Your news, views and important updates

Welcome to your October 2018 bulletin from the Diocese of Hereford. 
(Please click on the images below for further details.)

Events for church leaders and emerging leaders

Were you among the 60+ people at the first of the evenings, Inspiring Lives, Inspiring Leaders in Bridstow, near Ross this week? Or maybe you came along to Ashford Carbonel the following evening? If not we still have four more dates where you can hear and share encouragements of God at work through our church communities and schools.

As part of the evening there is the opportunity to pray together for our families, friends and communities, and to hear how some of us are sharing our faith in daily life.

The evenings are open to all. Please do invite those you would like to encourage, thank, and inspire, to come with you. They are relaxed and informal, drawing on films produced in churches and communities in our diocese, with time for conversation and to find out about new resources. 

Arrivals are from 7pm and the last four events will be an opportunity to meet Archdeacon Derek.
Generation Next - an invitation to join us
Next events:
  • Tuesday 2 October - Luctonians Sports Club, Mortimer Park, Leominster, HR6 9RX
  • Wednesday 3 October - Hereford Academy, Marlbrook Rd, Hereford, HR2 7NG
  • Monday 15 October - Oldbury Wells School, Oldbury Wells, Bridgnorth, WV16 5JD
  • Tuesday 16 October - Bishop's Castle Community College, Bishop's Castle, SY9 5AY
More information on Generation Next
See some photos from Generation Next near Ross on Wye
We're also holding an event focused on how we can better engage with children, young people, families and schools. 

We are very fortunate to have the Church of England's Chief Education Officer, Nigel Genders with us on this day.

It's also a chance to find out about various ways we can engage with children and schools through a marketplace of ideas and resources, including Messy Church and Open the Book. Do join us if you can! You would be very welcome for all or part of the day.
#FollowTheStar is the Church of England’s 2018 Christmas campaign. This builds on all the work from last year’s #GodWithUs campaign

The main aim with #FollowTheStar is to encourage people into a local church service or event to share in the joy of Jesus’ birth.

Here are five ways in which your church can get involved:

  1. Order the #FollowTheStar: A Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas booklets.The resource has been written by The Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley and features a welcome from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The booklets are available individually and in bulk-savings packs for congregations and visitors to your church to use. View a sample copy and buy copies from Church House Publishing. From late November 2018, users can sign up to receive the daily reflections by e-mail and through an Android or iOS app.
  2. Download and buy posters, logos and other resources. The Church of England has partnered with CPO on a range of resources that can be bought on the Church Print Hub website. In addition, digital resources can be found on the Church of England website.
  3. Update your church page on A Church Near You! The site receives more than 10 million page views each year and 50% more services and events were listed last year than the year before on the website. Make sure you tag your services with ‘FollowTheStar’ as well as ‘Christmas’, ‘mince pies’ ‘mulled wine’, ‘Advent’ and ‘Christmas carols’ as appropriate.
  4. Consider being a  ‘star church’ by displaying stars prominently. The bigger and more visible the better. If possible, illuminate at night and share on social media on Friday 21st December to be part of the ‘night of the stars’. More details will follow on this in the weeks ahead.
  5. Share the Church of England's Christmas videos and social media posts through your local church social media accounts. They are producing an interactive family Advent and Christmas calendar and videos to encourage people into local churches.

The #FollowTheStar campaign is part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.

Phase two of the Church of England's church finder website - A Church Near You is now ready. It includes lots of new features that editors have requested. 

The upgrade includes the ability to add news stories and news sheets, a gallery and, most excitingly, the option of using your ACNY page as your website by forwarding your domain name to A Church Near You. When logged in, you will now also be able to see information on your church's page, showing you how many people have visited your page this week, month and year.

The editor help centre is on hand to guide you through the new features, so if you would like some help, do read the articles provided:

Congratulations to our 150th parish in the diocese to join the Parish Giving Scheme....Collington, near Bromyard.

What better an excuse for cake? Some of our staff in the diocesan office gathered together last week to mark the milestone.

The Parish Giving Scheme is having a transformational effect on regular giving for those churches who have joined, and for our very smallest parishes like Collington, just small changes have the potential to make a significant positive impact.

As well as proving to be a popular way to give amongst our congregations, many more people are choosing to give to their local church in this way too; "We’d especially like to thank those couples who were married in some of our beautiful churches this summer, who have committed to giving to their local church using the Parish Giving Scheme’" said Richard Jones, Parish Giving Adviser.

To explore the full potential of the Parish Giving Scheme for the life your church,
contact Richard D Jones, Parish Giving Adviser.
Watch a quick introduction to the Parish Giving Scheme and how it works.
Parish Giving Scheme details

Further support from the diocese for our church communities

Do you have a growth idea?

We have an amazing variety of people across Hereford Diocese including clergy, volunteers and Diocesan staff, many with an incredible breadth of experience and skills. It is therefore, unsurprising that there are many local initiatives which spring up, from the more well- known such as Messy Church, to a locally named outreach such as Ted's Mixing Bowl in Dorrington,  to Carols in the Pub.

Many of these are aimed at connecting with the community to create environments in which the Good News of Jesus can be shared. Some of these initiatives started in parish have the potential to have a wider impact across the Diocese and make a significant contribution to the delivery of the Diocesan Mission Action Plan.

Hereford Diocese has a church commissioner funded Programme Manager who is here to help, David Morris. Part of his role as Programme Manager is to help identify such ideas and help in their successful implementation or delivery. So if you have any suggestions for larger scale projects, please consider contacting him and together we can clarify the objectives, the cost/resources needed, who will monitor it etc before it starts.  By doing this we hope to support projects from the start to maximise their opportunity.

David Morris adds: "Our God is a creative God, who I believe has ideas far above what we can think or imagine, so let’s ask Him what ideas He has for furthering the Kingdom across Hereford Diocese and then when He gives them to you let’s have a coffee and chat about how we take them forward."
You can contact David at the Hereford Diocesan Office or via email - he will be very happy to hear from you.

Leaflet and poster templates

Some parishes have requested help with designing posters and leaflets. To help you with this we have designed various templates which we hope will be useful for you in producing your own materials to publicise events, services and social action.
Download leaflet and poster templates

Training opportunities


PCC Treasurers in the northern part of our diocese are warmly invited to attend the next PCC Treasurers training evening on Tuesday 20 November, 6.45pm for tea/coffee with a prompt 7pm start. The workshop at St George's Church, Pontesbury will follow the same pattern as similar events held in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Hereford over the last year. It's also suitable for Gift Aid Officers and is open to all whether you are new to the role or more experienced. The sessions are led by Diocesan Finance Director, Stephen Herbert and Diocesan Accountant, Kate Bayliss.

Social media training

Are you keen to know more about using social media in your parish or designing publicity for your church events? The Diocese in Europe is sponsoring some free one-hour training webinars accessible for all parishes in the Church of England.
12.00 Noon Wednesday 3 Oct Social Media - Best practice for beginners.  Explore the virtues of using social media, to help you get properly started on channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Learn what material to post and when. How to attract and engage your audience and keep them coming back to your feed.
Free tickets
12 Noon Wednesday 24 October Using your smartphone to shoot videos.  Video will make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2021, according to forecasts released by tech giant Cisco. That compares with 73 percent of traffic in 2016. If you're not already making video to support your social media posts and campaigns, then how about giving it a try? This free one hour webinar  will show you how.
Free tickets

12 Noon Wednesday 7 November - Design that works. Giving a professional polish to your designs for posters, publications, adverts and websites is a real skill.  Making them stand out in a crowded market place is vital. If your designs need some help, join the one-hour webinar and sharpen your skills. Free tickets 
Each of the webinars is recorded and posted on the Diocese in Europe’s YouTube channel. So even if you can't make the session, if you sign up you will still be sent a link to the recording.

People news

Welcome to the Archdeacon of Hereford, the Ven Derek Chedzey who started in role on 1 October. He can be contacted at the Hereford Diocesan Office or his email
Congratulations to our two new Readers licensed by Bishop Richard at Leominster Priory on Saturday 22nd September. Jane Peeler is from St Mary's in Bridgnorth and Gillian TayLor is at St Laurence's in Church Stretton. Welcome to the team! Find out more about Reader ministry on our website.
Congratulations to Revd Preb Jane Davies who was Instituted and Inducted as Vicar of the Benefice of Canon Pyon with King’s Pyon, Birley and Wellington on 24 September. Please pray for Jane and the parishes as she begins her ministry there.
Angela Ayliffe will be working with Safeguarding Officer, Mandy McPhee on a temporary basis until Christmas. Angela will be contacting each parish for a very brief conversation about Safeguarding as part of a Parish Safeguarding Audit . Angela can be contacted directly by email

Other people news:

  • Former Archdeacon, the Ven Paddy Benson has been made Archdeacon Emeritus.
  • Revd Michael Cluett has agreed to become the clergy widows/widowers officer for Hereford Archdeaconry. He takes over from Revd Chris Fletcher in the voluntary role. Revd Michael can be contacted through the Bishop of Hereford's Office.
Church building insurance

Over the last few months we have received some enquiries about church building insurance and how the diocese might be able to help. As a diocese we have attempted to try and negotiate discounts with insurance companies to see if a bulk or group purchase could offer a discount. However, because the diocese is not the owner of the church building then it has not been possible to progress this. We are keen to see if there is an insurance expert among our congregations who could help us on a voluntary basis to reduce premiums for our parishes. If this sounds like you then please get in touch with
Pam Brown, Secretary to the Diocesan Secretary.
Peace Train

Bishop Richard wishes to make people aware of the Hereford Peace Council's Peace Train initiative. Members of the council will be travelling onboard the 11.34 from Hereford to Newport on Wednesday 24 October. They are appealing for people to come along and support them at Hereford station. They will be collecting letters and petitions along the train route to deliver to the House of Commons calling for the UK government to support the United Nations resolution on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. More details are available from
our Events Guide on our website.
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