From the diocese:
Joining it up – Healing Forum
Some years ago, a statement from the British Medical Association said: “As man is body, mind and spirit, and health depends on the harmonious functioning of the whole man, so the task of medicine and the church is inseparable.” Please join the Diocesan Healing Advisory Group as we welcome NHS chaplaincy and Parish Nursing professionals and learn about the essential connection of care between them as an extension of the Church’s ministry of healing.
The event takes place on Monday 19 October from 2-4pm at the Old Deanery in Wells. For further information and booking please email Josie Halla or call her on 01749 685104.
Growing in the Prophetic
This course from the Diocesan Renewal Group will be led by Revd. Keith Powell, from 7-9pm on the evenings of October 14th, 21st and 28th at Mission Church, Street.
Believing that God is speaking to his church and one of the gifts of the Spirit is prophecy, you are invited to join the course and learn to listen to and understand what the Spirit is sharing with us.
Please email Josie Halla, Secretary to the Mission Forum to register, or call her on 01749 685104
Healing and wholeness course
Also on offer from the Diocesan Renewal Group and led by Revd Keith Powell, is this four week course at Christ Church, Henton.
This course is open to everyone and highly recommended for all members of our church prayer and pastoral teams. Each weekly session will include worship, teaching, and prayer ministry. Ideally you should attend all sessions.
The course includes:
• Biblical foundations and New Testament evidence of healing
• Models of how to pray for others
• Physical healing and healing of hurts/emotions/memories
• The need to look after ourselves and our spiritual health
• Spiritual warfare and the reality of the battle
It will take place on 29th October and the 5th, 12th and 19th November from 7pm- 9.15pm. To book, or if you have questions, please email Josie Halla, Secretary to the Mission Forum, or call her on 01749 685104.
Resourcing Parishes: Clinics & Conversations
Andrew Rainsford, Stewardship Adviser is continuing with his clinics around the diocese, offering more opportunities to meet with him and discuss any queries or concerns you may have over your parish finances – eg planned giving, Gift Aid, Listed Places of Worship Roof Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and other grants, etc. Treasurers, Churchwardens, Planned Giving Promoters, Gift Aid Secretaries and others are welcome to book an appointment or just drop in (drop in before 7.00 pm, appointments any time). Choose from:
• Tuesday 6 October, 3.30pm – 8.30pm in Shepton Mallet: 28 Webber Road, BA4 4AL
• Tuesday 3 November , 3.30pm – 8.30pm in Wembdon Parish Centre, Church Road, Wembdon, Bridgwater, TA6 7RR
We are in the process of arranging dates in other deaneries – details will be on the website.
To book or for more information, email Sue Whitehead or telephone Sue on 01749 685272.
If you would like a clinic in your deanery and can offer a venue in which to host one, please get in touch with Sue.
Giving Study Sheets – help with discussion around giving
Do you need to encourage discussion around giving in your church but find it difficult to know how to get conversations started?
The Parish Stewardship Team has produced a series of downloadable Giving Study Sheets which aim to prompt discussion around giving. They are suitable for home groups and could be used as a series of home group sessions based around giving, but each could also stand alone. Each sheet starts with a Bible text and a reflection, then has a number of suggested discussion points – address as many or as few as your group wishes to do. Each study has suggestions for related music which could be played, and finishes with a concluding thought or prayer. The Study Sheets could be used as part of a Planned Giving Review.
The Giving Study Sheets may be freely downloaded from the diocesan website.
The diocesan Rural Life Group have gathered together a selection of Harvest resources for seasonal liturgy, available on their pages on the diocesan website.
Psalms on the go – CofE launches new mobile app
The latest publication from the Church of England brings an ancient tradition of following the Psalms to mobile devices and e-readers.
Adding to the popular ‘Reflections’ series, Reflections on the Psalms is a standalone book, ebook and mobile app written for anyone wishing to follow the ancient practice of the Psalter, reading the Psalms of the Bible each morning and evening. The mobile app is available to buy on the iOS App Store, with an Android version coming soon.
Produced by Church House Publishing, the new publication provides short meditations on each of the Psalms written by Bishops, well-known writers, experienced ministers, biblical scholars and theologians. The book also contains an introduction to the Psalms by theologian Paula Gooder, and a guide to the Psalms in the life of the Church by the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft. With the mobile app, users can save their favourite Psalms and share them via social media.
The book (available as a physical or electronic version) and app are available now to buy at: www.chpublishing.co.uk/ or
New app promises to make parish life easier
A new app for vicars and parish offices promises to banish the nightmare of organising your clergy team across multiple churches and an ever-changing list of regular and ad-hoc services.
Parish Office Pro, uses the latest ‘cloud’ technologies to make a real difference to the management of the multi-church office diary. It’s been specifically designed to manage multiple-church, ministry team benefices allowing you to plan service bookings and appointments across all your churches with confidence. And because the system works with desktop computers, tablets and many smart phones, the most up-to-date information is always available to all team members, wherever they are.
Parish Office Pro will also help you organise your rotas for volunteer teams – sidesperson, altar server, lesson reader, intercessor, etc. Not only can you quickly and easily allocate people to each service, but you can also see when they are already scheduled elsewhere. And where two team members agree a ‘swap’, this is visible to everyone.
It is priced reasonably, to be affordable to all parishes and a 60-day free trial is available. See their website for more details and the free trial.
Stewardship – Sharpen – free lunchtime advice service for church Treasurers – 24 September
Sharpen’s first free quarterly dial-in for church Treasurers in June this year was a huge success. This month they are back with a second dial in. Stewardship’s mission is to strengthen Christian causes and to support Treasurers and Trustees across the UK church with their responsibilities, with practical advice and wisdom. As many people are rather busy, often doing your role on a voluntary basis in addition to your full time job, Sharpen is bringing that catch up to you – with a lunchtime call to dial in to on a quarterly basis. This is for anyone involved in the financial stewardship of any UK church, any denomination – specifically aimed at church Treasurers. Just dial in and listen. All lines dialing in will be muted. If you are joining in on the web, you can send in a question if you want to.
The call will be on Thursday 24 September 2015 from 13.00 – 14.00. Agenda:
• Introduction – Naomi Harrison, Technical Events Co-ordinator
• The mosquito effect: highlighting those small irritating issues that can come back to bite –
Kevin Russell, Technical Director. This quarter we will look at:
• Summer Budget 2015 – what’s in it for charities?
• SORP – FRSSE – is it set to frazzle?
• Charities’ annual returns – do you have your policy ducks in a row?
• The meaty topic: taking a closer look at a topic that affects you – Stephen Matthews, Head of Accountancy and Consultancy services. The topic for this quarter is:
• Financial Controls – what’s all the fuss about?
• A good idea from the field – Naomi Harrison will be interviewing Steve Pierce, Director of Learning and Stewardship for the Diocese of Liverpool, talking about his new book ‘Beyond the Collection Plate’ giving you lots of practical ideas surrounding giving.
• Question time – An opportunity to answer some of the questions you may have asked throughout the call. If you would like to post a question, please make sure that you join us on the web.
To sign up, register on Eventbrite.
Church’s Ministry among Jewish People
Ray Lockhart holds a PTO from the Bishop and represents CMJ (The Church’s Ministry among Jewish People) in the diocese. He is available to come and speak about the work of this Anglican Mission agency or on topics relating to Israel and the Middle East including Bible studies. He and his wife lead Passover meals and would be happy to come to your parish during Holy Week or on other occasions.
If you would like to discuss possibilities you are welcome to contact him by email or phone on 01225 840432.
The 2015 Real Advent Calendar Launches
The Meaningful Chocolate Company is hoping to donate £15,000 from sales of its 2015 Real Advent Calendar to help fund a baby clinic in Kenya and support overseas farmers through Traidcraft Exchange.
However, it is not just the charitable donation that makes The Real Advent Calendar unique. This year it includes a 32-page Christmas story/activity booklet illustrated by Sophie Allsopp and designed to be used every day in Advent. The new booklet includes all the traditional nativity characters, gives more detail about the Christmas story and has seven Advent challenges. The calendar also comes with 24 Fairtrade Belgian chocolates and a line of the Christmas story behind each of the windows.
The Real Advent Calendar costs £3.99. Churches, schools and groups can buy directly from The Meaningful Chocolate Company by visiting our special website and take advantage of a free delivery offer. Retailers stocking the calendar include larger Tesco stores, Traidcraft, Eden.co.uk, Shared Earth, CLC Bookshops and a number of cathedrals. See their website for full details.
Resources for bell ringers
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers offers a number of resources to help maintain and develop both the ring of bells and the band of ringers. One such resource is the Bells in Your Care leaflet, which is aimed to give incumbents, church wardens and other persons who have responsibility for buildings containing rings of bells an insight into how the tower is managed and run, as well as details of sources of information regarding bells and ringers. It contains details on where to find information on tower management, maintenance, insurance, health and safety and safeguarding in a bell ringing environment. It also has a series of Frequently Asked Questions on church bell ringing. You can find the leaflet on the diocesan website.
There is also the Tower Affiliation Scheme which is managed by the Bath and Wells Association of Change Ringers, and offers a Bell Fund to support churches in the diocese. Full details of this can be found on the diocesan website.
Rugby World Cup resources
This will be the world’s third largest international sports event, with an estimated 400,000 visitors from 100 nations arriving in the UK during September and October. People are being encouraged and signposted to the Engage website where individuals and churches can find help, support and information to be able to give consideration as to how they could use this event in missional terms within their own communities.
One Friday is a fresh and creative project to bring church groups together and engage their local communities in retelling the Good Friday story. One Friday is intended as a core idea to be contextualised. For more information email Andrew Graystone or call him on 07772 710090. You can also visit the One Friday website for more details.