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Cold Weather Warning

I love this time of year for its crisp frosts and vibrant blue skies. I’m not a meteorologist, but it seems to me that it has been unseasonably warm and dry in recent weeks. But now, at last, it appears that the doom-mongers are going to have their day… the wind direction is changing, bringing colder air from the north, and with it, snow. The coming week’s forecast has actually come with weather warnings – I would therefore encourage you all to take care yourselves, and to keep a special look out for those who are more frail and likely to be concerned about heating costs. Our churches are not always the warmest buildings on the planet; all the more reason for our love for one another to burn so brightly that no one is left out in the cold.

Our next Synod meeting is approaching quickly (20th March). The papers are available to download from this site here (you will need to log in). The main item of business is to hear from one another about the efforts our parishes are making towards fulfilling the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of Mission, namely, “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” The diocesan synod has committed to the diocese being “Net Zero” in terms of carbon emissions by 2030 (just seven years away), and this achievement obviously relies on us all playing our part in the parishes. Our church buildings may be chilly, but the world is warming up, and we have a responsibility to slow that warming. However, there is more to creation care than striving to be Net Zero. We want to hear about all the initiatives being undertaken in the deanery, so we can share good practice and be inspired and encouraged in this aspect of our work.

Finally for this post, and as mentioned last time, our upcoming synod meeting will be the last for our current membership. Over the coming couple of months, each church will hold its APCM and elect new representatives to the deanery synod. There is information on the diocesan website about the number of appointments each parish can make.

I would like to thank all those who have served over the last three years and to invite you all to think hard about whether to stand again or who else to encourage to stand. Elections for the Standing Committee, including for the Lay Chair, will take place at our meeting in July. Please do pray about this.

With prayers that the Lord would draw you deeper into his love this Lent,

Mark Dunstan
Rural Dean