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Rev Adam Pawley

The Rector writes,

Changes to bring about growth in our churches are continuing to be implemented across the diocese as deaneries work toward becoming Mission Areas.

In Hope Parish, we are working increasingly more with our neighbour parishes of Llanfynydd and Pentrobin/Penymynydd. Our Lent course in March welcomed members from St John’s. Emmanuel, Penyffordd held a very successful churches together Good Friday service with Trinity Chapel and St John’s. A recent Ascension Day Service was held in Llanfynydd. Llanfynydd Parish has also joined the Hope & Caergwrle CYTUN. Bryn and I are now considering some joint men’s events too… watch this space!
Finding ways to share mission and ministry more collaboratively doesn’t mean that the clergy are going to start gallivanting around the different churches on a Sunday but it does mean we are looking to resource, equip and support eachother better for growth.

In January, St John’s Church, Pentrobin/Penymyndd, then vacant, became separate from Hawarden Benefice and in readiness for Bryn’s appointment in April and with approval of the recent Hope and new Pentrobin PCCs, the far north part of Hope Parish, namely the Penymynydd community has now formally become part of what is now The Conventional District of Pentrobin. This makes a huge amount of sense. St John’s Church until last month would you believe for all legal purposes actually bordered the Hope Parish boundary.

A new mission area budget is being established. Parishes are being encouraged to contribute to an initial six-month budget of £1250 (Hope Parish’s first contribution is £150), to resource the existing deanery magazine, a new mission area website, The Open the Book schools project (which we are leading), and training for worship leaders, pastoral assistants and Exploring Faith students. Additionally a mission fund is being established which individual churches or parishes within the deanery will be able to apply to in order to resource new ideas.

To help us implement these changes, last month the Hawarden Mission Area welcomed a new lay appointment to its ministry team, Mrs Jennie Willson. Jennie is our new Transition Mentor. I include in the magazine this month a letter of introduction from Jennie, and you can read it below this article.

She is here initially to listen. Please read the letter and expect to see Jennie around the parish in due course. If you have any ideas, thoughts, fears, concerns or questions with regard to mission areas, then please feel free to share them with Jennie (or the Area Dean Rev Martin Batchelor or myself of course).

In particular, one question Jennie has been asked to consider is, with Llanfynydd and Connnah’s Quay now in the Mission Area, has our Mission Area become too large? Should we become two mission areas? Or are we better working together as one?

You will be aware too that last month the diocese hosted its same-sex marriage consultation. A large turnout of 380 from across the diocese attended the three meetings; independently facilitated by Canon Phil Groves of the Anglican Communion Office. In short, The Church In Wales is considering three options, (1) whether traditional marriage between a man and a woman should be upheld, (2) whether a service of blessing should be introduced for same-sex civil marriages, or (3) whether the church should redefine Christian marriage and introduce a same-sex marriage service.

During the consultation, in small groups we discussed our hopes and fears on this topic. At the end of the evening we were each then invited to complete a short survey, that invited us to express how strongly we agree or disagree with each of the above three options.

Bishop Gregory has written a short online report on the consultation in which he comments, “It is hard to see how everyone’s hopes on this matter will be easily fulfilled”. You can read both Bishop Gregory and Canon Phil Grove’s reports on the consultation online at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/news.

Please continue to pray. Please pray for God’s will to be discerned and implemented by the bishops and Governing Body of The Church In Wales on this highly sensitive issue. This month please pray too for our new Transition Missioner Jennie and for our parish and deanery as we continue our transition from deanery to mission area.
In Christ,

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To The Congregations of the Hawarden Emerging Mission Area

Dear all

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Jennie Willson (although I usually work under my maiden name, Jennie Ashford) and I’m your new ‘Transition Mentor’ for Hawarden Deanery/Mission Area.

The role of ‘Transition Mentor’ is very new, before I was appointed there had only been one other, so this role is still evolving. I am sure my appointment will be intriguing to some and worrying to others. I’m hoping that this letter of introduction can help to give you a bit of an idea what to expect.
I am here as an enabler. My role is to help Hawarden Mission Area to make the most of the opportunities moving to Mission Area working offers. I want to help by addressing the concerns that you have, helping to work around problems and ultimately helping you to unlock the potential of your churches. I’m not here to tell you what to do. You already know that you have to move to Mission Area working – I’m here to help you make the best of that.

I want to listen and that’s what I will be doing a lot of, especially at the beginning. I want to hear from you where things are at. I want to know how you feel, what is worrying you but also what you would like to achieve.

I will do my best to make sure you all have the opportunity to contribute to the process. I hope to help you to address any obstacles or barriers to working together and will also take concerns back to the diocese where needed. I look forward to helping you to work together and plan for the future, looking towards growing God’s church together in your Mission Area.
Over the next few weeks I will be meeting with people and building up a picture of the current situation and what I can do to help.

I hope, during the time I am with you, there will be an opportunity to meet you all. However, if you would like to contact me for a chat or to arrange for a meeting with me then please do call me on 07977103036. I am also available on ashfordct@btinternet.com – this is the best way to contact me as I pick up emails regularly and you can always feed in information or questions that way too.

I look forward to working with you.
Jennie Willson

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