Category : Parish Ministry

Bp of Kensington Graham Tomlin–Thoughts on Hope in Grenfell

In our community over the past few days we have been through a range of emotions that we rarely experience so close together. Even now as we meet and pray, there are people here in this church, in the surrounding streets wondering how to make sense of this.

How do you put into words what people here have experienced, the story of the past few days?

First there was Shock. As we woke up on Wednesday morning, there was that numb feeling, incredulity that something like this could happen in our modern, C21st sophisticated city. Looking up at the Tower and imagining what the people in there was going through was almost unbearable and so hard to even imagine how awful that must be.

Then there was Compassion. Alongside the tragedy, one of the remarkable things has been to see the amazing outpouring of compassion in this community over the past couple of days.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Anglican church to be shared by both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes

Two different Christian denominations will be sharing the same place of worship during the next year in an example of neighbourliness and friendship.

When it was learned that St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan would be closed for a year for essential renovations, their church neighbours, St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish at Muckno, Castleblayney, in Clogher Diocese, offered the use of their beautiful gothic–style building.

This generous gesture by the Select Vestry of St Maeldoid’s along with their rector, the Revd Neal Phair, and approved by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell, was accepted by the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Father Pat McHugh and his parishioners and from next Monday, 19th June, St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland services and Masses.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(ACNS) Church of England parish at heart of relief efforts following London inferno

In the hours since a massive blaze ripped through a tower block in west London early on Wednesday, nearby St Clement’s Church has been rapidly turned into an emergency relief centre. It sheltered more than 100 residents as the blaze raged and has subsequently been overwhelmed with donations. People have given clothes, bedding and toiletries for the residents of the tower, many of whom fled the block in their nightwear and have lost everything. Volunteers from churches throughout the area are running the relief operation.

[The] Revd Alan Everett described how events unfolded in the hours after the devastating blaze: “I opened the church at half three in the morning and within minutes the local community started bringing in supplies – the tables are now completely overflowing. The response has been overwhelming” he said. St Clement’s has now reached saturation point and has simply run out of room to store any more supplies.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Tel.) Fundenhall Church can keep comfortable chairs even though heritage groups say they are ‘cheap’ and ‘dumpy

A church has won a battle to keep its new comfortable chairs despite the objections of heritage groups who say they are “cheap” and “dumpy”.

St Nicholas Church in Fundenhall illegally spent £3,053 on 50 “crude” chairs which are made of brown faux leather with brushed gold-coloured frames, last September.

The church council had been allowed to remove the church’s pews as part of a much-needed refurbishment, but did not have permission to buy the chairs.

Now it has been allowed to keep them for ten years after a church court found that it would take too long to fundraise for new ones.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Stewardship

Sharp increase in numbers training to be priests in the Church of England

A 14% increase in numbers training for the priesthood has been welcomed by the Church of England. An anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

Welcoming the increase the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said:

“I am delighted at both the number and the range of those whom God has been calling into ordained ministry over the course of the past year. Here are men and women who are choosing to put their faith on the line, so as to bring hope and spiritual nourishment to individuals and communities alike. In an increasingly uncertain world, nothing could be a greater privilege than walking alongside people in their joys and sorrows, from birth to grave.”

An increase of 17% in women coming forward for ordination was welcomed by Catherine Nancekievill, Head of Vocation for the Church of England….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education

(Diocese of Europe) Tributes to Bishop Geoffrey Rowell RIP

I experienced him as unfailingly kind, warm and hospitable. He stayed at our home in Belgium on a number of occasions. I recall with affection long conversations over a bottle of whisky late into the night. When I was appointed his successor, he was wonderfully encouraging and helpful. Geoffrey valued highly his friendship with his clergy, and those of us who served as his priests and deacons will miss him dearly.

For 12 years as Diocesan Bishop, Geoffrey embodied the Diocese in Europe in his own character and personality. He managed to remain a serious academic whilst also carrying out a demanding pastoral ministry. He was a great ambassador for a traditional, catholic, Anglicanism. He maintained an enviable quantity and quality of correspondence with ecumenical partners and friends. He travelled with remarkable energy and stamina. He inspired loyal devotion in those who worked most closely with him.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals

NYT:”As Church Shifts, a Cardinal Welcomes Gays; They Embrace a ‘Miracle’”

The word “pilgrimage” usually evokes visions of far-off, exotic places, but for some 100 gay and lesbian Catholics and their families, a pilgrimage to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart here on a recent Sunday was more like a homecoming.

The doors to the cathedral were opened to them, and they were welcomed personally by the leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin. They were seated on folding chairs at the cathedral’s center, in front of the altar in the towering sanctuary, under the blue-tinted glow of stained glass.

“I am Joseph, your brother,” Cardinal Tobin told the group, which included lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics from around New York and the five dioceses in New Jersey. “I am your brother, as a disciple of Jesus. I am your brother, as a sinner who finds mercy with the Lord.”

The welcoming of a group of openly gay people to Mass by a leader of Cardinal Tobin’s standing in the Roman Catholic Church in this country would have been unthinkable even five years ago. But Cardinal Tobin, whom Pope Francis appointed to Newark last year, is among a small but growing group of bishops changing how the American church relates to its gay members. They are seeking to be more inclusive and signaling to subordinate priests that they should do the same.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Herald) Canon Katherine Bowyer named as first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle

[The] Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer will become the first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle and the first person born in the diocese to be elected to the position.

Acting-Bishop of Newcastle Dr Peter Stuart announced the historic appointment on Sunday, revealing Canon Bowyer had unanimously been accepted as the next Dean and Parish Priest of Christ Church Cathedral.

“Katherine is a highly experienced priest who loves the cathedral, its music and its many ministries,” Dr Stuart said.

Canon Bowyer will replace outgoing Dean Stephen Williams, who will conclude his ministry in August before retiring in October.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Bp Martin of Chichester Pays Tribute to Geoffrey Rowell

Geoffrey’s long association with the diocese of Chichester has been characterised by the generosity with which he shared his gifts of holiness, learning, and personal friendship. We shall miss his presence, his imaginative understanding of the past and of traditions that enrich our own, his humour, his hospitality, and his encouragement of younger scholars, lay and ordained, and the enthusiasm with which he helped them identify the value of their hopes and plans.

Geoffrey died as he had lived: in the rhythm of liturgical prayer, and fortified by the sacramental life that is the mark of a catholic Christian.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Uncategorized

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Rowell RIP

The Bishop of Chichester today (Trinity Sunday) asked parishes in his Diocese to remember the soul of Bishop Geoffrey, who died earlier today.

Bishop Geoffrey was an assistant bishop in the Diocese and Bishop Martin had been able to spend some time with him in recent days.

+Geoffrey was previously Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe in the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe from 2001.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Seminary / Theological Education

(YB news) A Profile of Liverpool Dean Pete Wilcox as he leaves to become new Bp of Sheffield

Dean Pete said two events stick out in his mind – the funeral service for PC Dave Phillips, who was killed in a hit and run by a stolen vehicle while on duty in 2015, and the service for the 2014 Battle of the Atlantic commemorations, which was broadcast live by the BBC.

“The funeral of PC Phillips was a day when I think we served the whole of Merseyside,” he said.

“I think we do those big, set-piece liturgical occasions really well. There is something really special about this cathedral when it is full of people.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CT) Joy Beth Smith reviews Gina Dalfonzo’s book providing an insider’s perspective on the frustrations of long-term singleness in the Church

Somehow, despite many friends getting married, the single among us are still here, clinging to a community that seems to view us as more of a nuisance than a necessity. And we long for a place in the church—besides standing up at the altar while other people’s vows are being exchanged.

Gina Dalfonzo has lived this storyline as well, but a bit longer and with more grace than I have. As a lifelong single, she’s endured passive-aggressive advice, negligent married friends, hurtful generalizations, and the inevitable shaming that comes with prolonged singleness. The path just wide enough for one is familiar to her feet, though not always welcome. But bitterness has no place in Dalfonzo’s journey, and that alone is refreshing.

Her book, One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church, is the result of extensive interviews, hours of research, and years of living the harsh realities the book describes. Dalfonzo highlights the experiences of others as she discusses the state of singleness, touching on everything from the stereotypes and stigmas of the unmarried to the hope we have for a unified church that seeks to celebrate every phase of life.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

Kendall Harmon’s 2017 Pentecost Sermon: The Holy Spirit Frees the Church (Acts 2:1-21)

‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Cor 3:17 ESV).

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, Pentecost, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Remembering D-Day (III)–The Poem “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Military / Armed Forces

(Gafcon) Stories of sacrifice from the USA – How God sustained two faithful churches through tough times

Indeed, in an almost unbelievable twist, the diocese sold the property for a third of the price Good Shepherd had offered to a local Muslim Group! The building, now no longer a place of faithful gospel witness, stands as an ‘Islamic Awareness Centre.’ Tragically, the diocese preferred to sell to an organisation spreading the message of Islam than to a church who had for years preached Jesus and the true biblical gospel.

And so, the Kennedys (who lived in the rectory) were now homeless and the congregation had nowhere to meet. Game over, right?

Wrong! Following their untimely eviction, the congregation was provided with temporary space to worship by a local Baptist Church. And then, in a stunning example of God’s providence, they were later offered a permanent building that had been vacated in a Catholic parish merger. And so, it was settled; 360 Conklin Avenue would become the new home of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd.

Read it all.

Posted in Katherine Jefferts Schori, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology