First results from the 2021 Census

The Office for national Statistics has just produced the first datasets resulting from the 2021 Census, showing growth in the population of the Borough of Colchester from 173,100 to 192,700 in the last decade. We have a comparison with other local Boroughs and an analysis by age, which make interesting reading (well, we think so - it could be very useful for mission planning!). Much more information will be released in the coming months, but we've set out the results so far on this page.

Bishop Guli issues her Petertide Ad Clerum

An 'Ad Clerum' is to the Clergy, but Bishop Guli's letter issued this month contains much of interest to all of us - including details of a service at the Cathedral to mark the work done by so many people involved in Safeguarding at Parish level. That's to be on Wednesday 21st September at 7:30pm. More details will follow. Read the Ad Clerum here.

Trevor Davies, RIP

We are very sad to hear of the death of Trevor Davies, the husband of Revd Pam Davies who ministered at St. Margaretís Berechurch until 2015. Trevor died suddenly whilst at work. We send our condolences to Pam, who will no doubt be supported by family, friends and the fellowship of the Parish of Sundridge, near Sevenoaks, where she is now Rector; but we ask you to uphold in prayer Pam and everyone around her as they grieve.

Upcoming concert in Wivenhoe

On Friday 15th July, there's a concert in St. Mary's, Wivenhoe that you're sure to enjoy: The Goldcrest Ensemble will feature international harpist Miriam Keogh in an enchanting evening's entertainment. Tickets are £10, with a free glass of wine, and are available at the Wivenhoe Bookshop and online at ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/wivenhoe.

All Saints Great Horkesley hold Open Day

The ancient Church of All Saints', Great Horkesley are holding an Open Day on Saturday 2nd July from 10am to 4pm, when they'll be showing plans for the refurbishment and extension of the Church. Why not come along and see what's planned - it may give you ideas, too!

Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast at Colchester FoodBank

Food poverty is drastically increasing; FoodBank donations are not keeping pace; and Volunteers are under constant pressure. Prayer is needed like never before! Please support the monthly Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast at the Stanway FoodBank, 3 Tollgate Retail Park (between Curry's & B&M). It's from 7:30am to 9am each first Wednesday, so the next one is on Wednesday 6th July. You'll be welcomed with open arms - and with coffee and pastries!

More concerts at St. Botolph's

The regular and popular concerts at St. Botolph's Church in Colchester continue, with an attractive programme announced for the coming weeks. To book tickets, visit the Group's website (click on the name): Saturday 2nd July: Colchester Symphony Orchestra; Saturday 9th July: St. Botolph's Music Society; 16th July Essex Youth Orchestra.

Ride & Stride

Friends of Essex Churches Trust hold their annual 'Ride & Stride' event on Saturday 10th September. Cycling or walking around our Churches is a great way to raise money for the Charity and your own Parish. All the information you need is at https://www.friendsofessexchurches.org.uk/ride-stride and lots of our Churches will be open to receive visitors. Let's make this a great year for exercise & mission projects!

Join the Course in Christian Studies

Chelmsford's popular Course in Christian Studies, which starts again in September, is an excellent way of learning more about the Christian faith, at any level - whether you are just interested, or if you are considering a vocation to any kind of formal role within the Church. There are weekly sessions which take place at various locations around the Diocese, and on Zoom, and online. There are also Taster Sessions so that you can see what the course can mean to you. Here's a poster about the course, and details of where the sessions are.

School Term dates for 2023-24 added to our Calendar page

The Calendar page of the Deanery website has been updated with recent changes to our schedule of meetings, and we have also added the 2023-24 School Term Dates calendar from Essex County Council. The page also reminds us of other dates, such as when Diocesan and General Synods sit, and when our Clergy meet.

Diocesan Synod met on 11th June

The latest meeting of Diocesan Synod took place on Saturday 11th June, and Bishop Guli's Presidential Address can be viewed here.  A full agenda included Education, Clergy wellbeing and the 2023 Budget including further development of the new scheme for Parish Share. All supporting papers are in the public domain, downloadable from the Synod page of the Diocesan website; and progress on setting the 2023 Parish Share can be seen on the Share page here.

Latest Newsletter from the Mustard Seed Team

Our Diocesan team promoting training, activities and initiatives for our families, children and youth have issued their June newsletter, and it's here for you to download and read. It's jam-packed full of events and ideas; please pray through how we can encourage our fellowships to make the most of these opportunities - and the most of our Mustard Seed Team too!

New Report: Poverty and Social Rights in Essex

This influential report from the University of Essex brings significant insight into the current needs of people within our Deanery, and is worthy of investigation. Read a summary here on the University's website, where there is also a link to the full report.

Colchester becomes a City

Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to promote Britain's First Recorded Town and Britain's First City into... Britain's Newest City! What a shame that the rules no longer require a City to have a Cathedral.... Bishop Roger spoke on BBC Essex on the day the news was announced; listen here to what he had to say.

Revd Ian Scott-Thompson adds new responsibilities

It has been announced that Revd Ian Scott-Thompson, Priest-in-Charge of Marks Tey and Aldham, is also to be Priest-in-Charge of the Parishes of Great and Little Tey, Wakes Colne and Chappel, which are part of the Hinckford Deanery. Please pray for Ian and all his Parishes, as they establish new relationships and a new process of ministry.

Wivenhoe's exciting new Youth venture

A new club for 11-16 year-olds has begun in the Annexe at St. Mary's Wivenhoe, meeting fortnightly on Tuesdays. There' are games, arts & crafts, cooking, films, as well as music and a tuck shop. It's called 'The Way' which, as well as its Christian meaning, also stands for 'Wivenhoe Affable Youth', and the strapline is 'finding the way to be yourself'. Let's spread the word about The Way - and this poster will help us do that.

Fr Richard announces his retirement date

Fr Richard Tillbrook, Vicar of Old Heath since 2003, has announced that he will officially resign his 'living and freehold' on 31st July this year, though his last Parish Mass will be on Sunday 26th June. Please pray for Fr Richard and the Parish of Old Heath as they prepare for this significant change after almost 20 years' faithful, dedicated and passionate Parish ministry.

Grants for Church building capital projects

Colchester Churches Charitable Trust is able to offer grants to our PCCs to assist with the cost of new capital projects to develop, maintain, repair or conserve our buildings. Grants are available for up to 20% of the capital cost to a maximum of £10,000. For full information and application forms, go to www.colchtrust.org.uk.

New website for Greenstead

The Parish Churches of St. Andrew, St. Anne and St. Matthew in Greenstead have a new website - inventively entitled Andy, Anne & Matt! It's wonderful to see how our Parishes make the Church attractive and interesting to online searchers; if you're looking for ideas as to how to refresh yours, why not have a surf around them all? Click on the Parish's location on the Deanery map or on the list of Parish Churches. Greenstead's new site is at https://andyanneandmatt.org.uk/

Revd Canon Paul Norrington to retire

Paul, our Area Dean and the Rector of Christ Church, has announced that he is to retire from being Area Dean in July and from the Parish at the end of September. Paul says: ĎHaving served for 20 years here and eight years as Dean, I know in my heart that the time is right for me to make this decision. There is always more for us to achieve and Iíll be working to complete several tasks before I go. It will be hard to leave this wonderful place and its people!í Paul will be a hard act to follow; please pray for our Bishop, Archdeacon, the Deanery Standing Committee and the fellowship of Christ Church as they digest the news.

Software from Microsoft, for free, for ever!

Really? Yes!! This is a genuine offer to Charities, and includes Churches. To prove it, Revd Ian Scott-Thompson has succeeded in downloading Office 365 Pro software for the Parish of Marks Tey. So we encourage Parishes to do the same - but it will need someone with perseverance and patience to follow Microsoft's registration procedures! Revd Ian has provided detailed instructions which you can download from here. We suggest you try it, and let Ian know how you get on.

Towards Zero Carbon for Churches

Revd James Gilder, the Diocesan Environmental Officer, presented at the October 2021 meeting of Deanery Synod. It could be a very positive statement to say that his presentation sparked strong debate; and it may help us widen that debate if our Parishes review James' presentation slides which can be downloaded from here. Has also pointed us to a guide by the Archbishop's Council on how we can move towards being a Zero Carbon Church, and that sheet too is available here.

Kingdom Calling: A major report on every-member ministry

Is the Church distanced from the realities of daily life? Our members aren't. Is the Church relevant to today's society? To our members, she is. Does the Church adapt to our changing world? Our members have to. 'Kingdom Calling' is a major new report from the Church of England highlighting the vital importance of our Lay membership to the present and future mission of the Church. The full report can be downloaded by clicking here; and it is also available for download from our Vision page.

The Deanery Vision & Strategy Plan

The Colchester Deanery Synod adopted the Deanery Vision & Strategy Plan in 2020 and it was noted by the  Area Mission & Pastoral Committee, as will new MMU Vision documents in due course. A copy can be downloaded from the Vision page of our website, together with further guidance to assist in the development of MMU plans.



The Church of England Deanery of Colchester is part of the Colchester Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Chelmsford.

The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance is a registered Charity, no. 249505

We are committed to Safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults. As a Diocese, we have adopted the Church of Englandís policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of Englandís website: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding. Diocesan guidance is available at https://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/safeguarding