Colchester-wide Prayer Evening for Youth work

Colchester Collective, a group which brings Colchester's Youth Groups together, have organised a Prayer Evening from 7:30pm to 8:45pm on Monday 4th March, to be held at LifeHouse Church, 46 King Harold Road Prettygate Colchester CO3 4SE. Dot Salmon, our Diocesan Youth Adviser, strongly commends this to us, as we all seek God's heart for how we may best serve the young people in our locality. And to pray for them, of course! Here's a poster, to advertise the event in our Churches.


Colchester Area Vocations Day

A Vocations Day used to be just for those who sense a calling to Ordained or Licensed Ministry - not any more! The day now covers all the wide range of leadership roles within today's Church, and there's no commitment to taking things further. This year's Vocations Day for our area is at Christ Church, Ireton Road CO3 3AT on Saturday 9th March from 9:30am (coffee from 9am) to 1pm. It's open to anyone over the age of 16, at any stage of their Christian life. For more details and to book, click to follow this link. Go on, do it! Is the Lord saying that to you, right now?


We elect Diocesan Synod this year

Elections will take place this summer for the new Triennium of Diocesan Synod. Full information will soon be published, but perhaps now is a good time to start praying about who you believe may be called to serve: we'll be electing four people to the House of Clergy and four to the House of Laity. And whilst we're praying, let's pray for our Synod who are facing a number of challenging issues. If you'd like to know more about Diocesan Synod, there's lots on the Diocesan website


A gift for your giving

Do you have a contactless giving device in Church? If not, visit the Diocese's Digital Giving web page and claim your free reader (hurry: there's only 70 to give away!)


Our Diocesan Bishop's February Ad Clerum

Bishop Guli's latest Ad Clerum has been emailed to all licensed ministers and Churchwardens, but not to members of Deanery Synod - so we have a link to it here. It's a timely Lent message and blessing, with lots of information too.



Families, children and youth news

The Diocesan team of children, families and youth advisers - Ann, Belinda, Dot and Emma - have just issued their latest Newsletter, and it's a massive one this month, with lots of opportunities and events for young people and leaders. Read the Newsletter online here.


Free stationery items

We've still got quite a lot of stationery left, after an office clearout - feel free to stake a claim for A4 ring binders, plastic folders and hundreds of transparent punched pockets by emailing us at mail@colchesterdeanery.org.uk.


Repairs to do? Had a Quinquennial? New Project on the drawing board? Grant available!

If the PCC are planning to spend money on Capital works of any kind, don't forget to include the Colchester Churches Charitable Trust when you're searching for grants. The charity offers up to 20% of the capital cost to a maximum of £10,000, and can award a grant quite early in the process, to be drawn down when work starts on site.  For full information and application forms, go to www.colchtrust.org.uk.


Deanery calendar updated

Dates and details of Deanery meetings and events continue to be updated on the Calendar page of our website - do make sure your diary is up to date!



Spring Concerts in St. Botolph's

St. Botolph's Church in the City centre has - as usual - a strong programme of concerts in the coming weeks. Colchester Symphony Orchestra are back on Saturday 9th March with 'Images', featuring Smetana's Overture to 'The Bartered Bride' and Vaughan Williams 'Lark Ascending'; then on Saturday 16th March Colchester Choral Society present Jorgen's Mass and John Rutter's Requiem and Gloria. Click on the Society's names to learn more and book.


Lent in Wivenhoe

Have you made plans for your Parish's Lent studies? Wivenhoe have, and they've chosen to begin by showing the film 'Living' in the Church on Friday 8th March at 7:30pm. 'Living', led by Bill Nighy's perfect performance, is a movie which will leave you reflecting on the values you appreciate most in your life: definitely a film for Lent. St. Mary's invite everyone from the age of 13 (as it has a PG rating) to the screening; it's free, with a retiring collection. Here's a poster to promote the event.


Essex Mind and Spirit - February event

Tim Leeson, the Spirituality lead at St. Helena Hospice, will be the keynote speaker at North Essex Mind & Spirit's first meeting of 2024, which is to be held on Thursday 15th February from 12:30pm to 2pm at Stanway Evangelical Church, Villa Road, Colchester CO3 0PU. Tim's topic is 'Death and dying well'. For more details and to book in, contact patthenurse@hotmail.com or Rev Hilary Platts on 07583 115427.


Revd Ray Gibbs announces his retirement

Revd Ray, Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Myland, has announced that he is to retire; his final service is to be on Low Sunday, 7th April. Area Dean Erwin writes: 'I am grateful for Ray's ministry and dedication to the Colchester deanery over nearly two decades. In those years he has seen many changes but also encouraging and uplifting developments in the Church. Ray's sense of humour and honest opinions made him a colleague worth listening to. I pray that he and Sue may enjoy a well-deserved retirement with time for family, hobbies and everything that they like doing. May God bless them during this time of transition'.


Prepare to be refreshed!

'Refresh' is a weekend of teaching, worship, prayer, food and fun for the family. It takes place in the wonderful setting of farmland and countryside; Vauxhall Christian Trust's six-acre campsite which as a place of Christian refreshment must be our area's best-kept secret! It's at Great Wenham, Colchester CO7 6QQ. Refresh takes place from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June 2024. That may be way ahead, but bookings open this month, so now's the time to plan taking a Church group. See all about it on their Facebook page, and view a short video here.


Revd Chris Willis is moving to Constable Country

We were very pleased to hear that Revd Chris Willis, having served at St. Albright's Stanway and presently assisting at St. John's Colchester during their Vacancy, has been appointed Rector Designate of the Constable Country Churches - Bentley, Brantham, East Bergholt and Tattingstone in the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich. We are so grateful for Revd Chris's ministry in our Deanery, and pray for the Lord's blessing on all he does in the future. His licensing will take place on Tuesday 5th March.


How are your Awayday plans coming along?

18 of our 24 Parishes intend to take a total of over 400 people off-site for a day during 2024 to receive a Vision and set plans for the future. Bishop Roger will be watching with great interest to see how we get on, and helped us plan by speaking about Awaydays at our November Chapter meeting. If you need guidance in making your plans, contact us at mail@colchesterdeanery.org.uk - or go straight to the Bishop!!


Our Deanery SSM Adviser

The Self-Supporting Ministry (SSM) Adviser for the Colchester Archdeaconry, Revd Philip Howlett, was appointed in 2023 and has been 'making the rounds' of our SSM Clergy. You'll find his contact details on the People page of our website, where you'll see there are actually quite a lot of people - fifteen honorary roles, at the last count, plus committees. We're a busy Deanery!


Churchwardens - help is at hand

Are you a Churchwarden, or would you like to be more supportive of your Churchwardens? The Diocesan website has a wealth of information on Churchwardens' duties and responsibilities, training and support material (including YouTube videos) to guide us in this important role. It includes pointers for building works, actions in a Vacancy, being a Trustee, and much more. Surf to www.chelmsford.anglican.org/churchwardens and be encouraged!


Is yours an animal-friendly Church?

The Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) is now awarding certificates to Churches which practise and promote a compassionate attitude towards God's creatures. There's even an 'Animal Friendly Church of the Year Award'. Could that be you? Or would you just like to show God's love and care for all creation including the animal Kingdom, of whom the Lord is King? Then why not start at https://www.aswa.org.uk and download this poster too.


Revd Sam Lees publishes his first book

'Poems amidst the Piety' is the debut book from Revd Sam Lees, Curate in the Parish of Greenstead. Now available to purchase from Amazon here, it's a poetry collection and commentary on Western Christian culture, which will brighten your day and challenge your religious traditions. Definitely worth reading!


PCC Wellbeing Toolkit

The wellbeing of Church leaders and members has been high on the list of the Church of England's priorities since Covid, and a PCC Wellbeing Toolkit was introduced to our Clergy and Lay leaders in a recent seminar. PCCs may find helpful to review it together, and involve the Church membership. It is offered to you to use as you see fit; download it from here.  May it bless you!


Lexden Bereavement Support Group

This Group, a resource available to all Parishes, is run by three Lay members of St. Leonard's, Lexden, all of whom are retired registered nurses with experience and extra training in loss and bereavement. A new course of six fortnightly sessions begins soon for those of any faith or none missing a loved one who died recently or longer ago. For details or to book a place phone Margaret on 01206 547803 or email bereavement@stleonardslexden.org.uk.


Our Parish Giving Adviser

Chelmsford Diocese have Beccy Hills as Parish Giving Adviser - a post funded without cost to the Diocese, with the task of promoting stewardship and Parishes' management of giving, including the Parish Giving Scheme. Why not ask Beccy to come along to the Parish to meet you or attend a PCC meeting, to consider possibilities and opportunities together? Contact her at bhills@chelmsford.anglican.org.


The perfect location for an Awayday, Conference, Activity break, camp, retreat.....

Lucy and Paul Willer, owners of Assington Hall Christian Centre, would love to hear from Churches planning any kind of group event in 2023 or beyond. This stunning jewel is set in the heart of beautiful rural west Suffolk, yet is only 10 miles from Colchester, and can accommodate groups of any size in a variety of locations, indoor and outdoor. Paul and Lucy manage the Centre on a generous, not-for-profit basis as part of their service to the Lord. Explore their facilities on the web at www.assingtonhall.com and give them a ring on 07753 811220.


Leading Your Church Into Growth

This national initiative (LyCiG for short!) is very much alive in the Diocese of Chelmsford, and a number of our Parishes have engaged with the course as a way of encouraging the development of our mission. See more about LyCiG in our Diocese here, and read more about the national initiative from their website here.


To add news items to this page, email us at mail@colchesterdeanery.org.uk





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