A New Congregation Joins The Northern Diocese!
On 19th January 2020 St Augustine’s congregation on the Isle of Man petitioned to be admitted to the Northern Diocese. Bishop John issued a licence accordingly.
St Augustine’s had existed as an independent Anglican congregation on the Isle of Man for approximately four years. It currently meets for worship in the Jim Crosbie Memorial Hall, Junction of Park Road and Derby Road, Douglas, IM2 3EN.
The congregation comprises about thirty adults and ten children.
Bishop John had previously visited the congregation, presided at the Eucharist and preached. He had also had meetings with the Management Committee and the wider congregation. The decision to join the Free Church of England was unanimous.
On receiving the congregation Bishop John said, ‘It is a joy to welcome the people of St Augustine’s into the Northern Diocese. I hope that they will very quickly feel at home. I am sure that they will be a great blessing to the Free Church of England and I look forward to working with them as they work out the next stages of their witness and mission.’
90th Birthday at Morecambe
On the 15th December Mrs Lis Fenwick presented a floral display to Mrs Betty McLean on behalf of the Diocesan Ladies Fellowship to mark her upcoming 90th birthday.
Betty has been a lifelong member of the Free Church of England. Her baptism was performed by Bishop Frank Vaughan following his return from visiting the Canadian parishes of the FCE which were then under his jurisdiction (they now form part of the Reformed Episcopal Church in North America). She has served the church in many capacities, not least that of organist at Emmanuel for many years. Through her marriage she brought John McLean into the Free Church of England. John was successively Churchwarden at Emmanuel, then Minister, then Bishop of the Northern Diocese and Primus.
The presentation was made at the end of the service of Lessons and Carols. The congregation then shared a birthday cake prepared by Mrs Lisa Mann, wife of the new Minister of Emmanuel Church.
Church Planting Planning Meeting
The Diocesan clergy met at Holy Trinity, Oswaldtwistle, on 18th November for a church planting planning meeting as a follow-up to the Swarthmoor Hall conference.
Replies to the Diocesan Systems Inspection forms supplied by Always Forward were collated and the results discussed.
From them a number of priorities were identified and tasks allocated.
The Bishop has appointed the Revd Anthony Roberts Diocesan Church Planting Coordinator.
New Minister licensed at Emmanuel, Morecambe
On 2nd November 2019 representatives of several churches in the Diocese gathered to welcome the new Presbyter-in-Charge at Emmanuel Church, Morecambe, the Revd Julian Mann.
After the entrance hymn Julian was presented to Bishop John by the Bishop’s Chaplain, the Revd Anthony Roberts. The Bishop then read out the requirements of a presbyter as set out in the ordination services of the Free Church of England. Questions were then put to Julian, after which he was received into the ministry of the Free Church of England (from the Church of England) and presented with an inscribed Greek New Testament.
Bishop John then preached on the theme of shepherding, reminding Julian of his responsibility to search actively for Christ’s sheep among the 30,000 inhabitants of Morecambe who have no church connection, then feed them with Word and Sacrament. The fruit of his ministry would be those who entered eternal life bearing the mark of Christ, the Good Shepherd.
In the second part of the service Julian read and signed the Declaration and Promise, following which he was licensed as Presbyter-in-Charge of Emmanuel Church, Morecambe and placed in the Minister’s stall by the Bishop. Intercessions were then led by the Revd James Paice.
After the service there were refreshments in the hall.
It is a joy to welcome Julian and Lisa into the Diocese and we pray that God will richly bless their ministry.
Songs of Praise
The BBC's Songs of Praise programme on 20th October featured a clip of Impact Community Church - our Associate Congregation worshipping in the former St James', Hollinwood.
The theme of the programme was homelessness and Lee Marsland of Impact was interviewed talking about his own experience of homelessness and how he and others were now ministering to those living on the streets today.
The FCE didn't get a mention as such, but as a Diocese we can be proud that one of our congregations has merited this attention.
ACNA Church Planting Canon trains Northern Diocesan Clergy
The clergy of the Northern Diocese (plus a few others) met for a residential conference on church planting from 30th September to 2nd October at Swarthmoor Hall, Ulverston, Cumbria.
The sessions were led by the Revd Canon Dan Alger, Canon for Church Planting for the Anglican Church in North America.
Over the 48 hours of the conference Canon Alger took the clergy through the fundamentals of church planting, then helped them decide on the next steps. These include a day meeting in November to begin to firm up some of the issues raised at the conference, to be followed by a further residential conference in March which will consider in detail what recommendations to make to Diocesan Synod and eventually to Convocation. The aim is to bring church planting into the mainstream of the life of the Diocese and wider Free Church of England.
To ensure that any initiatives are rooted in prayer, prayer cards have been printed for every member of the Northern Diocese to enable them to structure their daily private prayers. Every church member is also being given a prayer bookmark ‘Praying for Church Planting’, setting out the vision, goals and strategy, and providing some wide-ranging prayer material.
As one of the first steps to becoming a church planting Diocese, the Northern clergy identified a number of places in which they and members of their congregations will be in prayer about: Harrogate, Leeds, Newcastle, York, Ulverston, Carlisle, Mallaig, Durham, Liverpool and Manchester.
The partnership is one of the fruits of the ACNA’s pledge to work together with us for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and the making of his disciples throughout the world. Always Forward, the church planting arm of the ACNA, will be keeping in regular contact with the Northern clergy and it is anticipated that Canon Alger will attend next autumn’s Clergy Conference to monitor progress and give advice about the next steps.
Cathy Jacobs is from St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Summerville in South Carolina. She will be partnering with the Free Church of England between
1st March and 24th April 2020
Acclaimed Author of ‘PASS THE LEGACY: 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference’
Many seniors desire to be godly grandparents of their families. They simply do not know how. As you listen to Cathy, you will be empowered to live into the utmost calling God has on your life: to pass a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ to your grandchildren. What an awesome calling!
Cathy is available for Speaking engagements throughout the UK
Contact Revd Tom de Lacey 07817 965850 for bookings