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eNews 3 July, 2020

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North West Theological College Plan
The Bishops of Carlisle and Penrith have warmly endorsed the proposed provision of a new theological college in, and for, the north west.

“We believe it is necessary and important,” they said this week, “to develop theological training which resonates with our diverse context. These proposals will build on the outstanding foundations laid by our current three institutions, and is a result of their success.

“It will be unique for the north west and it will enable our very different dioceses to work together and to make use of some of the positive discoveries made during lockdown. We are very excited about what this will mean for Cumbria.”

For full details please read a press release which is issued jointly by the dioceses of Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and Sodor & Man. Read more here.
Church Reopening - Latest Guidance

The Bishop of Carlisle has written to all clergy flagging up the latest Government and national church guidance for the reopening of churches for public worship and weddings.

From tomorrow (4 July), churches shall be able to reopen for public worship, subject to all necessary risk assessments being completed and public hygiene and social distancing requirements being met.

This week the Government published guidance for the safe use of places of worship from 4 July which has been followed up with new advisory documents issued by the Church of England including a revised parish risk assessment template. Other updates include:

Church guidance has also been revised and updated around weddings, funerals, baptisms, Holy Communion, confirmations and individual private prayer. All can be viewed here

And to further support churches a range of free downloadable posters and other resources are available via the Opening the Doors page, to welcome and engage the many who have engaged with worship online as well as offering care to those longer-standing members of our congregations

Meanwhile, Bishop James has stressed churches should not reopen if risk assessments are not completed and the necessary social distancing cannot be maintained.
Couples' Church Wedding Joy

A south Cumbrian couple will be among the first to marry in church this weekend, following the lifting of COVID restrictions.

Andrew Barker and Katie Wilson will exchange vows at St John’s Church, Barrow Island, on Saturday 4 July at 12 noon. Only Katie’s father and Andrew’s mum will be present to watch as the Rev Andy Batchelor officiates during the socially-distanced service.

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, church buildings were closed for public worship, funerals, weddings, baptisms and private prayer. But last week the Prime Minister announced restrictions were to be lifted, with weddings possible from Saturday, though with a limit of 30 people. 

Meanwhile St James Carlisle will also host a further wedding. The Rev Simon Bickersteth will officiate at the marriage of Kate Lim and Andy Walford. Read more here.

Support For Our Schools
As schools - church and non-church - prepare to close for the summer holidays, so Bishop Emma has recorded a second video message of support for headteachers and teachers across our county. Click above to view her message.
OpShops To Restore Communities

For ten years the Diocese of Carlisle has operated 'OpShops'- charity shops with a difference. From 1 July, a new charity, Restore Cumbria, has taken over running the shops and warehouse, across Carlisle and Penrith, with plans to extend the network further.

Restore's Business Manager, Jon Greenwood said: "Our hope is that we can help Restore hope, faith and happiness in each community where we operate. We re-opened our shops a week ago and look forward to welcoming back our volunteers and customers."

Restore aims to be a hub within each area offering good quality items at affordable prices and a safe space to have a chat. A full rebranding and further information will be shared later in the month.

Turning the Key

Fresh Expressions Cumbria will be hosting 'Turning the Key' an online gathering to share, pray and bless one another in this time of 'unlocking'.

We know that this unlocking will take time and we aren't going to spring back to normal, but we felt it was important to recognise the changing landscape. We hope this space will give those involved in Fresh Expressions time to connect with one another, offer support and a chance to meet in the virtual space.

We will be hosting this event online on Tuesday 14th July at 7.30pm. To book your free place go to:, the confirmation email will include the Zoom link to the event.

For more information on what Fresh Expressions Cumbria are doing, click here.
Archbishop's Award For Lay Reader

The Archbishop of Canterbury has honoured a Cumbrian church Reader for his 62 years’ service to local parishes.

Melvyn Redgers receives the Canterbury Cross for Services to the Church of England, for outstanding continuous service in the vocation of Lay Reader since 1958.

He joins Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes in being honoured in this year’s Lambeth Awards, the fifth year of the awards.

But Melvyn, 86, nearly missed the email confirming his award after it went into a computer ‘spam’ folder, making him think initially that it may have been a hoax.

He revealed: “I rarely check my spam folder so had not seen the original one from the Archbishop’s chaplain confirming I was to receive the award. I then received another email and realized that this was real.

“The first thing I thought was ‘Why me?’. I feel very humbled to have received this award. I’m really glad that it recognises the ministry of Readers in this diocese and indeed across the whole country.” Read more here.

Bishop James sends his warmest thanks and congratulations to Melvyn Redgers.
Anna Chaplaincy Vacancy
Churches together in Cumbria are launching a two-year project to introduce Anna Chaplaincy as a ministry of the Church in Cumbria. They are looking to appoint an individual as Lead, to co-ordinate this work. The project will begin on 1 September 2020, building on the Churches Together in Cumbria Dementia Project.

Anna Chaplaincy is an ecumenical, community-based chaplaincy promoting the spiritual welfare of older people. The chaplaincy will exist to serve all older people in Cumbria, those of all faiths and none.

For more information click here. You can also access the Job Description here and further background information here.
Refresh 2020

This year's Refresh Ladies Day will take place online due to the restrictions around coronavirus.

Rachel Gardner, Director of Youthscape and President of the Girls' Brigade, will be the guest speaker at the event on 5 September.

The Refresh Online day will offer up Bible teaching, worship, prayer and fellowship for Christian women across Cumbria.

In the video below, you can hear from Jan Talbot, one of the organisers, as well as hearing from Rachel. Over the coming month, more information will be shared about the day; subscribe to Refresh's Youtube channel here to get regular updates and if you have any queries email here.

Public Notices During the Coronavirus Pandemic
On 28 June, the Chancellor of the Diocese issued a new direction regarding the display of public notices at churches.

"Given that the Churches can be open for public worship from 4 July 2020, after consulting James [Fryer-Spedding], I have decided to revoke the Direction issued on 21 March 2020 about Public Notices (as below) with effect form 6 July 2020 so that usual practice as to Public Notices will apply from that date."
Geoffrey Tattersall QC, Chancellor

Further details can be found on the DAC page here.
Good To Go
Churches and cathedrals which operate as tourist destinations
can benefit from a simple online survey which walks visitors attractions through completion of risk assessment and offering guidance.

The 'Good to Go' initiative was launched by Visit Britain last week and has been endorsed by the Church of England, with the Director of Churches and Cathedrals signing an agreement which allows churches to join the project.

Once the survey is completed, churches and cathedrals will receive an official Good to Go logo to use online and on signage, and a toolkit to support re-opening. It is a free service.

For churches and cathedrals which operate as tourist destinations this will help them welcome visitors back with safety and reassurance when they are ready to do so. You can find the survey and more information here.
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The information in this eNews comes from a variety of sources. The editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information supplied. The eNews is circulated to subscribers across the Diocese of Carlisle and beyond and may be displayed further on notice boards or in magazines.

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