefore, with such a ship contain-
ing so precious a freight of lives, to exercise more than usual caution. But the Titanic was travelling at a high speed and amid known peril of icebergs. To have steamed slower or to have taken a southerly course (as all the steamers are doing since) would have involved some delay and delay means loss of glory to the ship and expenditure of coal and of time. The vessel was the pride of millionaires and the common fault of wealth is to be impatient. But a record voyage were ill purchased by the danger of wholesale destruction. Boats Ridiculously Insufficient Then obviously the supply of boats was ridiculously insufficient for so large a complement. Why were there no more? The Board of Trade has been arguing and haggling with the great shipping companies for months and months over this matter. Why has not the point been conceded long ago? Of course, precautions like this are expensive and inconvenient. But that is not really to the point: capital is instinctively jealous of such interference. We are reminded of the necessity of factory inspections and the compulsory fencing of machinery in works. If such care is taken to prevent loss of life on land, still more
RMS Titanic foundered on 15 April 1912.
should it be taken on the sea? ‘God Help us to Learn Humility’ Life is more precious than money. Nay, life is the true wealth of the nation. Man as he lives and moves in this strange planet is in continual peril from the mighty forces of nature and nature is relentless. But the disaster that has now overtaken us is not like the disaster of tempest, or fire, or earthquake. Such cannot easily (if ever) be foreseen and when they come they overwhelm us with their might. But this calamity could have been avoided. God help us to learn a humility, a modesty, a wholesome fear that may prevent another such disaster. Story of Heroism I do not want to dwell on the terrible story of the wreck and last hours and moments of the sinking vessel. It dulls our feelings to look too closely upon the sufferings of our fellow creatures – unless we are able to do something to help them. But we are thankful: yes and proud to find that the best traditions of the sea were maintained in that awful crisis. There was no panic, no disorder, no selfish struggle for life. The women and children, those who least could help themselves, were quickly and gently handed first into the boats and were saved by the help of a quiet sea and a starlit night. It is tragic, but beautiful, to read that many wives refused to leave their husbands and could not be torn away preferring to die in their arms. A hundred deeds of quiet heroism, of devotion to duty, of love to others in the face of death, must have been done in those terrible moments and are known to God alone. ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ We cannot forget how the band played ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ until they sank; how the young men who manned a frail collapsible boat, and escaped, first said ‘Our Father’ all together; how so many of those dying instinctively cried out to God for mercy and salvation. God bless them and hear their prayers! God sustain and comfort the bereaved widows! God give us grace and wisdom to live always as in God’s sight, so that no call may find us unready.
The Bishop on the Coal Strike There is one overpowering trouble which hangs over us as a nation, which brings fear to every home, and has followed us into the House of God. We are in the midst of a labour war, and are beginning to feel its pinch. What does the coast strike mean? The workers (so it seems to me) have become impatient of the slow pace of parliamentary action. They had hoped much from the power of Labour representation. But they (rightly or wrongly) have felt disappointed because the condition of the people in question seems to bulk so small in the minds of statesmen. Parliament, they fear, is too much in the hands of capital and wealth. For the first time in human history the manual workers in one fundamental industry throughout a whole nation, engaged in an obscure, unattractive and perilous form of labour, have united in refusing to work until the conditions of their labour are made what they deem to be fair.
Barton-on-Humber Mr. H. M. Coopland, of Barton, butcher, lately deceased, has by his will left certain personal estate to be invested, the income to belong to his daughter during her life, and at her death to be paid to the Vicar of Barton for ever, towards the stipend of an assistant curate for the parish. The amount is expected to be about £200.
Brattleby After twenty-four years’ splendid work Miss Coddington has resigned, and Miss Wing, after much careful and painstaking work, has also left. A testimonial to Miss Coddington was eagerly subscribed to, the amount raised being £11 5s. 9d., the number of subscribers being 86. A cheque was sent to Miss Coddington.
Taking time Heather Tomlinson
It seems that keeping God’s commandments becomes more and more challenging − particularly the commandment to keep the Sabbath.
re there many things more wonderful than being given a day off each week, in which we are told to put our feet up and relax? I can’t think of many, but despite having this gift in the Sabbath, strangely, I find it is a difficult thing to do. Never mind the working time directives from European legislation; God told us long ago that we need to take a break: “Have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God,” says Exodus 20:9-10. Of all the commandments, it would seem that this could be the easiest one. Go to church, put your feet up, have a pray, and relax. What a gift! Yet in our busy and adrenaline-fuelled culture it turns out to be one of the most difficult commandments to keep. Often it is
totally ignored, with many committed Christians working and shopping on Sunday. It’s no longer the norm, but I’ve been trying to keep to the Sabbath for several years. I don’t do any employed work or unavoidable housework on Sunday. It’s not because I’m particularly devout. I’m a recovering workaholic, and the discipline of not working for one day is good for me. And after all, if it’s in the Ten Commandments, it’s probably pretty important. Apart from the occasional lapse, generally I have managed to avoid any study, employed work or housework on a Sunday for a few years now. Still, ‘work’ creeps in. Rather than a day of rest, Sunday becomes a day of activity. I decide that I really need some ice-cream and that justifies going to the shops. I start thinking about new projects and new articles that I can write (though I don’t actually write any, because that would be work). I start emailing, writing to and phoning my friends. I practice the violin, I go and play tennis, and I go and make the social calls I’ve not had the time to do all week. I start reading a book that I’m interested in (though actually it has some really good points for the next piece I’m writing, so I’ll note them down, thank you). Before you know it, it’s 8pm on Sunday evening and I’ve barely stopped. Of course some kinds of work can be easily justified. When I was working in the NHS I also worked on Sundays, justifying this with Jesus’ words; ‘the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.’ But if I was totally honest, the decision was more to do with the extra pay I got on that day than it was the opportunity to be helpful to others. For some people, nurses and doctors for example, there is little choice but to be available for work over the weekend. Jesus’ statement seems to make it clear that this is OK. If my Sundays were spent caring for others, listening to problems and helping those in trouble, I guess I’d feel happy with my Sabbath activity. Yet sadly, they are not. But God’s word clarifies things. In the wonderful Isaiah 58, which speaks so strongly of practical love in action being an act of worship, we’re told to keep the Sabbath day holy. “Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath, and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day… and
don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.” Well my poor attempts at rest on a Sunday are shown up for what they are, here. It’s not just that I shouldn’t work – but that I should not just please myself on that day, and instead focus on God. So why do I find it so difficult to just rest and relax on the Sabbath, taking time to rest in God’s presence and his love? I know I should, yet I don’t. I know God asks me to do it, but I don’t. Somehow the command to do nothing becomes the most difficult command of all. Perhaps it is something to do with failing to understand why God gives us this time of rest. It is not another rule that God dictates in order to trip us up when we get it wrong. If the Bible says, “God gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127:2) then giving rest is all about God loving me and caring for me. In fact Jesus tells us, “the Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). Somehow by busying myself with activity on a Sunday, I’m forgetting that time spent fully relaxing, with God and in his presence, is what will keep me going for the rest of the
week. It’s not an obligation, but something that I’m designed to do, and something that is meant for my well-being. It can be something as natural as breathing, eating and sleeping. When I do take the time to stop, rest, and listen to God, it gives me a wonderful sense of peace and fulfilment that cannot be matched by anything else. It provides a sure knowledge of God’s love that cannot be replaced. Somehow all the busyness of our daily lives crowds it out; and yet it’s the most desirable thing of all. Free, available, and precious. It is the pearl of great price – the love of our Creator. Silent retreats are having a bit of a renaissance, following the BBC TV series ‘The Big Silence’ a few years ago. There are waiting lists in some retreat houses and people are flocking to their halls, whether Christian or not. Perhaps this is because people are seeking something of the Sabbath in their lives. We’re so busy with 24-hour entertainment, work, family and church commitments, internet, iPhones, holidays and leisure activities, that we’ve become desperate for the chance to just stop and listen in silence, and rest. But it’s an invitation we’re given every Sunday. Will we accept it?
Wednesday’s child Tim Ellis
Sheffield Wednesday The club was founded on 4 September 1867 by members of the Wednesday Cricket Club. It is the fifth oldest professional football club in England. The club won its first match on 31 December 1867 against Dronfield 1-0. Became professional in April 1887 after 20 years as an amateur club. The first wages were 5 shillings (25p) for home games and 7 shillings 6 pennies (37½p) for away games. The founders of Wednesday Cricket Club were local craftsmen whose weekly half day off was Wednesday.
The Bishop of Grantham muses on the highs and lows of following a beloved football team.
“The Owls” are located in an area of Sheffield, which is still known as Owlerton. The club motto is Consilio et Animis − By Wisdom and Courage.
ill Shankley, the Scottish football player and manager once famously said that “Football isn’t a matter of life or death, it’s much more important than that!” “What you have to realise,” said my good friend, himself a supporter of Blackpool Town (the Seasiders), “is that football is 95 percent disappointment and only five percent joy.” I’d never really looked at it that way, but he was right, for even fans of the mighty Manchester United experience more misery than happiness, whether it be in the League, the FA Cup or the European competitions. “Why then,” I can hear my frustrated readers ask, “do you do it to yourself? Why follow a football team for entertainment, when you know it is going to add grey hairs to your head and worry lines to your face?” I’ll try and explain, but with no certainty that you will understand any better when I have. Recently, when clearing out some of my family’s effects from our parent’s home, I came across an old chocolate box full of birthday and anniversary cards, letters from long-gone relatives and other ephemera from a long life. Among all this was a short note written on lined paper from an ancient memo book. It was a message from me, via my father, to my mother who had just given birth to my younger
brother. I was nine years old and, at the side of a coloured drawing of a footballer in blue and white strip, there was written, in childish script: “congratulations on the new baby’s birth, I hope he’s a Wednesdayite!” Fresh from the womb, I was still expecting my new sibling to share my passion for Sheffield Wednesday: the Owls. And even at the age of 48, he does! And there’s the first thing: for those of us who are addicted to ‘the beautiful game’, it is usually a family affair, a love inherited from generation to generation. In my case, going back to my great-grandfather and now passed on to my own grandson, who is three years old and has his own season ticket and replica strip. Following my team is in the genes, and I could no more follow a different team than I could my family. It’s in the DNA, and when I walk down to the ground I am conscious that the people of my hometown, including my own forebears, have walked with us for generations with the same hopes and fears in their hearts. Misery isn’t all there is though for, more frequently than one would think, we are treated to displays of human athleticism of quite breathtaking quality. The hours of solid slugging away on the pitch are worth it for those moments of balletic exhilaration when we witness human physical endeavour at its finest.
And then there’s the crowd humour: the time when some wag behind me with a trumpet imitated the siren of an ambulance when the stretcher-bearing St John’s Ambulance Brigade ran on to tend a stricken player. Or the moment when, during a half-time kick around, our striker missed the goal and his errant ball rocketed into the crowd, knocking a cellphone several rows out of the hand of a spectator just in front of me. “Blimey,” said the man behind, “I knew they were mobile phones, but I didn’t think they were that mobile!” And then, there’s what I call the ‘soap opera’ effect: just like you can’t miss an episode of Coronation Street or EastEnders because you need to know what happens next, so the fan cannot miss the next football match: it could mean promotion or victory over a local rival. Whatever happens, it’s not to be missed. And, of course, there’s always that local rival: in the case of my team it’s the Blades: Sheffield United, and any defeat by them means deep depression while victory brings unalloyed joy and the bragging rights in the pub that night − important for me, because most of my mates are Blades. In a way, I don’t want to bring religion into what is often a pleasant diversion from it, but there are touching points: just like the Church, following a club brings with it a
sense of community and shared aspirations and common concerns, and those moments when the ball goes in the back of the net bring a concentration on the moment which is akin to prayer. However, I don’t want to push it too far for football is, quite simply, an all-consuming preoccupation which inhabits every waking moment: the rush to read the sports pages in the morning: the way one’s family can tell if the team have won or lost because of the mood you are in: the sinking feeling when an important family member announces they are getting married on match day. Which one do I go to? Then there’s the way in which your life is punctuated, not by rites of passage, but by what your team was doing: “1966, ah! that’s the year we got to the FA cup final!” So there you have it. Are you any wiser about this curious addiction we have called Soccer? No, of course not, and why should you be? How can anyone understand the perverse pleasure of a pursuit which is 95 percent disappointment? But for those who do comprehend the arcane magic of sitting on a draughty terrace on a cold January night watching your team put four past the city rivals, there is no substitute and football is the greatest happiness. That’s why the sticker on the back of my car says: ‘Wednesday ‘til I die’. Up the Owls!
Volunteering boom: too good to last? Philip Craven
nterest in volunteering has been on the rise since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. As many unemployed seek to use their spare time productively to volunteer and gain new skills, the demand for short-term volunteering opportunities has risen and longer term volunteering has taken a hit. This increase in interest has initially been a great boon to the charitable sector, however, it has also meant that new demands are being placed on charities by the influx of new recruits. Many of the new recruits are looking for professional volunteer structures, training, and rewards for their hard work. One example of this is Orange RockCorps, a scheme which puts on rock concerts to which tickets cannot be bought, but must be earned by working for four hours in the community. While in itself not a bad thing, the RockCorps structure is indicative of a less charitable future, where few people do anything for free and the true understanding and nobility of volunteering is lost. Organisations that use volunteers are also facing pressure from those in work. As people are having to work harder and free time becomes more scarce, it is expected that volunteering should be fun and sociable − fulfilling the idea of ‘leisure time’. Because of this, many organisations are competing for volunteers on the basis of recruitment programmes designed to be fun and sociable, while also costing them for training and improving volunteers’ skills. Sadly, often the most they can hope for is a short-term boost, rather than the longterm commitment they used to enjoy. It is easy to see why people would want their time to be used to benefit their own career development or social activities, but isn’t part of volunteering the idea of giving up your time for the good of others? Have the days of being satisfied by seeing the fruits of your labour helping others gone? Thankfully not. It seems that amid the short-term boom of fly-by-night volunteers there are still those who do it for the simple reward of helping others. Jade Cummings, a first year drama and education student and Bishop Grosseteste University College volunteers regularly.
PHOTOGRAPH: PHILIP CRAVEN
With the current levels of unemployment, and the Government’s ‘Big Society’ agenda there are record numbers of people offering themselves for volunteering; but is this good for the voluntary sector or is it a short-term boom they could come to regret?
Jade Cummings, a volunteer with JUMP Jade grew up in Stamford and was surrounded by people who volunteered. It was this, as well as being head chorister at All Saints’ Church, that encouraged her to use some of her free time to volunteer in a youth group. As head chorister she learned to lead by example and use her talents and skills to benefit others. Since moving to Lincoln last year, Jade has volunteered with JUMP, acting as a mentor on weekends and trips for children in care or who have been adopted. Jade recently took part in an art-focussed weekend with JUMP at the Freiston Centre. The main aim of the weekend was to create a mosaic, which featured an owl and a branch, but there was also the opportunity for the children to paint bookmarks, bags, and sketch among many other art activities. The mosaic is now on display on the exterior of the Freiston Centre. For Jade, the reward of her work was not concert tickets or a new social group, but the children’s reaction to the activities: “Just to see the delight in their faces as they were getting to make things and drawing is just so nice to see,” professed Jade. “At the beginning some of the kids just came in and stood there and wouldn’t say a word, but by the end of the weekend they’d really opened up and were even talking about what goes on in their home life, which can be very tough for them to do. “To start with I saw JUMP as a good opportunity to help others realise what they could do − I hadn’t realised it would have such an impact on me,” said Jade. Jade found that having someone a little older to look up to helped: “Many of them hadn’t heard of university and they can be just so down on themselves. Talking to someone who’s got to that place, to university or wherever, just seems to help.”
Jade is hoping to do a PGCE course after she has completed her degree. She agreed that her experience with JUMP and other voluntary organisations would probably help her in her applications, but her experience has done more than boost her CV; it has helped her understand herself and her ambitions more. “I came to uni with the intention of doing primary teaching, but drama and art aren’t used as much as some other subjects. “[Working with JUMP] made me realise I wanted to use my drama and art, so now I’m looking at doing more in the special needs sector, because they use the arts a
lot to help build confidence and interaction.” Charities and other volunteer organisations would be unwise to not take advantage of the current boom in potential recruits, however, they should remember it could only be short-term fixture and doesn’t generally result in the loyalty and commitment which makes volunteers such a useful asset. It is clear that fun, new experiences, skills, and rewards should not be ends of volunteering, but by-products, and that traditional volunteers work well within the traditional system for the love of it alone.
Awards for ministry course
Four people from the parish of Holy Cross, Boultham, received their Bishop’s certificates from the Bishop, for their participation in the Exploring Our Faith course devised by the Diocese’s Discipleship and Lay Ministry officer, Andrew Tyler. They received their certificates in the cathedral on the Feast of Edward King. Angela Smith, Paul Boyce, Marie MacAllister and Paul Durance are pictured with their tutor the Revd John Pryor (left) and the Bishop of Lincoln.
Advertise your event in the Deanery Diary for free Visit www.lincoln.anglican.org/yourevent
See details of more events and a busy season of flower festivals at www.lincoln.anglican.org/events 25 May 2012 Scunthorpe Concert Band: All Saints, Winterton 7.30pm. Tickets £8 to include refreshment, U16s free. For more information, Bookings 01724 734285 16 June 2012 All Saints Winterton Annual Garden Party: 14 King Street, Winterton 2pm. By kind permission of Dr Walshaw and with free admission. For more information, lincoln.ourchurchweb.org.uk/winterton
25 May 2012 Organ Recital: St Hybald’s Church, Scawby. Organ recital by Palestrina Christian-Cooper with music from the 18th century. Tickets £5 to include wine and refreshments and available from Scawby Post Office or corner shop. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01652 651613 6 July 2012 Jazz Concert: Caistor Parish Church. Evening of jazz with professional jazz combo New Orleans Heat. Wine and interval buffet included. Tickets £9 in advance from 01472 851339 or £10 on the door.
19 May 2012 Church Organ Fundraising Day: All Saints Church, Nettleham, 10am-4pm & 7.45-10pm. Fundraising event with coffee morning, light lunches and afternoon teas including cake, plant, bric-a-brac, books and raffle. Evening concert performed by The Lincs Effect. Information on 01522 823867 or at email@example.com
9 June 2012 122nd Garden Party: St Margaret’s Church, Laceby 2pm. Annual garden party in and around the church grounds with demonstrations, games, stalls, cream teams and music. Event opened by BBC Look North’s weather presenter Keeley Donovan. For more information, Jennifer Mawer 01472 871206
19 May 2012 Spring Fayre: All Saints Church, Brant Road, Lincoln, 2-4pm. Spring fayre with various stalls including raffle, tea and coffee. 3 June 2012 Gainsborough Tuck In for the Jubilee: All Saints Parish Church Grounds, Church Street, Gainsborough, 11am outdoor Songs of Praise, 12noon-4pm Giant Picnic. Part of the Big Jubilee Lunch. Bring blankets, deck chairs and picnics. If inclement, event in the church. www.gainsboroughchurches.org 26 May 2012 Open Gardens: Potterhanworth, 1-5pm. Several gardens will be open to visitors with St Andrew’s Church serving Victorian teas. 25 May 2012 Horncastle Regency Festival: St Margaret’s Church, Somersby, 2pm. A Regency costumed picnic and tea at Somersby Rectory in aid of Somersby Church. For more information, www.regencybydesign.co.uk
22 June 2012 Concert by Voces8: St Mary’s Church, Marshchapel, drinks 6.45pm starts 7.30pm. Internationally acclaimed a cappella octet with music for all tastes from across the centuries. Tickets £10, concessions £8. For more information, Paul Hicks 01472 389874
26 May 2012 Brochmann Trio Concert: St Peter & St Paul Church, Langton by Spilsby, 6.30pm. Concert in a most unique Georgian church by candlelight. Tickets £12.50 to include canapés and drinks. For more information, 01790 753649 or firstname.lastname@example.org 29 June to 1 July 2012 A Festival of Music: Harlaxton Parish Church, Harlaxton, Grantham. Friday 7pm, Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm, Sunday PM only. Music festival with local groups, choirs and individuals including the Melton Mowbray Brass Band. Visiting preachers on Sunday. For more information, John Bruce 01476 561546.
13 to 15 July 2012 Marshchapel Arts Exhibition 2012: St Mary’s Church, Marshchapel, 11am-5.30pm daily. Fine art from many of the best exponents in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. All-day catering with in-house master chef for light lunches; refreshment also available with stalls in the churchyard. Entry by catalogue on the door £1.50. www.marshchapelarts.co.uk 17 June 2012 Open Gardens Event: Fulstow, 1-5pm. A number of gardens open for viewing with refreshments available in the Village Hall. All proceeds for the benefit of St Lawrence Church, Fulstow and Fulstow Village Hall. 2-4 June 2012 24th Annual Fine Art Exhibition & Painting Sale: St Vedast’s Church, Tathwell, 11am-5pm. Paintings, old postcards, books, greeting cards, Skegness turned woodwork, plants and preserves and also to include painting, upholstering and wool spinning demonstrations. Talking village walk on Saturday at 11am. Refreshments available in the marquee. For more information, 01507 602869
Sleaford Boston Grantham
8 June & 13 July 2012 Wilsford Summer Concerts: St Mary’s, Wilsford, 7.30pm, Friday 8 Jun Wesley Singers, Friday 13 Jul Fenland Consort. Concerts to raise money for water and restroom facilities in church building. Parking and facilities in The Plough by kind permission of the landlord; interval drinks may be obtained from there also. Concerts free, donations appreciated. For more information, Mrs Betty Groves 01400 230927
1 May 2012 Life in the Spirit Seminars: St Gilbert & St Hugh’s Church Hall, Clough Road, Gosberton Clough, Spalding 2.15-4.00pm and continuing every Tuesday until 12 Jun. Led by Derek Williams to help people of all denominations, and none, to read and understand God’s word. For more information call Revd I Walters 01775 840694 or visit www.gosberton.org 12 May 2012 Victorian Farmers Year in Song: St Peter & St Paul Church, Wigtoft 7.30pm. Presented by John Kirkpatrick. Tickets £8 in advance, £9 on the door. For more information, Myrtle Holliday 01205 460208 6 May 2012 Country Music Concert with Rick Hallam: Kirton Parish Church 2.30pm-5pm. Entrance fee £6 payable on the door. Refreshment available and raffle. For more information, Maureen 01205 755893
5 to 7 May 2012 19th Mumby Art Exhibition: St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Mumby, Alford, 11am–4pm daily. Three day art exhibition with artists from the local area (15 mile radius). Trusthorpe Photographic Society will be displaying over the weekend and Louth Recorder Group will be playing on Sunday at 2pm. Holy Roll café open for light refreshment. www.willoughby-lincs.org.uk or email@example.com 13 June 2012 Talk by the Revd Peter Owen-Jones: St Thomas of Canterbury, Mumby, Nr Louth, 7pm. Peter is the presenter of BBC’s Around the Word in Eighty Faiths, Extreme Pilgrim and How to Live a Simple Life. He will be reading from his new book. Tickets £10 and for more information call 01507 462045
16 June 2012 An Hour with Tennyson and a Little Bit of Franklin: St James’s Parish Church, Spilsby, 2pm. Tennyson remains one of the most celebrated British poets of all time. Grace Timmins will give an illustrated talk and display a small selection of objects from a collection of his material. 12 May 2012 Learning to Heal: Holy Trinity Church, Spilsby Road, Boston 9.15am-4.30pm. Training/refresher day led by Geoff Lawton for those seeking to develop a biblical healing ministry. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org 12 to 18 May 2012 Celebration of Baptism: St Thomas’s Church, London Road, Boston 12noon to 4pm. Centenary celebrations of the church with display of gowns and certificates from the past Flower visit www.lincoln.anglican.org/events 100 years. festivals: For more information, contact Maureen Taylor 01205 367647
Hidden gems More churches that deserve a visit, recommended by the Church Buildings team St Vincent, Caythorpe Along the A607, passing the mediaeval churches of Welbourn, Leadenham and Fulbeck, surrounded by a village of ironstone, soars the crocketed spire of Caythorpe, one of only four churches dedicated to St Vincent. Rising to 156ft, it once stood ten feet taller until reduced in height by Sir George Gilbert Scott, in 1860. Upon entering the church one is amazed to see it is a two-naved church, a feature which would be even more striking had the north aisle not been added by Scott in his restoration in 1860. Double naves are rare but other examples can be found in Hannington in Northamptonshire, Stretford in Wiltshire and Royal Wootton Bassett. The tracery in the windows is mainly from the Decorated period and is mostly late Geometric which dates from 1290-1300. Until 1866, a medieval “doom” painting could be found on the east wall of the nave. This was uncovered during Scott’s restoration of 1860. After a failure to raise money, it was limewashed sometime during next five years and remains in this condition. The painting detailed Christ in Majesty, the Weighing of Souls and groups of the Blessed and the Damned. The church is open to the public during daylight hours.
PHOTOGRAPH: WILL HARRISON
new Communications Officer has been appointed to the Diocese’s communications team. The Communications Officer fills a vacancy left by Nick Edmonds, who took up a similar post in the Dioceses of Winchester and Guildford. Philip Craven was appointed in early February, and will work particularly on Crosslincs, the website, social media and technical and design projects. Philip began working in the church from the age of nine as a chorister at Chichester Cathedral. After going to school at Lancing College, he went to Durham University where he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in History. He later went on to gain an MA in International Relations. At university Philip was greatly involved in his college chapel community as well as musical and dramatic societies, including the opera society and chamber choir. As a result of his work with them he received many requests from other societies and
community groups for publicity and communications work. Philip came to the Diocese two years ago to sing in Lincoln Cathedral Choir. He later worked with the Diocesan communications team as an intern in the spring of 2010, when he developed his design and writing skills, finishing his term in July of last year. After a few months in London, Philip returned as Acting Communications Officer when the post fell vacant. “Being able to communicate well in a wide variety of ways, to an array of different people, is of the utmost importance in 21st century society,” said Philip. “I am really looking forward to getting to grips with the role, furthering our twoway communication with those we serve, and supporting the work of colleagues around the Diocese and at The Old Palace.” Philip will assist the Director of Communications, Will Harrison, who was elected Secretary to the Diocesan Synod at its meeting in March.
St Lawrence, Tallington A few miles outside Stamford, past the soaring spire of Uffington, is the little village of Tallington. The church is accessed via a small track and a field of lethargic sheep. This is the ideal situation for a hidden gem. Entry to the church is through a distinguished Romanesque doorway, and the interior continues the same high level of quality. The building is full of interesting features, including characterful grotesques, and another Romanesque arch to the chancel. One of the most interesting survivals is a 15th century font cover, shaped like a fat pinnacle, which sits on top of an earlier font. There is also a ‘dole cupboard’ at the back of the church, used to distribute loaves of bread to the poor in the eighteenth century. This charming church is a good example of how skilled craftsmanship, when well maintained, can serve for generations. St Clement, Grainthorpe The church of St Clement lies some distance to the south of the small coastal village of Grainthorpe. Do not be deceived by the neat and tidy churchyard to the front. To the rear, the church is nestled within a lovely rambling churchyard, ripe for exploration. St Clements is a fine example of a typical Marshland church, wide, light and airy, ashlar and lime-rendered. It boasts impressive battlements and tower; the pinnacles having sadly dropped off one by one, but the friendly gargoyles remain. Signs of the Victorian restoration by Fowler can be seen (the chancel was shortened by a bay in 1876) but there is little to detract from the 14th and 15th centry work, and some 13th century traces can be seen in the bases and responds of the north arcade. The most interesting feature are the sections of a beautifully detailed 7ft brass in the chancel; a foliated cross on a Rock of Golgotha, thought to be in memory of Stephen de See, rector of 1380-90. Other features include the wonderfully decorative bosses to the part-medieval timber nave and aisle roofs, and within the south porch (now garden store), an attractively-scaled clasped purlin timber roof structure of 1665. See if you can spot traces of the 15th century painted decoration in the aisles.
I believe in God Mark Hocknull Head of Lincoln School of Theology and Chancellor of Lincoln
Mark continues his exploration of the Apostle’s Creed: I believe in the Holy Spirit
he Hebrew and Greek words for “spirit,” ruach and pneuma, can also be translated as breath or even wind. Taken together they speak of the mysteriousness and power of God. It is from pneuma that we get our word pneumatic
as in pneumatic drill: a powerful tool powered by compressed air. It is the Spirit who ‘brooded over the waters’ at the creation, the spirit who inspired the prophets. Usually in the Old Testament the Spirit was present with particular people for particular events. The book of Joel however contains the prophecy that the time was coming when the Spirit would be poured out on all people. ‘The old will dream dreams, the young shall see visions and sons and daughters will prophesy’ (Joel 2: 8-29). This is a comprehensive gift to any and all. In the New Testament, this anticipated event is fulfilled on the day of Pentecost and the Spirit is promised to all at baptism. In the Gospel of John, the Spirit is called the comforter. The English verb to comfort means to offer solace and support to someone in sorrow or distress. The Greek word in John’s gospel is Parakletos and this word has a much wider meaning than the English word comforter. Literally, it means “one who is called in.” The word is used for
a witness called to give evidence for the defence and for a counsel called in to plead the case for an accused person. It can also mean a friend who is called in to give counsel and advice and even for a doctor called in to give help and healing and one who offers encouragement when courage is failing or spirits are low. A Comforter is really a person who fills others with dynamic power: with the strength to persevere in the life of faith. It is almost true to say of John’s gospel that the Spirit takes the place of Jesus after the Resurrection. As long as Jesus was present in the flesh, his presence was limited. In the Spirit Jesus is present to all the baptized in a way in which he and they can never be separated. Supremely in John’s gospel however, the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit teaches the truth. Christians never outgrow the need to be taught the truth. There is always more to discover of the riches of God and the life of discipleship. The spirit reminds us of all truth, prompts that recollection of things learned from past experi-
ence of the Spirit, of lessons learned already in the Christian life. The Spirit interprets truth. Scripture and the Gospel need to be understood afresh by each successive generation. Like the Spirit, these things are dynamic, not static and fixed and must be applied faithfully in ever new ways in an ever changing world. Allied to this, the Spirit brings new truth. ‘I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit comes he will guide you into all truth.’ (John 16: 12-13). There is here a concept not of a Christ who spoke but of a Christ who continues to speak. Again the idea is that truth is something dynamic rather than something static and fixed forever. The Hebrew idea of truth is very close to faithfulness in new contexts rather than of adherence to fixed rigid interpretations of truth. To each generation the eternal Christ brings the truth it needs in the form it needs. If we really do believe in the Holy Spirit, we need have no fear of rethinking and restating and reformulating the faith.
Crosslincs 01522 504027 email@example.com
PHOTOGRAPH: PHILIP CRAVEN
The crew of St Andrew’s: Jon Glossop, Dave Lilliman and Mike and Sue Page-Chestney
Philip Craven Philip drops in to St Andrew’s Church, Immingham
ocated on the edge of the main port town is the historic village of Immingham, just a few miles from the Humber, which is reputed to have existed in the same spot since Saxon times. At its heart lies St Andrew’s Church, which has stood there in its expansive churchyard since the Eleventh Century. Arriving to see fleets of prams steaming full-ahead towards the church, I dashed in to meet Mike and Sue Page-Chestney, the captains of the Immingham group and a total of nine parishes in the area. After greeting the toddlers group for the after-
noon’s playtime, Mike and Sue joined me in a corner of the church to talk. “I think it was Bishop John [Saxbee] who wrote in his book about traditional worship and the church being a basecamp,” begins Mike. “It’s absolutely essential and we must look after it but we’re not supposed to just stay there – if we did, we’d never climb the mountain”. This ethos of complementary traditional and innovative forms of worship is the backbone of the Page-Chestneys’ ministry in the area. As such, Mike and Sue have spent many years building up an excellent ministry team in the area, consisting of hard-working Readers and Authorised Lay Ministers, and Sue is now able to pursue a host of different projects and clubs to enrich both the worship St Andrew’s and its communities. The Small Fry and Kipper groups are extremely popular, with children progressing from one to the next and often returning to join the after-school club and holiday camps. For the summer camp the church has been transformed into a desert island, a pirate ship, and Noah’s Ark, with the comedy duo of Sue and Jon Glossop (organist and Reader-in-training) entertaining the children with activities and custard pie throwing; this year the summer camp will have an Olympic theme. While the Kipper group is secular and supportive and helps children and their parents feel part of a wider community, Small Fry introduces children (and sometimes parents!) to Christian themes, values, and stories through Bible-based activities and learning.
Mike and Sue often use resources such as Christian Aid’s “Count your blessings” Lenten project to get children thinking about bigger issues that will affect their and our futures. This close relationship with children in the community gives St Andrew’s a very family-oriented feeling, which is complemented by the Page-Chestneys’ own family’s involvement in the church and its worship: Liz Lilliman (Mike’s and Sue’s daughter), and Dave Lilliman (son-in-law and churchwarden elect) are both very active in the life of the church, helping with the Small Fry and Kippers groups among a host of other activities; recently this has included a wedding fair, which raised money for Help the Heroes – the charity which St Andrew’s has chosen to support this year. This summer the church will be hosting a Jubilee evening to which attendees will bring memorabilia from the last 60 years and celebrate all things Britain and Monarchy. There are regular “Drop-Ins” on Saturday mornings, the occasional Ladies’ night (which Sue assured me aren’t as dangerous as they may sound), and many other activities. St Andrew’s is now host to a healthy mixture of worship-based activities, fresh expressions, and a great array of social occasions. It is clear that Mike, Sue, and the whole team have been working hard to create a strong base camp at St Andrew’s and have been climbing the mountain too – or perhaps a more apt metaphor would be that of an excellent harbour from which their fishing boats and ships (pirate ships or arks) can venture out into seas unknown, with custard pies.
Gazette Appointments The Revd Susan Allison, Priest-inCharge of the Fotherby and Somercotes Groups of Parishes and Agricultural Chaplain in the Louthesk Deanery, also to be Rural Dean of the Deanery of Louthesk. The Revd Annabel Barber, previously Senior Chaplain with the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust and the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby, has become a Licensed General Preacher. The Revd Christopher Boland, Priestin-Charge of Grantham Harrowby and Londonthorpe, also to be Rural Dean of the Grantham Deanery. The Revd Canon Alexander Boyd, Incumbent of The Fen and Hill Group of Parishes and Canon of Lincoln Cathedral, also to be Priest-in-Charge of the Bain Valley Group of Parishes. The Revd Michael Chesher, previously priest with permission to officiate in the Diocese of Ely, has become Associate Vicar in the parishes of Spalding St Mary & St Nicolas and Spalding St Paul.
Contact information The Revd Canon Michael Cooney, LCS Chaplain in North Lincolnshire, to be Priest-in-Charge of the Gainsborough and Morton Team Parish, continuing as Canon and Prebend of Lincoln Cathedral. The Revd Christopher Harrington, previously assistant curate in the Middle Rasen and Barkwith Group of Parishes, has become Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of Heckington and Helpringham Group. The Revd Anne McCormick, NonStipendiary Minister in the Great and Little Coates (West Grimsby) Team Ministry, also to be House Chaplain within the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (based at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby) but has ceased as Mental Health Chaplain with the Doncaster and South Humber Healthcare NHS Trust. The Revd David McCormick, previously Director of Ministerial Development and Continuing Ministerial Education, to be Team Vicar in the Great and Little Coates Team Ministry and Chaplain to St Andrew’s Hospice, Grimsby.
crosslincs is available in a recorded format for the partially sighted. Call Dorothy Selfe on 01507 603809.
The Revd Christine Pennock, Priest-inCharge of Ruskington, Leasingham and Cranwell, also to be Rural Dean of the Lafford Deanery. The Revd David Sweeting, previously assistant Curate in the Benefice of Holbeach, has become Vicar of the Glen Group of Parishes. The Revd Charles Thody, previously Chaplain Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Trust, has become Lead Chaplain (Trustwide) Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The Revd John Tomlinson, previously Priest with Permission to Officiate in the Owmby group and Springline Parish, has become a Licensed General Preacher. The Revd Peter Vickers, previously MOD Chaplain (Army), has become a Licensed General Preacher within the Lincoln Diocese and Rural Dean of Grimsby and Cleethorpes and Haverstoe Deaneries. The Revd Christopher Wedge, previously Associate Rector and Parish Missioner in the Parish of Boston, has become Team Vicar in the Parish of Boston.
The Bishop of Lincoln The Rt Revd Christopher Lowson 01522 534701 8 firstname.lastname@example.org The Bishop of Grimsby The Right Revd David Rossdale 01472 371715 8 email@example.com The Bishop of Grantham The Right Revd Dr Tim Ellis 01400 283344 8 firstname.lastname@example.org The Chief Executive Mr Max Manin 01522 50 40 30 8 email@example.com The Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey The Venerable Jane Sinclair 01673 849896 8 firstname.lastname@example.org The Archdeacon of Lincoln The Venerable Tim Barker 01529 304348 8 email@example.com Diocesan offices The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PU 01522 50 40 50 01522 50 40 51 8 firstname.lastname@example.org : www.lincoln.anglican.org www.facebook.com/dioceselincoln @CofELincoln www.flickr.com/dioceseoflincoln
pair of long-forgotten eighteenth-century paintings in a Lincolnshire church have been restored to their former glory. The royal coat-of-arms − once a requirement for every church in the country, and a hatchment, were black with years of candle smoke and dirt. Churchwarden of St Peter’s Church, Newton on Trent, Mike Price (pictured, right) and colleague Roger Hewins (left) decided to raise the money to restore the works. King George III’s coat of arms, painted on a board by William Pudsey of Gainsborough in around 1795, had hung high above the chancel arch, and thickly covered with grime. The Stow family hatchment was in the dark recesses of the tower, almost unnoticed by those who passed it. “It had been a long-held view that something should be done about
them,” said Mike. “They are an important part of the church’s past, and we felt that they deserved to be seen properly once again.” The works were restored by fine art conservator Francis Downing of Harrogate. A hatchment is a funereal demonstration of the lifetime achievement of the holder of the arms on a black lozenge-shaped frame which used to be suspended against the wall of a deceased person’s house, where it remained for six to twelve months, after which it was removed to the parish church. “We were delighted and amazed when they were returned to us, full of detail and colour we had never seen,” said Mike. “The Victorians did their best to ruin our church, and now we’re trying to do our best to safeguard it for the future.”
Prize crossword The first correct entry to crossword number 32 to be opened on 6 July 2012 will win £25. Send to: Crossword, Crosslincs, The Old Palace, Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PU The editor’s decision is final. Photocopies acceptable. One entry per person. Entries from consortiums will not be eligible.
is published by the Diocese of Lincoln.
The views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those held by the Diocese. Deadline for the next issue: Friday 6 July 2012 Editor Will Harrison Reporter Philip Craven Telephone: 01522 50 40 27 Printed by Mortons Print Ltd, Horncastle, Lincolnshire
Across 1 Lordly peak in Gwynedd (7) 5 Way up the spine of England (7) 9 No worth so chuck it (5) 10 Employ again to harvest with purpose (9) 11 As fast as you like however (2,3,4) 12 Time after 1½ hours (5) 13 Anaesthetic through which radio waves are said to travel (5) 15 Obtained in bad health (3,6) 18 Names in faith (9) 19 Toady mix for present (5) 21 Tossed in Caledonia (5) 23 David Blunkett’s hounds ditch on Welsh border (5,4) 25 Roar round coffer but may be pianissimo too (9) 26 Unsettled trade and not a riser (5) 27 Gave odd neat jumble (7) 28 Rude muddle after finish but stuck it out (7) Down 1 Put in place (7) 2 Paternoster (3,6) 3 Bridal giveaway (5)
4 5 6 7 8 14 16 17 18 20 22 23 24
Recital of facts (9) Moony state or one of three in current terms (5) Briefly left home to pinch something (6,3) One who is not all there (5) Go with the flow in the tube (7) Bring back into being (9) In which the snooker match is won and the final photo (4,5) Paddington? Oh pooh. Perhaps it’s Rupert (5,4) Chap whose wife broke the seventh commandment (7) Produced and gave in (7) Streaky perhaps. Fine with liver (5) Chose surgery on 17 (5) Fed up with mixed fruits of palm tree (5) solution number 31
Congratulations to Mr and Mrs A Digby of Healing, Grimsby, the winners of crossword 31.
C R O C K O H A C Q U I K M P R T C D A S H K O K E E P S T T H U N D E I L A T E E I C T R U E B
S L O O H A B R E D L I I I E S E R V K S I F O O M R N A K E T E C E R S T O R T N N Y A C A L U L U E R
K L I K E I I A M E N T I G A T I O N F T B A L L A O R O V E O E R M E E H T I N G E D A R E S T