Spring Encouragements

At our last Synod meeting, I proposed that there should be greater collaboration and communication between the parishes of our deanery, and indicated that one way of achieving this would be better use of this blog post.  Time has passed since then, but with the signs of new life all around us, it seems a good time for this particular ministry to start sprouting…

I thought we could start with a little sharing of good news stories – how the churches in our deanery are Living God’s Love in different ways, engaging with their communities, using and supporting their buildings and generally being salt and light in the world.  What follows is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I trust it shows some of the variety of life which is present across the deanery.

The Beane Valley Benefice is celebrating with Watton at Stone Church which is now open for visitors daily having been closed for years.  The churches are also supporting a collection organised by a local builder for victims of the war in Ukraine.  In related news, Revd Sally from Hertford Heath will be leading prayers for Ukraine at a gathering in Parliament Square, Hertford on Wednesday this week.

Holy Trinity Bengeo hosted one of the services for the World Day of Prayer last Friday, with this year’s prayer focus being for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Christ Church Ware recently held an “Away Day” with studies in the Book of Ruth, and St Mary’s Ware, following our own deanery’s presentation on the need to be kind to the environment have just completed an initial eco-audit with material provided by Christian conservation charity, A Rocha.

Great Amwell, St Margarets and Stanstead Abbotts have just launched a new magazine across the three villages in collaboration with the Parish Councils, St Andrews Hertford are hosting Fairport Convention in May as one of their “Big Gigs”, and in my benefice, we’ve just started a new Christianity Explored discussion series for those who are either curious about the Christian faith or considering confirmation.

There are plenty of other things going on in the deanery – far too many to write here, but these are written that you may see something of the life and variety in our churches.  Could you write a brief report of something your church is doing so that others can be encouraged?  Please get in touch…

Finally, the Synod Papers for our next meeting are now available on the website for members (simply log in to access them).  I look forward to seeing some of you there!

May God bless you all,

Revd Mark Dunstan

World Day of Prayer Service

“I know the plans I have for you”

2022 is a special year for World Day of Prayer in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year, we have prepared the World Day of Prayer service. It has been both challenging and rewarding to write about the three countries that make up our area: our landscape, people and culture all shaped by our history. We celebrate our diversity and the contribution made to our countries by the many groups and individuals who have made their home here. We use our Bible text “I know the plans I have for you” from Jeremiah to reflect on some of the issues facing us today: poverty, domestic abuse and disability, finding hope in difficult situations and encouragement in the help we can give to each other.

Leading a Praying Church

Scripture and Church history suggest that missional growth is the result of prayer more than any other single activity. But in a world where church members seem ever busier, how do we build a church that prays? And what does a 21st century praying church look like? What are the specific roles that leaders play in such a church?

Led by Revd John Dunnett from CPAS, this important one-day event will explore these questions, offering biblical principles around intercession, being a prayerful leader and ways to lead a praying church as well as practical next steps in how those present can nurture intercession in their own churches.

£28 for the first person, but only £15 for each additional person from the same church.

For more information and to book click here.  (CPAS website)