Bydd wrol a dewr iawn! (Josua 1.7)
Be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1.7)
The feast day which we celebrate today has many different names, some of which emphasise Our Lord, and others Our Lady. What is undeniable is that today’s feast is the Christian festival of light, Candlemas, when we are called to remember Jesus as the Light of the World, and as a fitting climax to the season of Epiphany. “A light to enlighten the gentiles, and to the glory of thy people Israel” went the Song of Simeon.
It means that we should look for the light of Christ wherever there is darkness – and there is so much darkness in our world. It means that we should look to be lightbearers, bringing the light of Christ into our world. I once remember someone saying the whole of humanity could be divided into drains and radiators, those who drain energy out of us, or those who radiate and supply energy. How then can we be radiators, and how do we bring light into the situations we have to face?
Hwyl a Helo
I am delighted to record the birth of Rhiannon Lucy, a daughter to Sam Erlandson and Karen, who was born in the early morning of 23rd January. We congratulate the Erlandsons on the first clergy baby of 2015, and advise them to go to the Hainsworths for advice …
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Jason Bray, Vicar of Blaenavon in the Diocese of Monmouth, as Vicar of St Giles’ in Wrexham. Jason is a long-serving and senior priest there, and it will be a pleasure to welcome Jason and his family to Wrexham shortly after Easter.
After Easter, we will also be welcoming Glen Mansfield, a young cleric of the Diocese of Guildford, as Associate Priest in Rhyl, and taking on pastoral responsibility for St Anne’s. It will be a great pleasure to have Glen and his wife, Anita, joining us in April. The move means that Stan Walker will be stepping down from St Anne’s and, we hope, moving to a non-stipendiary role as Associate Priest in Rhyl.
At Petertide this year, God willing, it is my intention to ordain Phil Carey to the Sacred Order of Deacon. Phil is a child of the diocese, and he will be serving his title in Rhosllanerchrugog with Jackie Carter.
I am sorry to record the deaths of Walter Raymond Williams and David Hugh Rees, faithful priests and servants of this diocese. Also, I have just heard of the death of James Thompson, a retired priest living in this diocese. Our thought and prayers go to their families, and we pray that God will give them rest. We also extend our condolences to two members of our clergy family who have lost a parent; David Francis has lost his mother, Pauline, and Phil Bettinson, his father, Keith, in this last month. May all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory.
I look forward very much to keeping this feast as usual with you at 1100hr on Maundy Thursday, April 2nd in the Cathedral at the Eucharist for the Blessing of the Holy Oils together with our Renewal of Commitment to diaconal, priestly and episcopal service as well as the commitment of all the baptized to mission. I would like to remind everyone that the invitation is not just to serving clergy but also to retired clergy, Readers and lay ministers and also to any parishioners who would like to come.
Clergy are requested to robe in alb or surplice with white stole in the Translators’ Chapel and then take your seat in the nave by 1050hr. Readers are also welcome to robe in surplice and readers’ scarf.
Lunch will follow as usual, served in the South Transept, and will be a hot main course and pudding. Again all are most welcome to stay for this, however we do need to have accurate numbers to give to the caterers and I will be grateful if area deans / mission area leaders would once again collate the numbers of those requiring food from their deanery. Please would all clergy, therefore, make sure that they have liaised appropriately with their area dean indicating the number of people from their parishes who will be staying for lunch. Every area dean / MAL is asked to submit their deanery numbers to Siân at Esgobty no later than Monday, March 23rd.
The Order of St Asaph
It is now time to start inviting nominations for the Order of St Asaph in 2015 as we seek to recognise and honour the outstanding contribution of lay persons at diocesan level, particularly at an appropriate point on the completion of service in a particular way or in a particular role. Admission to the order is marked by the presentation of appropriate insignia, and those admitted to the order are listed in the diocesan Yearbook.
A nomination form is attached which should be returned completed with as much information as possible about a candidate’s contribution to the diocese. All members of the Teulu Asaff, whether clerical or lay, are encouraged to make nominations, which can also be submitted through any diocesan council or committee. Nominations forms should be submitted to me at Esgobty by the end of April, and will be referred to the advisory committee who will meet in early May.
Understandably there are those who have offered sterling service to the church within a parish or deanery context. Whilst the Order of St Asaph is intended to recognize diocesan service, I am happy to be approached by parishes and deaneries who feel someone’s outstanding contribution to their life should be recognized and I will be happy to issue a suitable certificate that can be used by the parish or deanery for a local presentation. Please contact Michael at Esgobty in the first instance with appropriate details for me to consider.
As you know, I have followed a pattern of appointing Pastoral Chaplains in recent years. These chaplains are available to any member of the clergy to offer pastoral support and advice, and are chosen for their wisdom and experience. Recently, the Province has launched a Mediation Service (about which more below), and this service is available, especially if clergy are facing difficult situations in their parishes, and would like support. A number of our clergy have been trained as mediators in the Provincial scheme, and I have decided to ask some of those trained to join the list of pastoral chaplains.
Of course, as pastoral chaplains and mediators, these clergy are available not just to the clergy but to all members of the Church, particularly in difficult or testing parish circumstances.
Please note therefore that Noel Carter, Chris Potter and Mary Stallard have been kind enough to agree to my request to be used in this manner in the diocese. I am grateful for their readiness to be of service to us all in this way, and they bring a variety and rich talent and background to this new role and ministry. You may either approach Chris, Noel or Mary or any of the other pastoral chaplains through me, the archdeacons or directly.
The Church in Wales launched its Mediation Service in April 2014. Every Diocese now has trained mediators who can work, either in their own Diocese or in any of the other Dioceses in the Church in Wales. The mediators can help in cases of tension or the breakdown of relationships in any area of church life. They can obviously respond to crises, but often their work can be more effective if they are called in at an earlier stage. They can work with individuals and groups.
The Mediation Service can provide an independent and confidential service to both congregations and individuals. For more information contact Helen Walker
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 029 2034 8200 or for an informal, confidential conversation about how the Mediation Service might be able to help you contact Rev Noel Carter, 01492 339521
The Power of Prayer Roadshow
You will know that the diocesan follow up to “The Time is Now” Conference is taking place over the weekend of 27th February – 1st March. If you haven’t booked your place, please do so without delay. Places are filling fast at all three venues as we look forward to welcoming inspirational American speaker Mark Yaconelli. It would be good to see all the clergy attend this event as we consider how we can inspire our parishes in prayer. There is a reminder of the timings below and the quickest way to register is online by following this link: http://bit.ly/1wZneEn and filling in your details and venue preferences.
• St Asaph Cathedral – Friday 27 February, 1.30pm – 5.30pm finishing with Choral Evensong.
• St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School, Wrexham – Saturday 28 February, 9.30am – 1.30pm.
• St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School, Wrexham – Saturday 28 February, 2.30pm – 6.30pm.
• Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Newtown – Sunday 1 March, 2pm – 6pm.
The post of Rector of Denbigh is advertised with this Ad Clerum. I remain concerned that we have not yet found the right person to appoint as Area Dean of Holywell/ Vicar of the Gorsedd Group. Any expressions of interest, or recommendations as to possible candidates, for either of these appointments can be made to the Archdeacon of St Asaph. Both of these groupings are excellent parishes, which have been well looked after by their last incumbents, and so are in fine form for any new priest. Please think about whether you may be called to these parishes, or if anyone you know could be recommended.
Old Colwyn and Llanelian
The post of Rector of Old Colwyn is a Bishop’s appointment for this turn. I attach to the Ad Clerum the advertisement which has been prepared by the parish, and the parish profile may be viewed at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/work-with-us/. It is my intention only to advertise this post internally by this Ad Clerum, and I should be grateful if any clergy interested in this appointment would contact me directly on my email (email@example.com) in the next two weeks.
Dates for your diary
10 February Creative Worship CMD (see below for details)
24 February Appreciative Inquiry CMD (see below for details)
27 Feb- 1 March The Power of Prayer Conferences
4 March Licensing of Danny & Mary Evans at St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden, 1900hr.
8 March Licensing of James Alyward as Priest-in-Charge of Southsea at All Saints’ Church, Southsea at 1600hr
9/10 March Area Deans / MAL Residential Meeting, Foxhill, Frodsham
LATER IN THE YEAR
2 April Chrism Eucharist, Cathedral, 1100hr
4 April Easter Vigil & Diocesan Confirmation, Cathedral, 1900hr
10 May Confirmation for Mathrafal & Pool deaneries at St Myllin’s, Llanfyllin 1500hr
13 June Readers’ Day, Gresford
14 June Confirmation for Alyn deanery at St Tudfil’s, Coedpoeth 1500hr
21 June Anniversaries of Ordination Service, Cathedral 1100hr
27 June Ordination, Cathedral, 1000hr
28 June Confirmation for Wrexham Mission Area, St Giles’ Church 1500hr
29 September Clergy Synod Day, venue to be confirmed (half day concluding with lunch)
05 July Confirmation for Dee Valley Deanery, 1500hr, venue to be confirmed
12 July Confirmation for Cedewain Mission Area, All Saints’ Church, Newtown 1500hr
7 October Retired Clergy Association Eucharist & lunch, St Asaph
10 October Diocesan Conference
21 Oct Confirmation for Mold & Hawarden Mission Areas, 1900hr, venue to be confirmed
11/12 November Area Deans / MAL residential, Foxhill, Frodsham
02 December Diocesan Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr
Many thanks to you all for contributing to the Clergy Synod last month. I am very grateful to Manon and to Siân Sweeting-Jones for all their organisation of the day, and to Nicola McGinty for leading us in such a professional manner. Manon would welcome further feedback on the day although up to now the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. Please bear with us as we collate all the valuable work that was produced, and we hope to share all this significant information with you as soon as we are able.
Manon and the Developing Steering Group are also beginning to plan next year’s training and although some training needs are arising out of MDR, it would be helpful to have suggestions of speakers / trainers and topics. Please contact Manon directly on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Applications for 2016 will need to be in by March 31st 2015. The information and application forms were circulated in the last Ad Clerum. Please contact Manon if you want any help with the form or to discuss ideas.
Two events are coming up this month that might be of special interest, the first is on February 10th 10am-4pm at Llangollen Pavilion and the speaker is Revd Rachel Mann, looking at Creative Worship especially in preparing liturgies for Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Rachel is a well known speaker and is one of the most talented Christian poets in the UK and one of Wild Goose Publishing/ Iona Books’ key authors.
The second is on Appreciative Inquiry by Revd Stephen Adams on February 24th 10am – 4pm again at Llangollen Pavilion. Appreciative Inquiry is increasingly being used in churches in order to help them develop mission and ministry by assessing where they are and developing their strengths. It is a positive and affirming way of parish development so it is particularly helpful for us as we work out how to address the challenges posed to us by the Church in Wales Review.
As you know, there is an expectation that all stipendiary clergy will book themselves on to at least 2 diocesan training events, and for this year, one includes the mandatory Safeguarding training. However, this doesn’t prevent you for attending more, and I would like to encourage you to be pro-active in your training and development. More information on the other courses can be found on http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/life/steering-groups/training-together-prospectus-2015/
Please book your place on any of the courses advertised by emailing Sian Connelly on: email@example.com or 01745 582245.
All those who have joined the diocese in the past year are also invited to the Introduction to the Diocese day on Tuesday 17 March at the Diocesan Office, St Asaph. The day will include sessions with Diocesan Officers to learn about their roles and how they can support you in your mission and ministry plus an opportunity to meet the Administration Team at St Asaph. Start time 10 a.m. until 3.30 p.m. (a light lunch will be provided). All those who have missed previous sessions and want to find out more are also welcome. To book a place or find out more about the event, please telephone the Diocesan Office 01745 582245.
Further Notes and Queries
Electoral Roll Renewal
The Electoral Roll for every parish in the Church in Wales needs to be renewed every 5 years in line with the Constitution of the Church in Wales. This renewal is due to place in 2015 and must be completed before the Annual Vestry Meeting. In addition to its necessary administrative and constitutional functions, this is also a helpful pastoral exercise since it provides both the Incumbent and Parochial Church Council with an assessment of ‘membership’ and will be used in future planning in the context of 2020 Vision.
All the documentation has already been sent to your PCC Secretaries and is also available to download from the diocesan website at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/life/electoral-roll-2015/
This year, the Electoral Roll Application Form also incorporates a proforma that encourages church members to consider how they might like to get more involved in the life of the local church. This pro forma has been developed and used very successfully by Wrexham Mission Area and is now offered to all our parishes without obligation in the spirit of sharing good ideas that support 2020 Vision. I do hope that you will take this opportunity to encourage all the members of your churches to think prayerfully about how they can offer their gifts in God’s service.
The James Pantyfedwen Foundation
The Foundation is a well known and much appreciated avenue of support in meeting the costs of building repairs and improvements in our churches. Please find attached a new set of guidelines issued by the Trustees. James Pantyfedwen Foundation A greater emphasis will now be placed in applications demonstrating the following ‘positive attributes’:
• Churches which share resources with other churches, especially buildings
• Where the need for improvements arises from the mission plans of the local church congregation
• Where the need for improvements is planned to provide for greater community use of the buildings.
Real Easter Egg
The Real Easter Egg is the only one which tells the Easter story, gives money to charity and is Fairtrade. Now in its fifth year, it has just been voted the UK’s favourite Fairtrade Easter egg. This year, at least 10p from every sale of the Original egg will be donated to Traidcraft Exchange. There are three eggs to choose from – the Original (£3.99) which has a new 24page Easter storybook/3ft Happy Easter banner and a pack of Chunky Button inside; the Special (£9.99), which contains an olive wood peace dove keyring from the Holy Land, as well as a simple guide to the Easter story and a chocolate bar; and the Dark egg (£5.50) with three chocolate mini squares and a simple guide to the Easter story. For more information or to order see www.realeasteregg.co.uk The bishop is sent a number of free samples every year of this product, and I am happy to give them to deserving parishes or causes as raffle prizes, or rewards. Please enquire at Esgobty if you are interested.
As I have said above, it was very good to see you at the Clergy Synod earlier in January, and I hope that you felt that it was valuable. I look forward to digesting our discussion in the future, and applying our thinking to diocesan life. I am sure that the quality of our life together, and mutual listening and learning will be at the heart of our future flourishing.
The year is already going very quickly, and I wish you well as you prepare for Lent, which begins on 18th February. May God bless the springtime for our souls.
Ad Clerum 150202 – download in Word.
Advert Live from 13 February
Denbigh with Henllan, Llannefydd and Bylchau
The historic market town of Denbigh is grouped with three rural parishes in the attractive Vale of Clwyd. The new group has a modern rectory, re-ordered town centre church and four fine churches in beautiful settings.
We seek to appoint a Rector who will encourage us in our knowledge of the Bible, our personal faith in Jesus Christ and to deepen our prayer life. We need someone who will develop our vision to engage with the wider community, through links with local schools, opportunities for youth ministry and local Cytûn churches. He/she will need to be sympathetic to Welsh language and culture and comfortable with a diversity of worship styles.
The new Rector is assisted by a House For Duty colleague who has pastoral responsibility for the rural churches in the Group and by a supportive laity team.
A recruitment pack is available from:
or from the Bishop’s Secretary on (01745) 583503
Applications should be received at Esgobty by 12 noon on Monday, 09 March 2015
and interviews will be held on Tuesday, 24 March.
Advert now Live
Colwyn and Llanelian
These North Wales coastal parishes with two churches close to Colwyn Bay
seek a Rector with experience and vision who will
• Nurture a culture of Christian learning and prayer
• Develop ministry among families and young people
• Lead us to engage with the community
• Sensitively relate to the needs of the congregation
• Be sensitive to Welsh culture and context
For an informal conversation about this vacancy please contact the Venerable John Lomas on 07810 357895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recruitment pack is available from: http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/work-with-us/
or from the Bishop’s Secretary on (01745) 583503
Expressions of interest should be made to the Bishop at Esgobty by 12 noon on Monday, 16 February 2015. Any applications from within the diocese will have preference.