News from the Diocese of Worcester

Diocese of Worcester

​Retired Clergy in Upton Deanery

Retired clergy in this part of the diocese are often associated with parishes further afield. We pray that retired clergy may have a sense of belonging wherever they may minister and worship. Diocese of Virginia (USA): Bishop Shannon Johnston with Suffragan Bishop Susan Goff, Bishop William Klusmeyer


​Upton on Severn Ecumenical Partnership

Please pray for the continuing fellowship between the Anglican, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches, and for our outreach activities within the town and beyond. 

Diocese of the Virgin Islands (USA): Bishop Ambrose Gumbs


Cathedral Education Team Wins Prestigious National Award

At its national awards ceremony on 16th November, the Council gave the Cathedral’s team of educational volunteers the prestigious ‘Inspiring Educator’ award in recognition of its work in firing the enthusiasm of visiting educational groups. The awards are presented annually by the CLOtC in celebration of those who have had a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment to providing exciting and inspiring learning opportunities outside the classroom. In presenting the award, the organisers commended the ‘profound and lasting impact’ volunteers have had on students from Worcestershire and beyond over the last 20 years.

The Cathedral was initially shortlisted for the award by a panel of expert judges who reviewed hundreds of nominees, selecting just 4 to go forward to a public vote. Benjamin Smith, the Cathedral’s Director of Education and Learning, said: ‘The commitment and dedication shown by each of our volunteers to creating engaging and memorable learning experiences for students of all ages is exemplary and has enabled us to establish a reputation for excellence within the local educational sector. The lasting impact of their work is clear from the feedback the Cathedral receives from teachers, many of whom voted for us to receive this award.’

This accolade continues the success of the Cathedral’s education team, whose work played a key role in the Cathedral recently receiving initial support for a £1.2 million National Lottery grant to conserve and bring into public use for the first time the 12th century Undercroft to College Hall. This will create a unique historic venue to facilitate learning, arts and heritage for the whole community.

Peter Atkinson, the Dean of Worcester, said:

‘Ben Smith and his team are to be congratulated on this achievement. It is our aspiration that every school child in the diocese of Worcester (Worcestershire and the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley) will have the opportunity to visit and explore this amazing place at least once in their school days. We hope that this award will encourage even more schools to visit the Cathedral.’

Earlier in 2016 the education team also won a Sandford Award for heritage education, a kitemark of excellence in the use of a historic building as a stimulus for learning. Elaine Skates, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said: ‘We believe that every child should be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. It is clear that Worcester Cathedral is making great strides forward to make this happen, helping LOtC to grow and flourish.’

For further details of the Cathedral’s exciting programme of educational activities that cater for everybody from primary school pupils to postgraduate students please contact Benjamin Smith on 01905 732 919.


​Queenhill with Holdfast

Please pray for the PCC as they undertake a development and re-ordering project. Administrator: Wendy Thompson; Clergy: Chris Moss; Reader: Michael Harper 

Diocese of Vermont (USA): Bishop Thomas Ely


Marking Interfaith Week at Red Hill Primary

Red Hill Church of England Primary in Worcester recently marked Interfaith Week with a series of activities taking place throughout the school, which celebrated the children’s strengths as well as those of others.

Headteacher, Spencer Morris said: “We mark Interfaith Week every year as we believe it’s important to make sure everyone in our community can respect each other’s differences and we can all get along. Year 5 put together comic strips explaining what would happen if everyone in the world was the same, while other children wrote about inspirational people, for example Monty Panesar who was the first Sikh cricketer to play for England. Even our Reception children got involved, constructing different places of worship.”

During the week, an assembly was held, at which year 5 pupil Hafsah wanted to write something to introduce the topic. She delivered the following speech:

“Do you know, I’m in Year 5 and I have spent all these years at school getting to know lots of different people? Some of my friends believe different things from me and that’s fine because we are all unique. What’s great about our school is that we are not afraid to make our own choices, so long as we respect other people.

“The more I learn about other religions the happier I am, because I understand how to get along with people better. I guess I’ll never stop learning about how different we all are, even when I grow up and leave Red Hill.

I want the whole of Worcester and the whole world to be as understanding, as kind, as respectful and as fair as it is here at Red Hill. All religions are welcome in our world!

So I’m proud to me and you should be proud to be you!”

Canon Owain Bell helped with the assembly and at the end he linked Hafsah’s speech with things going on in the world. He said: “After the service I told the school Hafsah had written something not only very, very beautiful, but she had also written a message for the world.”


​All in poverty

Particularly during the cold winter months, please pray for all those who struggle to make ends meet and have to choose between eating and switching on their heating. Pray that they will find love and support in their local community. 

Diocese of Venezuela (USA): Bishop Orlando Guerrero


Holy Innocents celebrates the Queen's wedding anniversary

On 19 November The Holy Innocents’ Church, Kidderminster included special prayers for commitment, trust and love on the eve of the 70th wedding anniversary of HM the Queen and Prince Philip. Members of the congregation brought wedding photos from across the decades. The church looked beautiful with many displays including wedding dresses reflecting changing fashions.

children receiving awards at Holy Innocents

Year 3 Pupils from Sutton Park Community School designed and created in paper commemorative stained glass windows, after learning about the history of windows. On 20th November, the actual day, they came to church to act out a wedding, receive prizes from Councillor Nicky Gale, Mayor of Kidderminster and Councillor Rose Bishop for their windows and plant 70 bulbs in the church grounds.

celebrating with cake at Holy Innocents'Among the displays was information about weddings in 1947. The pupils were amazed to learn about rationing and cardboard wedding cakes and laughed as a copy of one was passed around. No celebration is complete without cake and the bride and groom cut and shared a real cake with the words “Elizabeth and Philip 70 “.


Castlemorton, St Gregory

Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015

Castlemorton, St Gregory

An application has been made to the Worcester Consistory Court for a faculty to authorise the further phase of internal reordering, to include the removal of a number of pews, works to the choirstalls, construction of new floors, relocation of the fonts, modifications to the Lady Chapel altar, and the provision of additional storage units

Copies of the relevant documents may be inspected at the Diocesan Registry.

If you wish to object to the proposal you should write giving reasons for your objections to me at:

8 Sansome Walk
Worcester

WR1 1LW

Please ensure your objection reaches the Registry not later than 12 December 2017

You should give your name and postal address and state the capacity in which you write.

S C Ness

Diocesan Registrar 


Castlemorton, St Gregory

Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015

Castlemorton, St Gregory

An application has been made to the Worcester Consistory Court for a faculty to authorise the installation of floodlighting to the north and west elevations of the building, of lighting to the pavements to the west and north west, and of an archway and lantern to the Churchyard north gateway

Copies of the relevant documents may be inspected at the Diocesan Registry.

If you wish to object to the proposal you should write giving reasons for your objections to me at:

8 Sansome Walk
Worcester

WR1 1LW

Please ensure your objection reaches the Registry not later than 12 December 2017

You should give your name and postal address and state the capacity in which you write.

S C Ness

Diocesan Registrar 


Reflections on Germinate

Two years after members of rural churches first came together to look at church strategy and mission, the Germinate Learning Community has come to an end. Around 40 people from some of our most rural churches were part of the community and met together every six months to think about what God might be calling them to in their parishes and have time to reflect and plan.

The Worcestershire West Rural Team was one of the groups of parishes involved. Team Vicar Anne Potter reflects: “The process came at the right time for our team and gave the opportunity for both clergy and laity to come together to focus on how we could best serve our churches. It helped us to work through how we could work and share resources as a team, while still remaining individual churches. It was a significant commitment, particularly for the lay people involved, but has really been worthwhile.”

Churchwarden at Suckley Church, Anne Lewis said: “At the start of the Germinate process, our diverse parishes were a team in name only. But now we’re beginning to benefit from each other’s various skills and social opportunities. We also heard from churches beyond our immediate team and learned from their experiences and ideas.

“As a church we have benefited by seeing new people taking responsibilities within church life. The expectation that the vicar is able to do everything is slowly changing, although it’s still true that too much is being done by too few and there’s still work to be done in cascading learning from the community to church members generally.”

Although the Germinate Community has finished, the West Worcestershire Rural Team has plans to set up their own ‘Continuing Learning Community’ to help those who were involved to develop what they have learned and bring their ideas and plans to reality. Anne Potter said: “There are already some practical changes – the churchwardens across the team all meet together now and communications, mission and evangelism are all being promoted at a team level.”

Marianne Cole attends both Martley & Wichenford Churches when she was invited to be part of the Germinate community, she didn’t even know what a PCC stood for! She said: “The Germinate sessions always fired me up. The speakers were inspirational and the whole process really strengthened my faith. It made me realise that I could spread God’s word in a way that’s individual to me.”

Marianne brought a number of new ideas to the group which are already starting to be actioned. Pop up banners are being produced to go outside each of the churches to explain what that church does and celebrate their individuality as well as the fact they’re part of a wider team. Marianne is also pulling together a team to organise ‘Church Fest’ – a festival in Martley with a headline speaker, local bands and the opportunity for both the churches and community groups to show what they’re doing.

Marianne continued: “I have a real passion for sharing God’s love in different ways and showing both young people and adults that church is fun! The Germinate process has enabled me to do this – whether through my mad ideas or co-leading Wichenford Café Church.”