Gorffennaf y 4ydd 2017 July 4th
Peblig, Abad : Peblig, Abbot
Adeiladwch fy Eglwys, medd yr Arglwydd
Build my Church, says the Lord
July 4th hardly registers in the British calendar, while being one of the most important occasions in the calendar for our American friends. This year is perhaps different, because we now have quite an American colony growing in our midst. Kate Johnson’s presence among us is well established. Bob and Sandra Friedrich have been living in Conwy during Bob’s studies in Bangor University, and Bob holds PTO in this diocese. Alexis Smith was among those ordained Deacon this last month, having taken up the post of Pioneer Priest in Pool Mission Area, accompanied by Scott her husband, and her father, Roger. And last month as well, we were joined by Dan and Lara Stroud, and their son, Charley. We wish them all a Happy Independence Day.
I am glad that we can be quite an international family, and we have several nationalities represented in the diocese – Khushi has recently joined us with his family, and Godfrey has been joined by his new wife, Melisa.
I am reminded of that glorious verse in the Book of Revelation (7.9): “After this I looked, and a vast host appeared which it was impossible for anyone to count, gathered out of every nation and from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” This is the Church, the people of God, rich in their diversity, and whose vocation to be without boundaries we are called to live into.
This should be the glory of the Church, we are a diverse community drawn from every background and welcoming those from every background, as we were all welcomed by the Lord. I am glad that in a small way, even in north east and central Wales, we can bear witness to that reality.
Hwyl a Helo
That diversity is also represented by the work the Teulu Asaph does to ensure that all are welcome in the Church, and that we are seeking to respond to human need wherever we find it. I am pleased that Bob Friedrich is willing to take on the role of Dementia Support Officer for the diocese. Bob is an expert on how we as churches can make ourselves safe spaces for those suffering from dementia, and he has already been working with some of us to ensure we earn “dementia friendly status”.
I am particularly keen to find House for duty priests who can serve in the few vacancies that we have in the diocese. In particular, the Denbigh Mission Area would be pleased to find a successor for Robert Pearce in the Henllan group. If you know of anyone who would like to consider this post, or would like to consider it yourself, then please make contact with Archdeacon John.
Dates for your diary
The diary includes all those dates which are part of our common professional life, giving as much notice as possible. The visitations are a professional commitment for all serving clergy, and you will receive a citation to attend at an appropriate interval before the date.
16th July Episcopal Visitation to Offa and Maelor Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Mary’s, Ruabon.
30th July Licensing of Andrea Jones as Rector of Hawarden and Vicar of Sandycroft, St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden,1500hr.
LATER IN THE YEAR
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 a Môr Mission Areas, 1600hr, St Mary & St Peter’s, Bagillt.
19-22 September Clergy Residential Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
29 September Ordination of Peter Nissen to the priesthood, All Saints’, Gresford, 1900hr.
3rd October St Asaph Archdeaconry Confirmation, St David’s, Penrhyn Bay, 1900hr.
7th October Diocesan Conference, St Joseph’s School, Wrexham. (including British Sign Language interpretation)
8th October Episcopal Visitation to the emerging Penedeyrn Mission Area and the Valle Crucis Mission Area, 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 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.
30th June Petertide Ordination at the Cathedral 1000hr (including British Sign Language interpretation)
NB: Every year I am pleased that many clergy support their new colleagues by making the effort to be present at an ordination. For those who couldn’t make it, I would like to emphasize that your presence at ordinations is warmly encouraged. I must admit to a slight disappointment when other events such as bookings for weddings are prioritized over the ordination, when advance notice is so clearly given. (Given that it is almost always the last Sunday in June, it is easy to predict many years in advance as well.)
Notices and Queries
Safety and security in church buildings
The Church of England has put up a new webpage about safety and security in church buildings. It is mainly a list of publicly available resources to help prevent and minimise the impact of attacks or hate crimes and is relevant to church buildings generally, not just to Church of England buildings:
- Run, Hide, Tell: information about what to do in the event of an incident: are resources include a leaflet and an information film.
- CitizenAID: are resources for the general public to be prepared in the event of an attack: particularly focused on how to react following an incident in order to protect yourself and help save lives of others affected.
- Action Counters Terrorism: the campaign, ‘Make nothing happen’, focuses on the critical role the public can play in defeating terrorism.
- National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO): the latest guidance includes a section (page 19) on places of worship. The introduction says: ‘This guide is intended to give protective security advice to those who are responsible for security in places of worship. It is aimed at those places where there may be a risk of a terrorist attack either because of the nature of the place of worship or the number of people who congregate in it. The guide seeks to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack and limit the impact an attack might cause.’
- Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure: the Centre provides resources, guidance and expert advice to help protect and keep businesses secure from external threats: its latest guidance note was published following the London Bridge and Borough Market attack.
- CSSC – helping businesses to remain safe: the Cross-sector Safety & Security Communications hub is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, local and national government organisations and private sector businesses which aims to help businesses remain safe and secure by providing information that will assist them to develop robust resilience and emergency preparedness plans. Currently operational in London, Scotland and the Eastern Region, it is set to expand across the UK in the future.
The main website suggests that, in addition to public campaigns, church officers may wish to reach out to their local Police and regional counter terrorism units. Since the 7/7 attacks the UK has put in place a national counter terrorism network with 10 regional units with dedicated resources. NaCTSO is keen for places of worship to engage with the dedicated Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA) in their police force area, who can provide tailored guidance and advice, for instance when large events are planned. This is likely to be most relevant to sizeable churches and cathedrals. Contact details for CTSAs are here.
A reminder that our diocesan magazine, Teulu Asaph, includes a questionnaire asking for feedback on its style and content. Please offer your comments on the magazine and encourage members of your congregation to do the same. You can find an electronic version of the questionnaire online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7WVPBHH /
or in Welsh at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TC2BWPV.
All completed questionnaires will be entered for a prize draw for £30 worth of book tokens, garden vouchers or Fairtrade products (the winner can decide!). All questionnaires should reach us by Monday 17 July 2017.
Pre-Retirement Course 2017
Details of the Church in Wales Pre-Retirement-Course are now available for those starting to plan for this next step in their life and ministry.
Representative Body vacancies for clerical members
I do hope that you’ll be getting a well earned break in the course of the Summer, and a bit of a rest. We have a busy time ahead of us in the autumn, and before we look round, we’ll be heading off to Oxford for the Clergy School. I’ll look forward to seeing you there if not before.