International Women’s Day 2017

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, talks about her actions to #BeBoldForChange, helping mark International Women’s Day 2017 on March 8.

Bishop Rachel has been developing a partnership with The Nelson Trust, a charity that runs an award winning Women’s Centre in Gloucester, recently visited by the Duchess of Cambridge. It works with the most disadvantaged women in our communities, offering both practical and emotional support.

The three bedroomed house will provide a safe home for women who have had traumatic life experience, including being victims of violent crime, domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health difficulties and potential contact with the criminal justice system, including being in prison. It is estimated that over a year up to 12 women and their children will benefit from this home.

// Read more about the project here: http://www.gloucester.anglican.org/2017/bishop-rachel-supports-vulnerable-women/
// Read more about International Women’s Day here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com
// Share the video and your actions to help create a more inclusive, gender equal world using #BeBoldForChange and #IWD2017.

‘Let’s treat water as sacred’ – Archbishop of Cape Town

The Archbishop of Cape Town has appealed to people in industrialised countries to fight climate change through changing their lifestyles, in the wake of drought and flooding in southern Africa. The Most Rev Dr Thabo Makgoba called for people in developed countries to eat less red meat and recycle more to reduce the amount of plastic dumped in the seas. His remarks were made in an interview given in the UK to promote the JustWater campaign by churches worldwide to raise awareness of drought and floods and the need for access to safe water supplies and sanitation across the world. To read an address given in full by Archbishop Thabo at St Mary le Bow Church in the City of London see http://archbishop.anglicanchurchsa.org/

Christmas with a Twist: Motown Carol Concert

Musician, songwriter and producer Mo Pleasure and Rev Peterson Feital, Missioner to the Creative Industries in London Diocese, talk about the Motown Christmas Concert aimed at raising money for The Haven + London, a charity set up to provide pastoral care for members of the creative industries. Artists appearing at St Giles in the Fields church in London include Aubrey Logan, Richard Hadfield, BB Diamond, and singer Melissa James.

A Prayer for Remembrance

Ever-living God,
We remember those whom you have
gathered from the storm of war
into the peace of your presence;
may that same peace calm our fears,
bring justice to all peoples
and establish harmony among the nations,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

For more prayers at Remembrance, please visit our website.

Becoming Reverend – A Diary

Meet Woody.

Former journalist.

Die-hard Oasis fan.

High energy.

Low sperm count.

Training to be a vicar. Obviously.

Matt Woodcock’s frank, funny real-life diaries reveal what it was like for him to train as a vicar while struggling against all odds to become a father. In them he lays bare his joys and struggles as he attempts to reconcile his calling as a vicar with his life as a party-loving journalist, footy-freak and incorrigible extrovert.

Becoming Reverend is a compelling and original account of how faith can work in the midst of a messy life, combining family, fertility, faith and friendship with the story of a divine – but unlikely – calling.

Find out more about the book and download a short extract for free online at www.becomingreverend.com.

A Prayer for Renewal & Reform

Renewal & Reform is an ambitious programme of work, which seeks to provide a narrative of hope to the Church of England in the 21st century. It is rooted in a sense of Biblical hope and an understanding of Christ’s call to us to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into the harvest field.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out his workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2

Renewal & Reform aims to build on the 3 goals articulated by General Synod in 2010 to:

  • Contribute as the national church to the common good
  • Facilitate the growth of the church in numbers and depth of discipleship
  • Re-imagine the church’s ministry

In doing so it looks specifically to address some of the deep-rooted missional challenges facing the Church of England and it prayerfully hopes to see a growing church as fruit of all these labours, growth understood in its fullest sense.
Renewal & Reform seeks to build on the excellent work already taking place across the church to articulate a hopeful future for our churches and, more particularly, the communities we serve. But it doesn’t seek to duck the serious challenges we face but rather is based on a realistic assessment of where we are and how we might respond.

And one of the clear and intended outcomes of this work is to reverse the decline of the Church of England so that we become a growing church, in every region and for every generation; a church open to and for everyone in England, building up the Body of Christ and working for the common good; a confident church,equipping new generations of leaders, ordained and lay, for ministry and mission.

A Growing Church / Renewal & Reform

One of the clear and intended outcomes of this work is to reverse the decline of the Church of England so that we become a growing church, in every region and for every generation; a church open to and for everyone in England, building up the Body of Christ and working for the common good; a confident Church, equipping new generations of leaders, ordained and lay, for ministry and mission; a serving church where all God’s people live out their vocation to serve and to witness.

That is our aim. Renewal and Reform is not based on a prescription of what every church should be, nor does it represent a single Church of England strategy or describe the whole of the Church of England’s work. We need prayerfully to build on our rich inheritance: the daily and weekly rhythms of prayer, worship and proclamation; the thousands of hours of spoken and unspoken service in and to the community; the touching of lives at profound points through weddings, funerals and baptisms and sector ministries; the place for the committed and the enquirer, for people of very loud and very quiet faith; the planned and the random encounters; the evangelistic voice, proclaiming the love of Jesus in and to this generation; the prophetic voice, the continued call for justice and mercy; the assumption – and reality – that the church is still there when nobody else is willing to help.

Renewal and Reform seeks humbly and prayerfully to build on this inheritance to:

  • Grow disciples in every place who are committed to conforming their own lives to the pattern of Christ and confident in sharing their faith with others and making Christ known
  • Call more clergy and lay leaders into a wider variety of ministries
  • Re-direct money to where it is most needed and makes the most difference
  • Foster a range of creative and imaginative mission projects which both strengthen our inheritance and open up new possibilities
  • Simplify rules and procedures to support and enable rather than inhibit
  • Give renewed voice and hope to the people of God and the communities they serve

 

A Realistic Assessment / Renewal & Reform

As God is faithful there is nothing to fear. And so Renewal and Reform does not seek to duck the challenges and realities facing the church; we know they are serious and deep-rooted. They include:

  • A significant and continuing decline in and ageing of church attendance
  • A significant decline in the number of stipendiary clergy, which is due to accelerate in the next ten years
  • The unsustainability of certain patterns of ministry
  • The lack of capacity in at least some dioceses to envision, develop and implement strategies for a more hopeful future
  • The lack of leadership capacity in some places to respond effectively to current and future challenges
  • The legal and cultural constraints and the institutional inertias that impede necessary change

But we benefit from a common understanding that each of the above offers significant opportunities. Renewal and Reform will seek to enable and facilitate confident and hopeful engagement with these and other challenges, nurturing the good and re-imagining the unsustainable.