Your news, views and important updates

Welcome to your December 2017 bulletin from the Diocese of Hereford 

Our Christmas message

The Church of England has launched its #GodWithUs Christmas campaign, aimed at encouraging people to experience the love of God at this special moment in the Christian year.

Many of our church communities are already taking part in this from handing out Christmas service times, to posters, to handing out hot chocolate for shoppers - there's plenty of simple ways to be involved.
There's also 'Your Christmas Journey', a series of reflections, in print and online, to help people take the journey through Advent, Christmas and into 2018. They can sign up by texting GodWithUs to 88802; via email; following the Church on social media; or buying a copy from Church House Publishing.
Archbishop Justin Welby writes: "#GodWithUs: Your Christmas Journey seeks to help you explore what the Christmas story might mean in your life. The constant refrain of Christmas, in carols and readings, is that God is with us. In whatever situations you find yourself this Christmas, God is with you - you need only turn to him and ask to know his presence."
In addition, three videos have been produced that will be released throughout December to show some of the many services that take place during Advent and Christmas. The videos will reach millions through social media advertising by the Church of England, throughout December.
Sign up
Bishop of Ludlow Sabbatical

Bishop Alistair is heading off on sabbatical from the beginning of January 2018 until Maundy Thursday (29 March 2018).
Whilst away he will make a trip to the West Bank, followed by a visit to New Zealand to look at Anglican ministry within their rural context.
Archdeacon duties will be covered during this period by the Venerable George Howe, the retired Archdeacon of West Morland and Furness. He will be available for two days a week and can be contacted via the Ludlow Archdeaconry office.
We wish Bishop Alistair well on his sabbatical and thank him for his eight years of uninterrupted service until this point and look forward to welcoming the Venerable George Howe in the interim.
Hereford Diocese on the TV

Four of our clergy and their parishes are the focus of a BBC Two documentary series 'A Vicar's Life' scheduled to start on Friday 12th January at 8.30pm (l-r Rector of the Black Mountains Group of Parishes, Revd Nicholas Lowton, Assistant Curate in the West Hereford Team Ministry, Fr. Matthew Cashmore, Team Vicar in the West Hereford Team Ministry, Revd Ruth Hulse and Team Rector of the Wenlock Ministry, Revd Matthew Stafford).

We'll have lots more to say on this in the January Bulletin and on our social media in the run up, but for now set your TV to record!
Our new online Diocesan magazine, Inspire! has been launched.
Read it here or on our website and social media channels.
Why not print it and share with a friend or church member?

Christmas rush for Parish Giving Scheme

There's been a superb start ahead of the official launch of the Parish Giving Scheme with more than 70 churches signed up.

Many more plan to join as part of their Christmas and Advent events to draw the wider community into giving towards their church.

The scheme will be officially launched by the Bishop of Hereford in a series of events across the diocese in March 2018, but parishes can find out more from our parish giving advisors,
Richard Jones and Revd Val Smith.

Richard Jones said: "Our sign up rate is currently the fastest in the Church of England.

“To join them in benefitting from the Parish Giving Scheme and the unique hassle free approach to giving towards the life of our Church please get in touch as we would love to come and see you and tell you more about how you can get involved.”
Watch this short film to get all the basics on the Parish Giving Scheme from Eleanor Stead, CEO of the Parish Giving Scheme when she talks to Parish Giving Advisor, Richard Jones.
Find out more
New GDPR resources 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law to strengthen data protection for people in the UK and Europe.

It will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018.

Is your church ready?

New helpful guidance can be found on the
Parish Resources website. And there's also a section available on the diocesan website which includes a sample privacy notice.
The  Church of England has launched its new national website in a major drive to share the Christian faith.

As part of the ongoing digital transformation of the Church of England, the new website will better support those who lead and go to church and crucially engage occasional visitors and those who are open to Christianity across the country.

The relaunched website is crucial to the digital strategy of the Church which has recently seen more than 
one million people being reached every month with the Christian message on social media.

Read more

We welcome the Revd Helen Clarke who's been licenced by Bishop Richard as Lead Chaplain for the 2gether NHS Trust.

The service was held in the Bishop's Chapel on Thursday 9 November.

We pray for Helen, her ministry and the needs of all the people she supports in her role with the NHS.


News in brief

  • BBC Hereford and Worcester - Pride of Place
Is there something about your church community which you think deserves to be noticed? The Sunday breakfast programme on BBC Hereford and Worcester runs a feature at 7.20am and 8.50am where they give a unique insight to a particular church community or an interesting part of a building.  It could be that you have the best children's bible story reader, fantastic sausages at your breakfast get together or a particularly stunning stained glass window. If you'd like your church featured email the show's producer Lizzie Lane and tell her why.
  • Community Reserve Volunteers
The British Red Cross are launching a new scheme of “Community Reserve Volunteers” who perform simple acts of kindness to assist in an emergency response, such as replenishing emergency supplies, sorting donations or filling sandbags. Visit their website to find out more about what's involved.
  • Christmas Sparkle Organ Concert and Advent Carol Service at Hereford Cathedral
The Christmas season begins at Hereford Cathedral with two special events on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2017. Peter Dyke, Assistant Director of Music at the cathedral, gives his annual ‘Christmas Sparkle’ lunchtime organ recital at 1.15 pm on Saturday 2 December. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust. The cathedral’s Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols takes place at 3.30 pm on Sunday 3 September, with music provided by the Cathedral Choir directed by Geraint Bowen and accompanied by Peter Dyke. No tickets are required for this very special and atmospheric event marking the beginning of the church’s year and the start of preparations for Christmas.
  • Organ gets new home for Christmas
A Lowrey electric organ which was looking for a new home in last months Bulletin has found a new place to live at St Mary and St David Church in Kilpeck. Described as a 'grand replacement' for the previous one it's settling in well and looking forward to some rousing carol singing. 
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