A personal Invitation for you

|The PCC of St. James the Great, on East Hill, are delighted to invite people from the Deanery to their Patronal Festival on Thursday 25th July at 7pm, when there will be a Sung Festival Mass followed by a reception in the nearby Pilgrim Centre. This is also to be a combined celebration, including the 20th Anniversary of Fr James McCluskey's Ordination to the Priesthood. Your personal invitation is here to download!


Incumbent appointed for St. Stephen's New Town and St. Margaret's Berechurch

We are delighted to announce that The Revd Anna Davis has been appointed Priest in Charge of St Stephenís New Town and the Hythe and St Margaretís Berechurch. Anna is currently curate at St Lukeís Highwoods, and on placement at Shrub End.  Anna is married to Gregg and they have two children, Roseanna (13) and Zack (11), and a golden labradoodle called Bruce.  We look forward to welcoming Anna into this new role and ask for your prayers for her and her family as they prepare to move in anticipation of Annaís new ministry.  The licensing will take place on Monday 2nd September at St Margaretís.


Revd Wendy Pagden to retire

We are sad to say that Revd Wendy Pagden, Pioneer Minister based at St. Albright's Stanway, is to retire on 30th June. After a placement in Myland, Wendy was ordained and served the Parishes of Marks Tey and Aldham from 2016 until her appointment at St. Albright's. We join all those in the Parishes where Wendy has worked in thanking her for her ministry which brought many blessings - and pray that she will continue to enjoy the Lord's blessing in retirement.


Revd Heather 'swims the Channel' - twice!

Revd Heather Wilcox, Incumbent of the 6 Parishes in north Colchester, is taking part in a Sponsored Swim for Diabetes UK. It involves swimming (in a swimming pool) the distance of the English Channel - 22 miles - but Heather is doing double that! She has raised over £1,250 already, but please head to the Just Giving page at Support Heather in the Diabetes UK Swim22 2024 to do your bit. 'Going the extra mile'? And many more!!


Archdeacon's Visitation 2024

This year's Visitation Service and Licensing of Churchwardens by Archdeacon Ruth takes place in St. Nicholas' Church Witham on Wednesday 19th June, at 7pm for refreshments and networking, and the service begins at 8pm. If you're an Incumbent or Churchwarden, you'll know about this already - if not, please do pray for them as they receive the Spirit's fresh anointing for their important roles.


Does your Church need hymn books?

St. Leonard's Church, Lexden no longer have use for around 150 copies each of Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard and Anglican Hymns Old and New. Free to a good home! There are some large print and music copies of each, too. What an offer! To take it up, contact the Church Office at stleonardslexden2019@gmail.com.


Families, children and youth news - June issue just out

The Diocesan 'Mustard Seed' team of children, families and youth advisers - Ann, Belinda, Dot and Emma - have just issued their latest Newsletter, with lots of encouraging events and opportunities to read about - see them all here; every issue of their Newsletter seems busier than the last!


Support the Friends of Essex Churches Trust

Well, they support us! Many of our Parishes have benefitted from substantial grants from the Trust, and we are keen to see more; so please do support their events. Upcoming is the annual Ride & Stride in the Church's diary, which is on Saturday 14th September. Surf to https://www.friendsofessexchurches.org.uk/ for all the news - or to seek support for your Parish!


Diocesan Synod elections

Elections take place shortly for the new Triennium of Diocesan Synod, and full information has now been published to all who are eligible to vote. Nominations are now in; voting papers will be issued on Tuesday 18th June, to be returned by Friday 12th July. Please keep 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.


Mental Health, Faith & Spirituality: PTSD

North Essex Mind and Spirit have advised us that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the June event has had to be cancelled. If you need to contact them email patthenurse@hotmail.com or ring Revd Hilary Platts on 07583 115427.


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. Bookings are open, so now's the time to plan taking a Church group. See the impressive programme here; display this poster, and see updates on their Facebook page..


Aldham Open Gardens 2024

This yearís Open Gardens event in Aldham will be held on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June between 11.00 am and 5.00pm. There will be 14 gardens to visit as well as an art exhibition in the Church, refreshments at the Village Hall and some of the gardens each day, plant, craft and book stalls. Most gardens are wheelchair friendly. There will be an 8.00am Communion service on the Sunday. Admission is by Programme ticket which are £5 per person (cash only please) with accompanied under 16ís free. The tickets are valid for both days and will be available from the Village Hall, the Church or the first garden visited. There is free parking around the village (disabled parking at the Village Hall) and a minibus to take visitors to the outlying gardens. All funds raised will be for charity.


Spring Concerts in St. Botolph's

St. Botolph's Church in the City centre has a strong programme of concerts in the coming weeks including Saturday 15th June when Colchester Symphony Orchestra perform their second concert of the season, as do Colchester Choral Society on Saturday 22nd June. Click on the Society's names to learn more and book.


Teddy Parachute Jump

On Saturday 6th July, from 10am through to 4pm, bring a picnic and your teddy to St. Mary's Church, Langham CO4 5PS for a grand day out! Drinks & cakes will be available, and there'll be lots of teddy-themed things to do for all the family. Contact Dominic Sheil at dominic@poplargs.co.uk or on 07748 305727 to book in or ask more - and here's a poster to promote the event in your Church.


Invitation to a Ceilidh

Here's something unusual - a Ceilidh at St. Mary's Church, West Bergholt on the evening of Saturday13th July, from 7pm to10pm. With live music from the Caledonian Reelers, a Ploughman's Supper and soft drinks included, it's bound to be a great evening! Why not book up to join in (£15) by emailing 6parishescolchester@gmail.com or RevHWilcox@outlook.com or ring 01206243683 - and display this poster to encourage others to join you!


Licensing of Revd Paul Dever at St. John's

Bishop Roger and Archdeacon Ruth have announced that the new Incumbent at St. John's, Revd Paul Dever, is to be Licensed at a service in St. John's on Monday 9th September. Paul is currently Senior Associate Vicar at St. Paul's, Howell Hill in Epsom. Paul, his wife Jackie and three sons are moving here over the summer. Please pray for them all, and for his current Parishes as well as St. John's, as they prepare for this new stage of ministry. Read our Bishop and Archdeacon's announcement here.


A little reminder about online Parish Returns

Every year every Parish has to send returns to the Diocesan Office - Statistics for Mission, Parish Finance, Energy Footprint, Parish Information Return, Annual Meeting Return, Electoral Roll Return and Annual Report & Accounts. Here's the link to where they can be submitted online; and we would be grateful to receive a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts for analysis within the Deanery to mail@colchesterdeanery.org.uk. Thanks, everyone, for all your help!


Submitting grant applications for your projects?

This time of the year is often the best, the most productive time to submit applications to funding bodies for Capital or Revenue grants. Here's a little document saying why, and the commonest reasons why some applications fail. Make sure yours succeed! And for Capital projects, remember the Colchester Churches Charitable Trust, where there's money waiting for you to claim it!


Lead theft in the news again

We've heard that a Church in the Witham Deanery has had a lead plaque stolen by criminals who had clearly done their research. Lead roofs are always a target of course - but now thieves are clearly looking for other items - they may have great value to us, and the amount of lead may be relatively small. What items have you got that could be better protected? Be vigilant!


Be part of Compassionate City Colchester

This is an initiative by St. Helena Hospice, who say: 'It's all about people coming together to support one another during life's most difficult moments, with compassion and kindness'. They are currently collecting information about what we are doing, particularly when it comes to end-of-life care, and they will be contacting each Parish in the coming weeks. In the meantime, see more at this website page.


Colchester City Pastors

Our Street Pastors have had a re-brand - coinciding with our town becoming a City! They are out regularly in the City centre at night, patrolling, helping and gently living out the Good News; and more good news is that there are now more volunteers than previously, so it's more possible to be out in pairs. Might you be called to join them? They have young pastors and those in their 80's, so if you would like to join them in their work, email Phil Barrow at phil@kingsland.org.uk.


Calais Light - bringing help to refugees here and in Calais

Do you have a heart to help refugees? When they have arrived here, or whilst they are still struggling in Calais? 'Calais Light' is an Essex-based charity currently looking to expand its services in the Colchester and Clacton areas, promoting social inclusion and acceptance for refugees here and on the continent. See more on their website at https://www.calaislight.com/ and read this paper recently circulated to our Synod members.


Law change: Parish Councils can now support PCCs financially

If your town or village has a Parish/Town Council, you may know that on legal advice they have stated that they cannot make financial contributions to Churches, citing old legislation. That has now been repealed by Parliament, and Parish Councils may now legally resolve to support PCCs with funds relating to Church property - including conserving or maintaining the Church building (which many will acknowledge is a historic asset and vital resource) and maintaining an open Churchyard, given that every resident has a legal right to be buried there. Is now a good time to contact your Council, quoting if necessary NALC's Legal Opinion L02-23?


Christ Church holds the Silver Eco Church award

The Parish of Christ Church is one of twelve Parishes in our Diocese recently given the Silver Award as an Eco Church. Congratulations, all, for the work you have done to achieve that. Is your Parish on the way to an award? Eco Church is a great way to express our care for God's world in worship and teaching; in how we look after land and buildings; how we engage with the local community and nationally; and through the actions of individual parishioners. To know more, visit the Diocesan website and the Eco Church 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!)


How are your Awayday plans coming along?

18 of our 24 Parishes are taking 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 is watching with great interest to see how we get on, having 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!!


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.


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.


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.


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