Bishop’s Ad Clerum – April 2017

Unlocking our potential bilingual logo3ydd Ebrill 2017 April 3rd  

Tymor y Dioddefaint ~ Passiontide

Adeiladwch fy Eglwys, medd yr Arglwydd / Build my Church, says the Lord.

Annwyl Gyfeillion

I don’t know whether you share my amazement as the passage of time.  Easter is late this year, but it doesn’t seem any time at all since Christmas, and Lent has rushed by.  As we come to that most sacred time of year when we walk with Jesus through his passion, death and resurrection, the chief thing, I think, is not to be so caught up in the busyness that we neglect to spend time with Jesus.

Whether it be in the quiet of our own daily prayers, or taking some time to walk apart or sit apart, I hope that we will take the opportunity to come alone into Gethsemane, to the foot of the cross, to the empty tomb.  When we celebrate the Eucharist, and re-enter into the mystery of the Last Supper, let us find at least a moment to be quiet in the presence of the Lord, and to contemplate what we are about.  The annual celebrations come round, it seems, all too quickly.  We need to complement our busyness with a moment to catch eternity, and to contemplate the love of God.

I wish you all a joyful celebration of the Paschal feast, and the chance to encounter Jesus in a fresh way in such moments of quiet as we can carve out for ourselves – and let us make it a priority so to do.  But before we get to the Triduum, I look forward to seeing you at

The Chrism Eucharist

We will gather at 1100hr on Maundy Thursday, April 13th in the Cathedral for the celebration of 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.

This service is a genuinely diocesan event, and I stress again that all licensed and commissioned lay ministers and members of our congregations are very welcome to this occasion in addition to all clergy, serving and retired.  Clergy are requested to robe in alb or surplice with white stole in the Lady Chapel and then take your seat in the nave by 1050hr.  Readers are also welcome to robe in surplice and scarf.

Lunch will follow as usual, and will be served in the South Transept.  It will be a hot main course followed by pudding.  All are very welcome to stay for this, however we do need to have an accurate estimate to give to the caterers.  Mission Area leaders are asked to collate the numbers of those requiring food from their area.  Please would all clergy liaise with their MAL indicating the number of people from their churches who will be staying for lunch.  Mission Area Leaders are asked to submit their numbers to Siân at Esgobty no later than Friday, 7th April.

Calling all clergy singers… Do you have the time to commit to meeting up once before the Chrism Eucharist somewhere in the diocese at a time & place that best fits and then a quick run through on the morning of Maundy Thursday, and then again before the clergy school? If so and you would like to be part of a small choir/ singing group and you sing either soprano, alto, tenor or bass parts, could you email Dot Gosling on dotchka@me.com or before Fri 7th April giving possible dates/times you could meet and where in the diocese you are based. Thank you very much.

Festival of Prayer: 13th May 2017 in St. Asaph Cathedral

This day has been organised by John Harvey, Director of Spirituality, and the Developing Steering Group.  John writes as follows:

The Festival seeks to respond to the following:

  • the work of Mark Yaconelli in the diocese in 2016, particularly his spiritual formation work with groups;
  • the challenge of Bishop Gregory at the Diocesan Conference in 2016 to ‘Build my Church’
  • the need in the recently formed and emerging Mission Areas to foster and develop a new culture, of participatory processes deeply rooted in prayer – listening to God, to one another and to oneself.

The Festival will consist of a number of workshops in which various models of group prayer formation and activities will be modelled and experienced.

The intention is that participants are able to return to their Mission Area Conferences and committees with vision for the prayerful development of those groups and with resources to begin to implement those developments.

The timetable will look something like this:

09.45              Arrival; tea and coffee

10.15              Prayer and Opening Address

10.30             Session 1

11.30              Break for refreshment and reflection

12.00             Session 2

13.00             Lunch

14.00             Session 3

15.00             Closing Prayers

The day will focus quite narrowly on group spiritual formation and prayer activity. As such, the ‘target audience’ is primarily those who are involved in Mission Area groups and who would be willing to experience these techniques and at least to communicate them back to those groups. Resources and support will be available for this return to the Mission Areas.

Because of the potential numbers involved, and in order to allow proper input and response, it’s been decided to target this particular day towards the Mission Areas that would look naturally to an event organised in the north of the diocese, and to offer another day, later in the year, for Mission Areas that would find it easier and more natural to attend an event based in the south.

John Harvey asks Mission Area Leaders, in conjunction with their colleagues or Executives or Conferences as appropriate, for the following, please:

  • to indicate to John (revjohnharvey@googlemail.com) if he has guessed correctly whether your Mission Area would prefer this Day or another based in the south;
  • to select and invite as representatives suitable and willing participants, up to 4 for each Mission Area, including the Mission Area Leader if they wish, and to let John know that this is done;
  • to ask the participants to contact Sian Connelly at the Diocesan Office (sianconnelly@churchinwales.org.uk) to book directly with her to attend on 13th

Hwyl a Helo

We hold is our thoughts and prayers those who have lost loved ones recently, including Hazel Stibbe on the loss of her husband, Paul, and Steve Green on the loss of his mother, Megan.  We pray they will know the comfort and hope that our crucified and risen Saviour offers.

We send our congratulations to Elaine & Phil Atack who have become grandparents again following birth of Alexander Jacob.

Dates for your diary

The diary includes all those dates which are part of our common professional life, giving as much notice as possible.  Please note them assiduously, especially those where your participation is expected.

APRIL

3rd April                        Licensing of Phil Bettinson, St David’s, Rhosllanerchrugog, 1900hr.

13th April                      Chrism Eucharist, Cathedral, 1100hr.

15th April                      Easter Vigil & Confirmation, Cathedral, 1900hr.

MAY

14thMay                       Episcopal Visitation to Caereinion, Tanat Valley and Vyrnwy Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Ffraid’s, Llansantffraid yn Mechain.

21st May                      Episcopal Visitation to Wrexham and Alyn Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Giles’, Wrexham.

24th May                      Valle Crucis Mission Area Commissioning Service, 1900hr.

25th May                      Wrexham Archdeaconry Confirmation, St Giles’, Wrexham, 1900hr

LATER IN THE YEAR

11th June                     Episcopal Visitation to Denbigh & Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Areas, 1530hr, Holy Trinity, Trefnant.

18th June                     Episcopal Visitation to Elwy Mission Area, St Asaph Parish Church, 1400hr.

20th June                     Penedeyrn Mission Area Commissioning Service, 1900hr.

24th June                      St Johnstide Ordination at the Cathedral, 1000hr.

2nd July                         Episcopal Visitation to Borderlands and Mold Mission Areas, St Matthew’s   Church, Buckley, 1500hr.

16th July                        Episcopal Visitation to Offa and Maelor Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Mary’s, Ruabon.

3rd September           Episcopal Visitation to Pool & Cedewain Mission Areas, St Beuno’s Church, Berriew, 1530hr.

10th September        Episcopal Visitation to Aled and Aber-Morfa Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Paul’s, Colwyn Bay.

17th September        Episcopal Visitation to Estuary & Mountain and Bryn y Môr Mission Areas, 1600hr, St Mary & St Peter’s, Bagillt.

19-22 September    Clergy Residential Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

3rd October                 St Asaph Archdeaconry Confirmation, St David’s, Penrhyn Bay, 1900hr.

7th October                 Diocesan Conference, St Joseph’s School, Wrexham.

8th October                 Episcopal Visitation to Penedeyrn and Valle Crucis Mission Areas, 1530hr, St John the Evangelist, Llangar, Cynwyd.

9th October                 Episcopal Visitation to The Dean and Chapter, St Asaph Cathedral.

Admission of Members to the Order of St Asaph during Choral Evensong in the Cathedral, 1800hr.

15th October               Montgomery Archdeaconry Confirmation, 1530hr, Ss. Tysilio and Mary, Meifod.

7th-8th November     MAL Consultation at Foxhill Retreat Centre, Frodsham.

19th November          Episcopal Visitation to Aberconwy Mission Area, 1530hr, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy.

13th December          Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr.

2018

30th June                      Petertide Ordination at the Cathedral 1000hr

Notices and Queries

Easter Vigil Confirmation

Clergy have been circulated with the details of the Easter Confirmation service on Holy Saturday at the Cathedral.  Please make sure you submit the details of your candidates to Siân at Esgobty before Holy Week.  At the celebration last year, parishes and mission areas attending were invited to bring their Paschal Candles to the event for lighting and carrying forth as a symbol of our mission to carry the light of the Risen Christ into the world.  This worked well, and I invite participating churches to do the same again this year.

Clergy School Music Group

We’re seeking clerics who have musical gifts in playing instruments or just enthusiasm to sing so that our worship in Oxford can be enhanced by your contribution. If you are such a person please contact the Rev Dot Gosling on 01745 888797 or email: dotchka@me.com

Anniversaries in Ministry

On Sunday, June 18th, I would like to invite those who will be celebrating a significant ordination anniversary during 2017 to join me for a special celebratory Eucharist at the Cathedral at 1100hr – anniversaries such as 25 years and the subsequent ‘0’ or ‘5’ anniversaries thereafter.  If you have a special anniversary this year that you would like to celebrate with us on June 18th then please contact Esgobty by May 31st.

Big Church Day Out – 02-03 June Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire

The Big Church Day Out gathers Christians from all over the country, of all ages and denominations for a weekend of worship, family fun, music and celebration. This vibrant expression of church unity is enjoyed by thousands of guests every year, and stands as the biggest annual evangelistic event in the UK. Groups and families come from all across the country, bringing many of their un-churched friends and family along as an introduction to church and faith. It is the UK’s largest and fastest growing gathering of the church, expanding to two sites in 2017 at a time when church unity is more of a focus than ever before.

This year, the Big Church Day Out partners with ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, the national prayer initiative started in 2016 by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Big Church Day Out North will be one of the 2017 Beacon events, falling on Pentecost weekend.

To book your Church’s group please go to www.bigchurchdayout.com and use Group Plus to set up your booking. In just 10 clicks you can create the group and send out your invitations. The ticket prices will drop as more people respond to the invite and order their tickets. Payments will be taken at midnight on the closing date of your group. Please watch this easy-to-follow video to see how Group Plus works.

The Order of St Asaph

A reminder that nominations are now being invited for the Order of St Asaph in 2017 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.

The Real Easter Egg

There are five types of Real Easter Egg available this year. The Original and Dark eggs come with a redesigned 24 page story book by the award winning children’s illustrator, Alida Massari, which will delight children and adults with its presentation of the Gospel story.   The Special Edition this year comes with an illustrated guide to Easter traditions. More information about these Fairtrade Eggs can be found at  http://www.therealeasteregg.co.uk/our-eggs/.  Please do consider supporting this important Christian initiative.

In Christ,

Bishop Gregory's signature 2015