October 2013 – Ad Clerum

Ad Clerum :
30fed o Fedi   2013   30th September
Sierom : Jerome

Y Flwyddyn o Bererindod 2013-14 The Year of Pilgrimage
Dilynwch Fi, medd yr Arglwydd: Follow Me, says the Lord

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

It is said that Byron kept a bear in his college rooms in Cambridge, and Jerome kept a tame lion as a pet.  It tended to frighten the monks, and I’ve been wondering whether to trial one here in Esgobty, but Clare wouldn’t let me.  However, this quaint story does say something about the holy person living in harmony with nature (Jerome had helped to heal its paw, rather like Androcles in Aesop, from whom the Christians probably pinched the story).  It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to use the opportunity to remind us all of the duty for us to be environmental aware and friendly.  It is good to think of Christians living with the grain of the world, and seeking to heal wherever hurt is found, even if I’m not expecting our vicarages to be become zoological gardens.  I’m sure that Stuart Elliott will be quick to remind us of our duties and witness.  When did you or your Church last back an environmental cause?

Hwyl a Helo

After an ongoing bout of ill-health beginning this last month, and reflecting on the joys and priorities of grandparenthood, Shirley Griffiths has decided that it is time to hang up her gaiters as Archdeacon of Wrexham.  Shirley will not be finishing until the end of the year, but I want to record here my gratitude for three and a half years of outstanding service as Archdeacon, as well as a distinguished ministerial record here and in the Church of England.  I will write more fully in the next Ad Clerum about arrangements for us to offer Shirley farewell as a diocese in due course, but currently Shirley is off work, although hoping to return in the course of the next month.

Given the current busy nature of the work of the Archdeaconry of Wrexham, however, I have asked John Lomas to take up the portfolio of Acting Archdeacon of Wrexham as necessary over the next three months.  I am grateful to John for being willing to take on this extra work, and I am sure that the clergy of the archdeaconry will give him a warm welcome and value his support.

I am pleased to welcome Robert Dennis to the Teulu Asaph from the Diocese of Monmouth.  Robbie has accepted nomination to be Vicar of Connah’s Quay, and will be taking up the post in the new year.  He brings with him a wealth of experience in South Africa and in the Church of England, and we offer a warm welcome to him and his wife.  Robbie will be inducted in the afternoon of Sunday, 5 January at St Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.  Sadly, Robbie’s mother, Mary, died at the end of last week, so we have also to hold the family in our prayers for this sad reason.

I am sorry to record the death of Stuart Elliott’s grandfather, Bert, who did a lot of the caring for Stuart as he grew up.  We offer Stuart heartfelt condolences.  I also note with sadness the passing of Ronnie Breeze, our most long serving and venerable Lay Reader, who died in mid-September.

We congratulate Peter Pike and Deb on the birth of a grandchild, Max Peter, who was born on 11th September.

Dates for the Diary

03 Oct 1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Hawarden deanery at St John’s Church, Penymynydd
9 Oct 1130hr Retired Clergy Association Eucharist at Cathedral followed by lunch at Oriel House with the Venerable Andrew Jones, Archdeacon of Meirionydd, as guest speaker on the subject of pilgrimage.  Please encourage all retired clergy to sign up for this event, and consider helping them with the cost from parish funds.
 1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Holywell deanery at the Parish Church of St Mary & St David, Flint.
12 Oct Diocesan Conference in the Llangollen Eisteddfod Pavilion.
20 Oct 1500hr  Confirmation at St Mary the Virgin, Mold.

07 Nov 0930hr Area Deans’ Training, St Margaret’s Church Hall, Wrexham.
24 Nov 1745hr Admission of members to the Order of St Asaph during Choral Evensong, Cathedral.

04 Dec 1900hr Nicholastide Confirmation at the Cathedral.

Dates for 2014

Tuesday, 28 January: CMD with Canon Prof John Gibaut, Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order – ‘Current Prospects for Christian Unity and the Nature and Mission of the Church’

Tuesday, 13 May:  CMD with the Revd. Dr Beatrice Brandon, Archbishops’ Advisor for the Healing Ministry – ‘The Ministry of Healing’.

Tuesday, 9 – Friday, 12 September:  Residential Clergy Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford – ‘Pressing on with the Gospel’.

Saturday, 11 October: Diocesan Conference in the Llangollen Pavilion.

In addition, there are two annual liturgical events which I regard as a gathering of all the college of presbyters of the diocese. 

Thursday, 17  April – Chrism Eucharist & Renewal of Ordination Vows at Cathedral  1100hr
Saturday, 28 June – Petertide Ordination at Cathedral 1000hr
Saturday, 27 June 2015: Petertide Ordination at Cathedral

Area Deans are reminded of the residential training event booked at Foxhill Retreat & Conference Centre, Frodsham on 10 & 11 March.  Also, an area deans’ training day has now been booked on Tuesday, 25 November 2014.

Notes and Queries

H+ Training Day, Tuesday 5 November
Bible Society is holding a day course on Biblical Hermeneutics and Interpretation at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University from 9-30am to 4-30pm on Monday, 5 November. The course is called ‘H+’, and is an introduction to a longer course which can be delivered in parishes by those in ordained or lay ministry. I am very enthusiastic about it, as it brings to life the scriptures, and helps us to read them in an intelligent and life transforming way.  It could be an important resource for anyone interested in learning more about biblical interpretation.  I hope that many of you will choose to be present, and I am underwriting the cost of the course for all clergy wishing to attend.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Alan Tiltman, CMD Officer, at a.tiltman@hotmail.com. It is possible to book for the day directly through the Bible Society website, but Alan is trying to put together a block booking which will reduce costs, which will help.

The Real Advent Calendar
We’ve enjoyed the Easter Egg, and the Christmas decorations, and the new addition to the stable of Christian chocolate is an Advent Calendar which delivers the daily sugar rush during December, but includes an obvious Christian context: the reason for the season, as some like to put it.  Details can be found at:  www.meaningfulchocolate.co.uk and www.realadvent.co.uk A sample can be examined (but not tasted) at Esgobty.  Nearly 200,000 “real” eggs were sold last year, and the Advent Calendar will be stocked in Tesco.

Bishop’s Second Visitation
Further information about the Visitation can be found at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/people/bishop/visitations2013/

I’m aware that we’ve just come through a week where some of the clergy and laity have had up to five diocesan meetings.  I am sorry that the diary has been a bit of a pile-up like this, but at least it should free up spaces elsewhere.  I am grateful that so many of you show such willing to come to meetings as requested, and it does significantly enhance our diocesan life, and is not taken for granted.

Thank you,

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