News and Stories For Your Church
Autumn 2013 : Issue 10
In Shape Image copyright VHH
This magazine is the quarterly publication of the Diocese of Leicester (The Church of England in Leicester and Leicestershire). The themes of In Shape are centred on the diocesan vision “Shaped by God” on which the nine Marks of Mission are based. This vision of Shaped by God is of flourishing mission in the 300 Anglican churches of the City and the County, with each church growing in the number of followers of Jesus, the depth of that discipleship and the effect that our faith has on the world around us.
lives and communities transformed worship in a way that renews and inspires self-giving service to the community being rooted in prayer confident and sensitive evangelism lifelong Christian nurture the welcome of newcomers becoming child friendly celebration of people and places
In This Issue
3. Bishop’s Letter 4. Break Fast and Nine15 5. SpiriBabes 6. A Faith Enlarging Experiment 8. Light A Candle 9. Apprentices of Jesus 10. A Place for everyone 10. Mission Harvest 11. Lifting the Trophy 12. Clergy Conference and God Talk 13. ‘Rooted in Jesus’ Trip to Tanzania 14. leicester.anglican.org/announcements 15. leicester.anglican.org/events 16. The Interview: Helen Dearnley
In Shape is edited by: Liz Hudson Keith Cousins Mike Harrison Barry Hill Andy Rhoades Luke Fogg e-mail: email@example.com The Diocese of Leicester administration and Leicester Cathedral Tel 0116 261 5200 The Office of the Bishop of Leicester Tel 0116 270 8985 firstname.lastname@example.org Diary Dates should be sent to email@example.com or entered at www.leicester.anglican.org/events by Monday 7th October. Inclusion is dependent on space available. Signup to Diomail at http://ow.ly/k6OhN Commercial advertisers are invited to call for current rates. The inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not constitute any endorsement of a product or service by either the editors or the Diocese of Leicester
Cover Image: The first image of the proposed tomb and ‘space’ for the reinterment of Richard III due to take place in late Spring 2014. Follow the news on Richard III at www.leicester.anglican.org/richard-iii
Bishop’s Letter A Changing Church For Changing Times? At the General Synod in July, Archbishop Justin Welby spoke about the dramatic social and cultural revolutions taking place around the world and not least in this country. Parliament’s decision to introduce Same Sex Marriage is simply one sign of a dramatic change in the way we think about human relationships and social institutions. How is the Church to respond? That raises the question about what is the difference between an organisation and an institution. Organisations, whether they are commercial or recreational will change and adapt their product and their message according to changes in the environment or in the market place. If the Church of England was like Nokia or Marks and Spencer then change and redesign of the product would be essential to long term survivability.
and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is upon him that we keep our eyes focussed in order to steer through dramatically changing times. But this does not mean that we do not have to do the difficult, hard and complex work of thinking through how our message is to be heard. It is our task to present the Gospel “afresh in each generation”. Simply repeating the age old formulas with a megaphone at great distance from society is not what we see Jesus Christ himself doing. Jesus always put himself close to the place of his hearers. He always used language and stories which they could relate to and respond to. And regularly he upset the religious authorities because he appeared to be compromising on what they thought were the essentials.
Our task now in the service of the Church’s mission, is to continually think and pray about Institutions however stand for long term and immutable values. In the case of the Church of the essential nature of our message. What England those values find expression in the life does the imperative of God’s love lead us to
2,000 people new to church in Leicestershire last year This June a new report on what we believe God is doing through the Church of England in Leicestershire was published. Based on returns from the 313 churches, it shows a diocesan community growing, with almost 2,000 new people during 2012. Other encouragements include a larger than previously thought number of people who are part of a worshipping community and the extent of work with teenagers. There are also a number of challenges, including the overall age profile and work with those in their early twenties. In commending the report, Bishop Tim writes, “The wind blows where it wills”. These are the words used by Jesus to describe the action of the Holy Spirit. The Church is born at Pentecost out of an initiative from God which moves often invisibly, unpredictably and unexpectedly through the lives of human beings. We cannot control this Spirit nor can we manage it. But we can take care to observe its effects and to learn from them.” Here are the ten main headlines: Almost 2,000 people joined Anglican churches in Leicestershire last year as a
say about the poor? What does it lead us to say about the marginalised, excluded and voiceless? What does it lead us to say about gay people, especially those who continue to experience bullying and ridicule? And what does it lead us to say about faithful human covenanted relationships? As we seek to answer those questions anew in changing times, the life of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible is our guide. And just as in past generations of the Christian Church, so today that guidance will sometimes lead us to say new things in a new way about the age old and unchanging truth that God’s love for us and for His world is the one thing on which we can always rely.
community The average age of worshippers remains much higher than the population at large (around 14 years older) Almost 1,800 11-17 year olds were involved in church activities beyond Sunday services, no doubt in large part the result of the 500 volunteers and 44 churches in which part or full time staff employed to work with that age group (not including clergy) regular part of the worshipping community – However, more disappointing was that the around 200 left corresponding number of people in the 18-25 year old bracket across the whole Diocese was Over a 1,000 of those new to churches only 400 were not previously part of any Christian church (almost 30% increase on 2011) Over 80% of churches in the diocese Many more people are regular worshippers have a normal Sunday attendance of under 50 than are there on any given week (over 22,000 people in total, whilst the numerically largest 25 churches account for almost 4 in every 10 people in total) raising questions about worshippers in the diocese. discipleship to a larger more occasional community The Mission and Ministry events brochure Attendance on an average Sunday has for 2013/14 now contains a range of optional remained broadly stable for the past seven years; attendance (both weekday and Sunday) training, exploration and development days during the October sample is at a five year high relating to many of the main findings. The information you supply helps drive this training The number of funerals taken, especially programme. Contact claire.stapleton@ in a church building rather than solely at leccofe.org or on 0116 261 5317 for a copy. a crematorium or cemetery, continues to increase, raising important questions for Download the report at www.ShapedByGod. welcoming mourners into the building Baptisms of teenagers and adults remains co.uk and searching for statistics, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org , 0116 61 5335. surprisingly low given the consistently high number of new people to the worshipping
worship in a way that renews and inspires
Break Fast and Nine15 “It does what it says on the tin” – so began Break-Fast at Holy Apostles six years ago, literally with breakfast of cereal, croissants, toast and fresh coffee – and the “fast” bit is a short, snappy worship time with two or three songs, a Bible story, activities for the children and sometimes an activity or discussion for the whole family, sitting round tables. Break-Fast grew out of a desire to meet the needs of those who wanted their children baptized, but were rarely seen in church after the event – attendance at regular services was just a step too far! But as families kept coming on a monthly basis, a new vision emerged for going into more depth than Break-Fast was able to provide, and Nine15 was started each week, with a core group of lay people, including a Reader, Evangelist, and a leader who has done the Mission Shaped Ministry course. Very much in its infancy, Nine15 has been exploring all that comes with being a new setup within the structure of the Anglican church, and relating to “inherited” church. The team is learning together, alongside those who enjoy a range of ways of exploring the Christian faith and life issues. Baptisms are on the increase, taking place in the main church
Does your Church have a Christmas Tree Festival?
building in the morning service, which has created a valuable link between the different parts of the church family coming together as one.
theme of Passover, we held a simple Eucharist led by Pip Berry, Priest-in-Charge, and this seemed a very natural progression, sharing this special meal together.
The single mum of twin toddlers who were recently baptized describes this as “my family” – and is now asking for baptism herself.
The team is on a learning curve and don’t necessarily get it “right” but there is active support from the diocese, one member of the team is exploring pioneer ministry, and above all, we recognise the need to keep listening to what God is saying and go where he is leading.
Behind the scenes, the team are grappling with the big issues – discipleship, being community, and how celebrating Communion can become a normal part of the life of Nine15.
Pip Berry and Peter Kitchen Recently, after a few weeks of looking at the
If so, the diocesan Mission and Ministry team have produced a simple, free to use leaflet to give to visitors and hopefully provoke them to discover more about the Christian faith and all Jesus offers. We’ve written one side with the idea that you add details on the other about what next step a visitor might take (e.g. a discover Christianity course like Alpha or Puzzling Questions), a one off event or special service plus your contact details. Download it at: http://sbg.dioceseofleicester.com/?p=1221 It’s not designed to share the entire Christian story, but hopefully there’s enough to intrigue those searching to find out more…
Photograph taken by Richard Brigg at St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray
becoming child friendly
“Imagine for a moment you have a 6 monthold baby, and someone asks you ‘what would be the best choice your child could make in life?’, what, I wonder, would be your answer? This is one of the questions I ask mums who attend our SpiriBabes course at Holy Trinity Barrow upon Soar. The course is offered to any baby under the age of 1. We invite baptism families along with anyone else who is interested, as the course not only covers aspects of baptism, but the wider task of nurturing a child’s spiritual needs and make-up. It suits mums on Maternity Leave as it gives them something constructive and fun to do with the baby and the opportunity to meet other parents. SpiriBabes runs over 5 sessions and, like SureStart children centres’ courses, it focuses on the child. All the activities are baby-centred; singing, baby massage, bathing, bubble-blowing and other multi-sensory play. Each session has a theme: Peek-a-boo! (or theologically speaking, the mystery of God); ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ (unconditional
love); Splash! (the sacrament of baptism); Bubble-Talk (prayer); and Storytime (I’ll leave you to work that one out ....). So far I have run three SpiriBabes courses and have had two groups of 7 and the other of 9 (including 1 mum who came back to do the course again with her 2nd baby). I advertise among our parents and toddler group and at the Health Centre and have not had any difficulty finding people to sign up. These are some of the comments I’ve had from mums on the feedback forms: ◊ ‘we have thoroughly enjoyed every session and the found the multi-sensory play to be an excellent way of introducing our baby to our faith.’; ◊ ‘I think the baptism message was put across very well and and in a fun and entertaining manner.’; ‘Great way to explain topics and the meaning around them’; ◊ ‘the themed weeks were a brilliant way of covering all the aspects of baptism’; ◊ ‘liked the chance to discuss things in relation to our babies and then it was
linked back to wider religious context.’ In the last In Shape magazine, Louise Warner commented ‘building relationships and trust takes time, but the good news is you can have a lot of fun doing it.’ I wholeheartedly agree, as this is definitely what SpiriBabes is all about.” Jenny Paddison
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lives and communities transformed
A faith enlarging exper What happened?
Over the past year, Leicester Diocese has partnered with registered Charity the Ugly Duckling Company to pilot a range of courses which help people explore the basics of the Christian faith. The two sets of resources, entitled Puzzling Questions and Table Talk, both created by the Ugly Duckling head Paul Griffiths or his team, are both designed for those with very little or no awareness of the Christian faith and serve to help the early steps of faith development.
Table Talk and Puzzling Questions serve as a forerunner rather than replacement to more detailed courses like Alpha, Emmaus or Christianity Explored, an easier entry point in gently raising awareness of faith and the big questions of life. The courses are especially designed for the growing proportion of the population who are more post-modern in outlook (so look to see something working as a litmus test to its importance more so than just whether it is true). The Diocese paid for twenty five churches (or groups of churches, including some working across denominations) to run either Puzzling Questions or Table Talk for Easter on condition that they came for an initial exploration and
What did churches running it say?
training evening in Autumn 2012 and a review and learning evening in Summer 2013. The pilot was oversubscribed within a week of making the offer to all churches. Participant churches came from right across the theological Here’s a cross section (not just the ‘best’!) from spectrum and from inner city, small village, a couple of pilot churches: larger village, suburb and town. ◊ Richard Dixon at All Saints Church, Sapcote, writes about their experience with Table Talk for Easter, how a first time course naturally attracts more churchgoers to see whether suitable to invite a friend to and how it is important to not stop there, “We held our meetings in the six weeks before Easter, with the last meeting on Maundy Thursday. The meetings proved popular, perhaps holding ◊ 27 churches ran either Puzzling Questions them in the Red Lion helped. The largest or Table Talk. Some ran Table Talk and attendance was 17 people, when we split into then participants wanted to build on what two groups. The smallest attendance was 8 they had found further by doing Puzzling for the last meeting. Attendance was mostly Questions from church members, but there were some ◊ Venue was important, but most important pre-believers present. This was the only to be right for the situation rather than disappointing thing about the event, too one size fits all many Christians! The whole thing was easy ◊ Overall 450 people took part (only a to organise, fun to do and presented a good hundred of which were leaders) opportunity to express Christian views about ◊ Around 150 of the participants were serious questions. We are pretty certain to from ‘beyond the church fringe’ nearly run ‘Table Talk for Blokes’, once our Puzzling all of which came because of a personal Questions course is finished.” invitation rather than a notice or poster ◊ Most churches that took part in the pilot want to run it again and are actively exploring with potential groups of people Table Talk and Puzzling it might help Questions serve as a ◊ Most churches that took part want forerunner rather than the Diocese to further develop the replacement to more detailed partnership and would recommend the courses like Alpha, Emmaus courses to other churches as part of a or Christianity Explored strategy to help people come to a living faith in Jesus Christ.
What did we learn from the pilot?
…is a discussion based game. Each variant looks at six big questions (one per a session). To play a small group of people gather around a table. One of those present reads the 2 minute introduction to that session’s big questions, then 16 question cards (each question card relates to the big question of the session) are placed facing up on the table. The game starts as someone picks up a card and poses the question to the group. After its been discussed, someone else at the table picks a different question card. It’s not just about those who ‘have answers’ telling others but space for everyone to share (including those who are Christian) to share what they think in the hope of raising awareness and intrigue in the big questions of life. There are currently Table Talk variants for: friends, blokes, Easter, for Messy (all age) Moments, for 10-11 year olds, 11-14s, 14-16s, 16-18, for the Armed Forces and for Uni Students. Others in development include for Grandparents, for Scots, in Welsh, for Christmas, for justice and for 3rd agers. See www.table-talk.org for more.
riment! ◊ Peter Collins, from the Upper Wreake, writes of their experience running a Puzzling Questions course jointly with Methodist colleagues, “Shut on Mondays during the winter months we asked the Landlord if we could borrow his pub for ‘Puzzling Questions’,
It was inspiring to watch two pub regulars, a ‘bar-end mechanic’ and ‘taxi driving Muslim’ discussing Jesus Christ. and he kindly threw in a log fire, the big (sports)screen tv, nibbles, and manned the bar himself- clearly happy with the chance of additional trade. Flyers and notices encouraged between twelve and twenty from church and chapel but the additional were those either taking advantage of the extra opening hours or inquisitive about what ‘the church’ was up to in the pub. PQ works because the questions cut across all faiths and none. It offers ‘open’ questions that provoke and challenge what it means to be both human and spiritual. We didn’t supply the ‘workbook’ but after the DVD gave out ‘discussion questions’ to all in the pub, with another handout for ‘spiritual exercises’ as homework. Small groups around the bar tables gave both the space and confidence for most – if not all - to explore and express thoughts, feelings and understandings. The DVD and Puzzling Questions do the prompting; we found that very little encouragement was required to instigate conversation. It was inspiring to watch two pub regulars, a ‘bar-end mechanic’ and ‘taxi driving Muslim’ (three word description: Session 1: Who am I?), discussing
Jesus Christ. We left the end of the sessions ‘open’, enabling people to leave when they felt ready. Some conversations carried on until ‘last orders’, some churchwardens had to be driven home. Later questions and conversations especially from those who either took advantage of the additional open hours or popped in to discover what was going on, revealed that the six week course had touched and provoked more people than we had realised. Alpha seems to be the next step, but we are exploring other suggestions and ideas. We have been offered another pub with an upper room, but PQs has taught us that we have probably spent too long in upper rooms. Go for the Bar!” ◊ Hilary Surridge, curate in the Fenn Lanes Benefice writes, “We used Table Talk in a variety of locations, with different groups, giving them a taste of what the resource has to offer. We found that suited us best, rather than embarking on a course of sessions with a particular group. One of our PCC’s explored the theme of ‘Forgiveness’ using Table talk prior to a meeting and we found it was a good starter activity for a Bible study. Table talk has also been used with groups where the
majority of people are non-churchgoers. It has been equally successful with group of young Mums and a group where the ageprofile has been older. It’s popularity has spread with one of our friends from the Methodist Church buying a box after enjoying TableTalk. Table Talk is a new, simple way of enabling deeper conversations to develop about things that really matter, without increasing anxiety. The quality look and feel of the box helps raise the anticipation of a quality experience and it is convenient to carry around and introduce to a group with minimal notice and little explanation required. We found it enjoyable, inclusive and fun. It’s a valuable resource and I anticipate it will be well used as part of our future Mission in the Fenn Lanes Benefice.”
What next? Would you like to run Puzzling Questions or Table Talk? If so contact barry.hill@leccofe. org (0116 261 5335) for more information, to express an interest or to get a copy of the learning from the review evening. If there is sufficient demand, we will run a second pilot. Paul Griffiths is also running an optional seminar at the clergy conference for those that would like to find out more and try some of the materials for themselves. Barry Hill
For those wanting to explore in slightly more detail than Table Talk, with slightly more input about what Christians believe, Puzzling Questions is a series of six half hour broadcast quality programme, each based around a big question. Distinct from the more ‘recorded talk’ style of some courses, PQ has more of a magazine programme feel with a host who welcomes people to the programme and leads them through a vox pox, poetry performance, music video and Parkinson style interview with someone relevant to that show’s question. The DVD can be watched all the way through or bits picked from the 30 minutes as best suits. It then provides a springboard into discussion. Topics include Who am I, How can I be happy and What is the Spiritual realm and how does it impact my life? Interviewees include a consultant in palliative care medicine, the head of Tearfund and a stand up comedian. See www.puzzlingquestions.org.uk for more.
self giving service to the community
Light A Candle
Apprentices of Jesus
Are you going to miss someone this Christmas?
Canon Mark Russell, CEO of the Church Army, will be a key note speaker at our Lay Congress on Sat 26th October 2013 at St Martins House (details below) on the subject of becoming apprentices of Jesus.
Our two churches in Glenfield had tried Sing Christmas and Get in the Picture with a small response from the community. In 2012 we took the idea of Light a Candle from what Anstey and Thurcaston Churches have done for several years.
At a Sunday morning service in early December we gathered ideas as a congregation about how we could do Light a Candle in our own way.
“I stood up in a high school in South East London and asked an audience of young people to give me some words to describe the Church of England. No prizes for guessing the top answer, in a loud voice they said in unison, BORING! They also said old, grey, silly costumes and sexist. Hardly an exciting bunch of words for us, but I have been reflecting hard on that word boring.
We advertised Light a Candle in Churches Together publicity that goes to every home, in shops and our two local free papers. As people arrived from 2-7pm on the Friday before Christmas they were welcomed and offered ‘Who are you going to miss?’ cards where they could write different names and their own. These were offered to God (but not read out) at each service on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
When I read the Gospels and see what Jesus did, who Jesus was, I see a Jesus who was radical, bold, prophetic, caring, loving, exciting and dynamic. I see a Jesus who reached out to those on the margins, who loved the unlovely and those excluded by everyone else. When I read his teaching, it’s bold, life changing, relevant, simple and timeless.
People were available to take people to the front of the church, sit alongside them and listen if they wanted to talk. We had quiet music playing and didn’t have refreshments as we felt that preparing them would disturb the quiet atmosphere.
I have concluded that it takes some serious talent to make this story boring, real genius to make it boring, but it would seem we are good at it! The western Church has an amazing talent of making Christianity boring.
75 people came from the community and experience from Anstey and Thurcaston suggests more people will come this year. John Sharpe
I am passionate about trying to help the church re-imagine the Jesus we follow and worship, to try to recover the energy, the passion, the dynamism and the radicalism of Christ. I think it starts by bringing us back to what it means to truly follow Jesus, to live as he lived, to serve as he served, to love as he loved. If we are to change the perceptions of the nation, Christians need to change how we are perceived. It seems to me that we are so often concerned about orthodoxy, what we believe, and less concerned about orthopraxy, what we do. Of course we need to have a clear understanding of our faith and doctrine, but we need to be a people who live it out. As my friend Desmond Tutu often says, to a homeless person the Gospel is a meal not a sermon. Jesus was dangerous to the society he lived in, he was dangerous to the power structure of his day, following him was exciting passionate, vibrant and life changing. Shouldn’t following Jesus be the same today? Shouldn’t Christians be a people in wide eyed wonder at the amazing God we serve, with passionate and excited hearts and a holy mischief in our ways. Shouldn’t we be a people who get noticed? Surely we should seek to follow this radical Jesus, to be radical like him, and above all, to have a ministry that scratches where people itch, that touches and changes lives. In other words, shouldn’t we be apprentices of Jesus?”
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Fully alive? Being apprentices of Jesus
lifelong Christian nurture
Each year over two hundred people in Leicestershire choose to confirm the promises made, often on their behalf, at their Baptism. At confirmation, people declare with their own lips and hearts their faith in Jesus Christ. This is the story of one such service recently… Alison Booker writes, “On Ascension day (9th May) Bishop Christopher came to Billesdon to confirm 15 children and 3 adults. Jo Spence, Sam Payne and Ollie Kirwan are all adults from Billesdon, 7 of the children were from Billesdon school and worked with Revd Alison Booker to prepare for this special day, Matthew, Nathan, Alfie, Georgia, Becky, Alanna and Arawa (the girls being in Year 6 and the boys Year 5). Revd Alison is also Chaplain at Church Langton School and along with Richard Curtis they prepared the 8 children from there Thomas, Ema, Evee, William, Victoria, Will, Archie and Elizabeth (all in Year 6). This was such an exciting occasion, the church was full and for all the candidates, but the children particularly, this was a very special moment in their faith journey.”
“My favourite parts about Confirmation were learning about God and Christ and taking another step in my faith” – Will (Age 11) “Before the confirmation I was really excited. When the day came there were 18 people getting confirmed. Bishop Christopher took the service and it went really well. Then the school choir sang two lovely songs and they were really good. When it got to being confirmed I was really happy and I got blessed. At the end of the service there was cakes and coffee so I had a really good day.” Georgia (Age 10)
“I decided to be confirmed because I felt it was what God wanted me to do. Confirmation is a way of telling everybody that I’m a Christian.” Nathan (Age 10)
“The best bit about the Confirmation classes was being to share our thoughts and feelings…” Victoria (Age 11)
Lay Congress Saturday 26th October
“I was excited when I got to the church. I got there quite early because my dad was playing the organ. I was a little scared and nervous when the Bishop got here but I managed to hide it. When the service started the Bishop greeted us I was very excited. I was wondering what would go wrong. At the time of the confirmation I had butterflies in my tummy. I was first with Nathan and Alfie. At the time of my first communion the wine tasted a bit different, maybe because it had been blessed or maybe because of my relaxed and happy feeling. I think my confirmation went really well and now every Sunday when I take communion I’m glad I did it and I thank God I made this decision” Matthew (Age 10)
St Martins House The person of Jesus continues to be massively popular in society today despite the variable fortunes of organised religion. But what is it to actually follow Jesus? What are the disciplines, the practices and the habits of heart and mind that Jesus calls us to in following him? How is it we are to truly be his disciples and so become more fully alive? The Lay Congress is devoted to this topic with keynote speakers Mark Russell, CEO of the Church Army and Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester.
“You can talk freely about God. I enjoyed joining the adults in sharing the bread and wine” – William (Age 10)
There will also be a choice of workshops related to the theme led by the keynote speakers, Martin Cavender from ReSource and Canon Mike Harrison, Director of Mission and Ministry in the Diocese of Leicester, followed by a panel discussion.
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All lay people welcome, please book with firstname.lastname@example.org, T. 0116 261 5317
the welcome of newcomers
A Place for everyone Out of the way. At the back. In your wheelchair. It happens more often than we think, even in our churches and cathedrals. We don’t mean to do it, it’s not deliberate, but so often disabled people are pushed to the edges, left out, excluded one way or another.
Paul wrote: There is no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or free, no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28). We might want to add: disabled and non-disabled. Because the church will not be complete without them.
Public service organisations used to put their front-line staff through disability awareness training. They wore specially designed gloves to stiffen their fingers, glasses to blur their vision, shoes to make them shuffle when they walked. The idea was to encourage them to have more sympathy and more patience with disabled customers.
It’s not just about wheelchair access and loop systems, it’s about intellectual as well as physical disabilities, and many other issues besides. But help is at hand: a couple of websites: ‘Through the roof’ and ‘Churches for all, and a book by Tony Phelps-Jones called ‘Making Church Accessible to All.
But people with disabilities aren’t looking for our pity. They don’t want us just to empathise. They simply want an equal place in their community and in their church.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been to Launde Abbey, you’ll know that the chapel there isn’t equally accessible to disabled and nondisabled people. It’s a problem that couldn’t be
tackled as part of the refurbishment, but the Friends of Launde have now launched a fund to install a new lift and stairs. They’re likely to be expensive - but they are vital. So next time you’re at Launde pick up more information about the new fund and do what you can to help make the Abbey truly a place for all. Lorna Brabin-Smith
If you live or work in a rural area you will know Harvest Festivals bringing the Church to the hopes and anxieties of our Farmers and the Community. Farm workers as they watch the weather ◊ Hold an outdoor patterns with hope that they will be right for harvest festival crops to grow and then watch the weather or thanksgiving patterns with some anxiety to pick the right at the local time to bring in the harvest, hoping that the allotments and machinery and the workers will be available. invite the schools Very often we will see fields being harvested to take part. in the dark with floodlights lighting the ◊ Hold a way for the giant harvest machines, taking celebration advantage of the weather conditions. at the local supermarket and Farmers know the vagaries of nature and so perhaps merge this with collections for it is not surprising that our Rural Churches food banks. give thanks to God for the harvest, rejoicing in ◊ Donate your time to local projects instead the hard work of the farming community and of bringing money or food. celebrating generosity and wise stewardship ◊ Bring a picture to the service of someone with Harvest Festival services, Harvest you wish to give thanks for. suppers and auctions of produce to raise ◊ Give thanks for those at work Church funds. ◊ Donate your food or monetary offering to local charities in need. Harvest also translates into Town, Urban and ◊ Get together with local schools for a City Churches to bring about the same sense service and to provide non perishable of thanksgiving, rejoicing and celebration for foods for food banks or the vulnerable in God’s provision even though food is seen in the communities supermarkets rather than fields. We all know ◊ And many more ideas... the hopes and anxieties of daily life and so Church Harvest suppers can also be a draw do our communities, so how can we bring our for some communities who may not attend communities and Harvest together? Harvest Festival services, so why not combine ‘Hope for Harvest’ published by Authentic the supper with a service on a placemat with Media brings out many mission ideas for
hymns and bible readings whilst collecting for local needs. Leviticus 19:9-10 gives good guidance for generosity “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God”. How is God challenging you for a Mission Harvest? Andrew Rhoades
confident and sensitive evangelism
Lifting the Trophy Next summer sees the long awaited football World Cup tournament (well it is “long awaited” by some) hosted this time by the “Samba Boys” of Brazil. There will be lots of footage of teams huddled together in a circle as the players attempt to become “one” before kick-off. Does this picture represent the men in your church? Are they huddled together looking inwardly? Are they really “a team”? Are they really effective in adding to their “squad”? I can assure you that the winners of this prestigious tournament will not necessarily be the outfit which plays the best football. The World Champions will be the one which is the best team in the truest sense of the word.
is seen as being incredibly daunting and difficult. We are all called to “make disciples of all nations” so let me help. I have access to all sorts of ideas and resources to enable the blokes in your church to get out there and reach their mates for Christ. So why not get in touch and let me coach you? Email email@example.com for an informal chat? Let’s get that goal….together!! Paul Gask
I would argue that the current holders of the World Cup trophy, Spain, did not necessarily play the most scintillating football; as good as they were to watch at times. Their success was based on tactics, sheer graft, determination, sweat, pain, tears and no doubt the odd spillage of blood.
Preparation for Life...
So how can this be reflected in the men in your church? Is there a specific men’s ministry in your church? If so, are they potential world beaters? If not, why not? For some time now I have been the voluntary Coordinator for the national movement “Christian Vision for Men”. Check out the web-site www.cvm.org Our mission is to win and retain normal everyday blokes for Christ. We aim to reach a million men for Jesus because if we achieve that Society will be changed. In 2003 Evangelicals Today carried out a survey which makes startling reading; Win a child for Christ and the rest of the family will follow in 3% of cases. Win a woman for Christ and that number increases to 11%. Win a man for Christ and the rest of the family will follow in 97% of cases! As I travel around various churches in Leicester and Leicestershire I see many men’s groups which appear to be like those teams which are huddled in a tight circle just before kick-off. They look inwards and seem to have no outward looking strategy to increase their squad numbers. In effect they become exclusive clubs. I think that that’s because reaching ordinary blokes
Saturday, 5th October 9.00am - 12.30pm • Scholarships/financial assistance • Guided tours of the schools • Address by Heads of the Schools available at Senior Schools • Exhibitions and demonstrations • On site parking on the day
We look forward to meeting you on the 5th October Loughborough grAmmAr SchooL and Loughborough high SchooL Burton Walks, Loughborough, Leics LE11 2DU FAirFieLd PrePArAtory SchooL Leicester Road, Loughborough, Leics LE11 2AE
All enquiries: 01509 283700 www.endowedschools.org Preparation for Life...
Loughborough Endowed Schools
celebration of people and places
Celebrating Difference At the diocesan clergy conference in September 2013 the theme will be “Good News in a Changing World” and the bible studies will focus on 1 Peter. Why 1 Peter? Not least because this epistle looks closely at the way the Christian community is to relate to a fast-changing multi-cultural setting, a situation similar to the one we find ourselves in today. The epistle reminds its readers that there is a sense in which Christians are aliens and sojourners ( 1 Pet 1.1, 2.11). It’s both a social distance from the existing culture but also an attitudinal distance, the people of God living in the world hoping for God’s new creation. There is a sense of purposefulness about where
we are going, a sense that we are “passing through” and on a journey. This relates to the theme of “walking” through this world - - in 1 Peter walking is a key theme (1.15, 17-18; 2.12, 3.1-2, 16) and shorthand for how the Christian community is to live in this world. But this doesn’t mean we are to separate ourselves from the world in some holy huddle. 1 Peter celebrates the Christian hope and enthuses about the future that God is bringing about, commending Christians to live out of that hope and future today. As such Christians are called to be alongside neighbours, involved in their lives and demonstrating God’s compassion, (repaying evil with a blessing for example 1 Peter 3.9).
‘Inequality in wealth is mirrored by inequality in the way fraud and evasion are handled. Consider the shock and awe directed at the criminal poor and the political silence about tax fraud. Imagine ministers naming and shaming tax evaders as they do estate youths committing anti-social acts.’ (‘Unjust Rewards’, Polly Toynbee and David Walker, Granta Books, 2008)
1 Peter celebrates the Christian hope and enthuses about the future God is bringing about In all of this however, Christians are challenged to be distinguishable in not drifting through life or conforming to lifestyles inimical to following Jesus Christ but celebrating God’s in-breaking kingdom here and now. Many rich themes deserving further exploration and relevant to our context today. Mike Harrison
‘Inequality in wealth is mirrored by inequality in the way fraud and evasion are handled. Consider the shock and awe directed at the criminal poor and the political silence about tax fraud. Imagine ministers naming and shaming tax evaders as they do estate youths committing anti-social acts.’ (‘Unjust Rewards’, Polly Toynbee and David Walker, Granta Books, 2008)
Godtalk2 Godtalk2 responses to the economic crisis Thursday 3rd October 10am - 4.30pm
St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PZ 20/3/13 09:03
3029 IFA Advert_Darrel Foulk:105x74.25
Following the first ‘God talk’ conference in 2012, when language about and responses to issues concerning God and contemporary society were discussed, this second conference will examine issues relating to the economy, and what possible theological responses could be made.
Speakers Bob Holman Baroness Professor Ruth Lister of Burtersett Margaret Hodge MP Peter Selby ■ Bishop Savings
Following the first GodTalk conference in 2012, when language about and responses to issues concerning God and contemporary society were discussed, this second conference will examine issues relating to the economy, and what possible theological responses could be made. The day starts at 10am with introductions from Bishop Tim and David Monteith, Dean of Leicester. Bob Holman, Baroness Professor Ruth Lister of Burtersett, Margaret Hodge MP andOctober Bishop Peter10am Selby all- offer keynote addresses, Thursday 3rd 4.30pm with a selection of workshops also included. The day finishes at 4:30pm. St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PZ Page 1 ForFollowing more,the contact Canon Theologian, David Jennings on 01455 230512. first ‘God talk’ conference in 2012, when language about and responses to issues concerning
responses to the economic crisis God and contemporary society were discussed, this second conference will examine issues relating to the economy, and what possible theological responses could be made.
Speakers Bob Holman Baroness Professor Ruth Lister of Burtersett Margaret Hodge MP Bishop Peter Selby
Leicester Grammar Junior School and Leicester Grammar ‘Basic to everything we might want to say about School located together on one 75 acre site in Great Glen, the financial crisis from the religious point of viewChristian is the offering independent, co-education based upon question “what for?”. What is For what and for principles for pupils agedgrowth 3 tofor?18. Cost: £15 including lunch. whom is wealth important?’
Expert, independent advice ■ Cost: Investments £15 including lunch. ■
For further details contact Richard Paterson,
■ St Retirement Martin’s House, 7 Peacock lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ
‘Basic to everything we might want to say about the financial crisis from the religious point of view is the question “what for?”. What is growth for? For what and for whom is wealth important?’
(‘Faith in the Public Square’, Rowan Williams, Bloomsbury, 2012)
For further details contact Richard Paterson, St Martin’s House, 7 Peacock lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ 0116 261 5656 firstname.lastname@example.org
0116 261 5656 email@example.com Contact Darrel Foulk, Independent Financial Adviser for Leicester Diocese and area Direct tel: 01295 256 715 Mobile: 07730 672 353 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(‘Faith in the Public Square’, Rowan Williams, Bloomsbury, 2012)
For more details contact
0116 2591900 [senior school] or 0116 2591950 [junior school] Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg. No. 2046087. This company is registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ, UK. EFAS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
London Road, Great Glen, Leics. LE8 9FL 12
being rooted in prayer
‘Rooted in Jesus’ Trip to Tanzania Louise Warner writes, “ There are many ways that we can be called to serve God, some not always what we might have expected or happen at the time that seems to make sense, but nevertheless God calls us. In May a team of 6 headed to Tanzania in answer to such a call. ‘Rooted in Jesus’ is a discipleship programme developed for the African context at the request of the now Bishop of the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro Stanley Hotay through a link with Holy Trinity in Leicester. It offers both an adult and junior course that does not require everyone to have a Bible, or be able to read but does involve memory verses and participation. The course is designed to be run over two years; allowing breaks for harvest and festivals. Participants meet in small groups and develop an understanding of what it means to be a Christian and live out that faith. The idea is that some of the participants will then go on to lead other groups and so the number of groups and disciples multiply. The first conference was introducing Rooted In Jesus Junior to the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro, our link diocese. Over 120 Sunday school teachers came to the 4 day conference; they’d had no other training but were excited at the possibilities for the children they worked with. It was hard working through translators, although equally hard for them, but wonderful to be part of what God was doing. The singing was amazing, without accompaniment and heartfelt. Alex Scott, part of the team, said “Rooted in Jesus Junior was eagerly received by the children and youth leaders in Arusha. I am confident it has the power to see young Christians transform this needy part of Africa with the gospel of Christ” The second conference was in Kasulu in the Diocese of Western Tanganyika, described by Bishop Stanley as the end of the world. It was introducing Rooted in Jesus and was the slightly uncertain conference, at one point it had been cancelled and when we left Arusha we were not sure what would be waiting for us once we had driven for two days to get there. In the end the conference was for 32 rural deans and a few others; we were joined by two team members from Tanzania already running Rooted In Jesus. Despite the shaky start the conference went well with the Bible College keen to run the course and introduce it to the curriculum. There are amazing opportunities to be involved in mission throughout the world, with wonderful experiences to have. I wonder what God might be calling you to do?” You can find more information about Rooted In Jesus at http:// www.rootedinjesus.net/index.php
Award Winning Pilgrim Gardens
ur award-winning retirement housing is open and only a few apartments are still available!
Pilgrim Gardens is a warden managed, assisted living complex next to Evington Park, Leicester, with 31 one and two-bedroom apartments for rental or leasehold purchase. Prices range from £115,000 to £145,900. Call 0300 303 8455, or email email@example.com to arrange a time to visit. See the virtual tour on www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk Michelle Hydon, Warden, Pilgrim Gardens, Evington, Leicester LE5 6AL.
The Bishop’s Youth Council visited Tanzania in July and there is a curate’s trip early 2014
leicester.anglican.org/announcements The Very Revd John Morley
Revd Susan F Bradley
Revd Derek Brown
The Bishop is pleased to announce the appointment of the Very Revd John Morley who has Permission to Officiate also as Spiritual Director of Leicester Anglican Cursillo.
New Appointment: Team Vicar in the Woodfield Team Ministry in the North West Leicestershire Deanery Previous Appointment: Curate at St Peter’s, Glenfield
The Bishop announces that the Revd Derek Brown, Minister of the Conventional District of St Barnabas has retired (His last Eucharist was on Sunday, 14 July). Derek will continue to live in the Diocese of Leicester.
Revd Natalie Andrews
College of Canons and New Cathedral Canons The Bishop announces the following appointments: President of the College of Canons: Sir David Samworth Vice President of the College of Canons: Canon Sue Field Honorary Canons: The Revd Mandy Ford, Area Dean – City of Leicester Deanery, Vicar in the Benefice of Beaumont Leys and Priest in Charge in the Benefice of St Luke The Revd Cynthia Hebden, Vicar in the Benefice of Shepshed and Oaks in Charnwood Installation services will take place on Sunday 13 October 2013 at 3.00 pm in the Cathe
Revd Jon Barrett In addition: Assistant Area Dean of the Gartree First and Gartree Second Deaneries Current Appointment: Vicar of Thurnby cum Stoughton and Priest in Charge of Houghton-onthe-Hill
Revd Richard Brand In addition: Area Dean of the Gartree First and Gartree Second Deaneries Current Appointment: Team Rector of the Benefice of Market Harborough and the Transfiguration
New Appointment: Assistant Curate of the Benefice of Emmanuel Loughborough with St Mary in Charnwood, Nanpantan Previous Appointment: Assistant Curate in the Benefice of All Saints with Holy Trinity, Loughborough
Revd Julie Ann Heath In Addition: Cathedral Chaplain Current Appointment: Workplace Chaplain to Leicester City Centre
Revd Geoffrey Angell
Revd Alison Adams
New Appointment: Chaplain at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust working four days a week Previous Appointment: Priest in Charge of Barrowden (St Peter) and Wakerley with South Luffenham and Morcott with Duddington and Tixover in the Diocese of Peterborough Licensing: Monday, 23 September 2013 at 10.00 am in Leicester Cathedral by Bishop Christopher
New Appointment: Diocesan and Cathedral Social Responsibility Enabler Previous Appointment: Chaplain at HM Young Offenders Institution, Glen Parva
Revd Lisa Temperley-Barnes
Revd Tony Jordan
New Appointment: Curate in the Benefice of the Bosworth and Sheepy Group (TM) and Nailstone and Carlton with Shackerstone Previous Appointment: Curate in the Benefice of Newbold de Verdun, Barlestone and Kirkby Mallory
The Bishop announces that the Revd Tony Jordan, Vicar of the Benefice of Eyres Monsell will be retiring with effect from Monday, 30 September 2013.
Revd Pete Hobson Seconded to: Acting Canon Missioner at Leicester Cathedral Current Role: Director of St Martins House
September 13th -16th
Ticket prices are £8.00/£6.00 under 12’s Free
Check leicester.anglican.org for details
Revd Alison Thorpe
New Appointment: Priest in Charge (NSM) of St Andrew’s LEP, Leicester Forest East in the Benefice of St Bartholomew, Kirby Muxloe (TM) Previous Appointment: Curate (NSM) in the Benefice of St Bartholomew, Kirby Muxloe (TM)
The Bishop announces the resignation of the Revd Alison Thorp as Associate Priest (NSM) in the United Benefice of the Bosworth and Sheepy Group of churches with effect from 30 June 2013. Alison will continue with her role as Team Healthcare Chaplain in the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust (Diocese of Coventry).
Revd Simon Wearn
Revd Tom Ringland
New Appointment: Rector in the Benefice of Holy Trinity, Hinckley in the Sparkenhoe West (Hinckley and Bosworth) Deanery Previous Appointment: Curate at All Saints’, Faringdon in the Diocese of Oxford Institution: Monday, 9 September 2013 at 7.30 pm at Holy Trinity, Hinckley by Bishop Tim
In addition: Assistant Curate (having responsibility as Parish Priest for the parish) of the Parish of Desford in the Sparkenhoe East Deanery Current Appointment: Team Rector of the Benefice of St Bartholomew, Kirby Muxloe
Revd Alan Humphrey
Leicester Cathedral Flower Festival
Christian Bookshop Opening Times: 9am - 5pm Mon -Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm Sat St Martins House 7 Peacock Lane Leicester, LE1 5PZ t: 0116 261 5222 buy online on our new website www.christianresourcesleicester.com firstname.lastname@example.org
d March - to be held at Prestwold ughborough, LE12 5SQ at 7pm m featuring Junko Kobayashi nd Tamara Zivadinovic (soprano)
Sunday 18th March - St Mary in Charnwood, Nanpantan, Loughborough at 6pm. With Matt Lax (trumpet) & Angela Foan (piano)
Monday 16th April - The Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer offer a day of silent listening to the Word of God at Offa House (near Leamington Spa) on from 9.30am to 3.15pm
orning, St Margaret’s, Leicester Evening Talk by John Florance 3rd March - 10 am - 12 noon. Thursday 22nd March - “Why bother with Coffee Morning - St. Margaret’s, Mayor of Leicester will be in Wagner?” in The Kempe Room, St Martins Leicester Autumn FairMay - St Margaret’s Leicester Boyan Ensemble Kiev ConcertLE1 Leicester Saturday Christian Prayer Ministries, Personal Prayer 7 Peacock e and the monies raised will go House, Lane ,ofLeicester, 5th - To raise money for Saturday 2nd November 10am - 2pm. Saturday 12th October 7.30 pm at St James Ministry Course d Mayor’s Appeal. 5PZ at 7.30pm CHRISTIAN AID. 10 am - 12 noon. Many the Greater in Leicester, a fabulous male voice Admission free - many stalls including Raffle, Saturday 31st August - Seagrave Memorial stalls, including raffle and refreshments. Bring & Buy, and Cake Stall, Crafts, Books and choir perform a programme of compelling - 4.15pm Teaching Day and also 7th ou say Hall that10am I am? Spring Concert by the Shepshed Singers Jigsaws. Refreshments and lunches available. intensity: Tickets £12 to £20. September at Sileby Baptist Church 9.40am 10th March - A queer Saturday 24th March - at Holy Trinity Lunchtime Recital St. Margaret’s, Admission free. For more contact Janet Bass www.adlibitum.co.uk/sjg/concerts.php 5pm Personal Prayer Ministry Appointments ion on identity and faith. Pádraig Church, Barrow upon Soar. 7.30pm. Leicester 0116 2244307 eads a Coffee workshop exploring theLeicester ConductedBritish by Andrew Goff . Tickets (£6 Thursday 10th May - 1pm - 1.30 pm. Phillip Red CrossLadies Driving £7 ChallengeMorning St Margaret’s of sexuality and from www.shepshedsingers. Herbert - Organ, Admission free - tea and Lunchtime Recital - St Margaret’s Leicester Bruntingthorpe Saturday 7thspirituality. September - 10 am - 12concessions) noon. pm. St Many Martins House, 7 Peacock org.uk or at the door coff ee provided. Sunday 13th October - Ladies come and join us Thursday 14th November - Ian Imlay - Organ. stalls, including raffle. Admission free ester, LE1 5PZ £3 (concs for a fabulous fun day out. You’ll get the chance 1pm - 1.30pm (approx.) Admission free - tea and refreshments available.£2) For more contact Spring Craft Fair,fire Scraptoft Lunchtime Concerts coffee provided. For more contact Kay Harpin to drive engines, HGV’s, 4x4’s and muchEmmanuel Janet Bass 0116 2244307 l Lunchtime Concerts Saturday 31st March All Saints Church Thursday 17th May 12.45pm Join us for a 0116 2993241 more for charity. Just £10 to register, with a 15th March 1pm. Loughborough Scraptoft. fundraising 10am - 3.30pm. lunchtime of Jeanine Thorpe’s virtuosity target ofGenuine just £90. craft Stuart-Townend Concert Loughborough Mendelssohns Elijah Wednesday 11th September - Performance, Schools bring a feast of choral stalls . Run by The Friends of All Saints and musical passion. Saturday 16th November - Shepshed Singers lifecall and Netherhall. and worship with one of today’sChurch leading Scraptoft mentalchat music. Chamber groups & Broom Leys Society with Charnwood Saturday 19th October - lifecall events are Worship worship songwriters. 7.30pm Emmanuel ts will enrich and entertain. With a Choral Classical Flavour Orchestra Emmanuel Church help 16-25 year olds capture Sunday Church, Loughborough. Tickets £7 (£5 under 18) designed Lunchtime RecitaltoSt. Margaret’s, 20th at May - St Mary inLoughborough Charnwood, it 7.30pm Loughborough at 6pm Jeanine fromof Emmanuel Church or wegottickets.com niversary the 1662 Book of Leicester God’s vision for their lives and discover whatNanpantan, means to live out.-The next is isPaul in Coventry Prayer evensong Thursday 12th April - 1itpm 1.30 pm. Thorpe (violin) & Jeremy Kimber (piano). see cpas website for details St. Margaret’s Leicester Lunchtime Recital th March - Leicester Cathedral Bricher - Organ, Admission free - tea and Thursday 12th September - Ian Orr - Organ evensong, with music from the coffee provided - 1pm - 1.30pm (approx). Admission free, tea k for the Queen, at 4pm
fe in abundance? and coffee available. For further information contact Kay Harpin - 0116 2993241
Ride & Stride and Heritage Open Days St Margaret’s Leicester Saturday 14th September - Open 10am - 4pm Admission free, refreshments available and there will be a book sale. For more contact Janet Bass 0116 2244307
improve your communications?
ersations in Conference on Forced & Voluntary Returns oring faith and Saturday rary issues in our 14th September - At Quaker Meeting House in Queens Road, Leicester 11-4pm and a variety of speakers Health, Education, conomicsOpen and Welfare. Day at Syston St Peter & St Paul’s Church Saturday 21st September - 1,000 Years of om the national History. Upper Church Street, Syston. 11am ngside regional ople and until Christian 4pm. Tower open, photographic and other will meet together displays. Come and see our spectacular ceiling us into a public and angels galore! ion chaired by m. More Organ Gems on an Organ Gem ebruary Saturday 28th September - 5pm at St Mary’s rch Church, Humberstone, LE5 1AE arch
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‘At the heart of the hoped-for future, Coffee Morning Stwhich Margaret’s comesLeicester from the God of love, is the flourishing individuals, communities, Saturday 5th October - 10 amof- 12 noon. Many 7.00-9.00pm and our world globe’ stalls including a raffle. Admission free. Prof Miroslav Wolf d Hall, Refreshments available For more contact s House,Janet Bass 0116 2244307 Lane, Leicester,
Lunchtime Recital St Margaret’s Leicester Thursday 10th October - Andrew Radford w.leicester.anglican.org/lent-lectures-2012 e detailsOrgan. 1pm - 1.30pm (approx,). Admission free tea and coffee provided. For more contact Kay Harpin - 0116 2993241
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Soar Valley Press
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Working with Diocese of Leicester, Launde Abbey and churches throughout the diocese 23/01/2012 11:08:47
NOMS (National Offender Management Service Chaplain How long have you been in prison Ministry? My love for Prison Ministry was kindled when I spent 1 day a week volunteering in HMP Holloway in 1998 , I was the Co-ordinating Chaplain of HMP Leicester for 7 years, before leaving that post on the 31st March 2013 inorder to take up my new role as a Chaplaincy HQ Advisor. At its core, a Co-ordinating Chaplain is responsible for ensuring that all prionsers and staff receive the pastoral care that they require and that the faith needs of the prison community are met. The Co-ordinating Chaplain therefore leads a diverse team of Chaplains and volunteers from all the major faith groups. A Chaplaincy HQ advisor is a national post responsible for overseeing prisons regionally and each (there are 6) carry different national portfolio’s. I am responsible for the 29 prisons in the East Midlands and Eastern Region, and I hold the portfolios representing the womens esate and Private providers. How are Prison Chaplains different from other clergy, if they are? Prison Chaplains are as diverse as clergy in all other ministerial roles, though our parishioners are usually easier to find! however our responsibilities are very similar, though it would be reasonable to say that we do less occasional offices, than our community colleagues but are perhaps more regularily involved in pastoral crisis intervention. Why do you want to spend your time with people we might consider ‘beyond redemption’? Aren’t you shocked by the things they’ve done? The role of a Chaplain is not to judge, but to seek the humanity in all and to remember that everyone in prison is someone’s son or daughter, it is not to condone behaviour but to challenge damaged assumptions and to show there is a different way. I am regularly shocked, saddened and even sickened by the depths to which humanity can fall, but I have never lost hope. Are you hoping they will all find Jesus and be saved? I am hoping that prisoners will be able to gain a better understanding of who they are and of God’s love for them, I pray that they will find a hope and a freedom in their faith that transcends the walls and bars .
Do you get frustrated when they come back into prison? Yes! What upsets me most are those who fall through systems in the community and are safer in the prison environment than they would be on the streets, and those who have mental health needs which are not always able to be met in the community. What do you do now you’re not going to Leicester prison everyday? I am usually in HMP Leicester once a week, though office rather than prisoner bound, I spend one day a week in London and the rest of my time is spent visiting the prisons in my areas ensuring that Chaplaincy provision is the best it can be as well as being a resource for Chaplaincies and governors. Do prisons vary? Are they ‘good’ and ‘bad’? What effect does Prison have on people? Prisons vary hugely, arguably no two are the same as each has their own specialisation and categarisation, some prisons work only with Sex offenders, others have no walls or fences and their primary function is to assisit in offenders reintegratating into the community, some like Leicester are local prisons serving the courts, others like Glen Parva take younger men aged 18 to 21, whilst places like Gartree receive only those who are serving life sentances. For the record the nearest Prison that receives women to Leicester is Peterborough. Plus anything else, of course! Working in Prison chaplaincy for the last 7 years has taught me to trust in God’s ability to bring about transformation in the least likely situations, I have seen that journey take years (of course) it is rarely a ‘quick fix’ but I have had the privelege on more than a few ocassions of seeing prisoners turn to Christ and then rebuild their lives and return to society more fully the people they were created to be. It is this possibility that keeps me hopeful and enjoying this ministry week by week. Revd Helen Dearnley
As an introduction to other faiths, why not book one of our ‘A Taste of Faith’ sessions for your church, house group, club or society?
Simply choose a faith to explore:Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Bahá’í, Judaism, Buddhism We provide a Christian representative plus faith practitioner to present their religion and a personal perspective. The session will include group discussion, display of religious artefacts, Q&A forum. As an extra option, we can provide a shared supper featuring dishes linked to the faith. or more information or to book a session
Tel 0116 273 3459
email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.stphilipscentre.co.uk
The quarterly magazine of the Diocese of Leicester