Churches urged to toll for climate change awareness

August 12, 2019

Two Cornish churches have begun a campaign of bellringing to draw attention to the climate emergency.

For some weeks the campanologists at Warleggan have been tolling the church bells 12 times before services to represent the dozen years it is thought we have left to be able to stabilise levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Further west in Cornwall the ringers at St just in Penwith are chiming the bells for half an hour on significant days and putting up banners and flags, as well as handing out leaflets and talking to passers-by who are curious about the reasons for the ringing.

The campaign has now received the backing of the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, who said: “Church bells have often been sounded down the ages to communicate an imminent threat to the community. Right now we are faced with the clear and present danger of the climate emergency and we must all act fast.

“The parishes of Warleggan and St Just have my enthusiastic support for their campaign, as do all other parishes that may follow suit in sounding this prophetic warning.

‘God-given duty’

“It is my fervent hope that this action might spread the length of Cornwall and further right across the land. The climate emergency is a threat to us all on this planet. We must get the message and act! Indeed it’s our God-given duty to do so.”

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New website for Highway Church

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Installation of Ven. Paul Bryer as the new Archdeacon of Cornwall : 1 Sep, Truro

The Venerable Paul Bryer will be installed as the new Archdeacon of Cornwall during Evensong on Sun 1 Sep at 4pm in Truro Cathedral.

Paul has been Archdeacon of Dorking since 2014. After serving a curacy at St Stephen’s Tonbridge in the Diocese of Rochester, Paul moved to the Diocese of Guildford in 1994 to become vicar at St Mary’s Camberley. In 2001 Paul took up the post of Vicar of St Paul’s Dorking, also in Guildford diocese, where he also went on to serve as Rural Dean of Dorking. Since 2015 Paul has represented the diocese on General Synod.

Former teacher

As a former teacher and head of religious studies, Paul has had a lifelong passion for education. Over the past 20 years or so this has particularly been focussed on fostering the aims and ethos of church schools. He has served as a diocesan schools’ inspector and as a director of Guildford diocese’s Good Shepherd Academy Trust.

Throughout his ministry Paul has explored new ways of being church – particularly relating to discipleship, small groups and fresh expressions. As archdeacon he has helped steer the Diocese of Guildford in a strategic and missional direction, focussing on resourcing and releasing parishes and deaneries for mission and ministry and encouraging initiatives for the health and wellbeing of clergy.

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South West School of Worship

Hey there! We’re so excited to let you know about a brand new resource we are launching this September called the South West School of Worship!
The school is designed for anyone aged 18+, who either leads or is in an area of influence within a worship team in Devon & Cornwall. Our heart for the SOW is to resource, equip and enable teams and leaders to be all that God has created and called them to be, so it doesn’t matter how big or small your church is. The course has also been specially designed to fit around busy schedules with training taking place in evenings and weekends.
SOW is an amazing opportunity to learn from world-class speakers and worship leaders such as Luke Hellebronth (Worship Central Global Director and writer of ‘Spirit Break Out’), Scott Cunningham (Worship Pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Director of the Calvary Chapel School of Worship), Sarah Yardley (Creation Fest Mission & Ministry Lead) and Harvey Appleton (Sound Engineer working with the likes of Soul Survivor, Spring Harvest, Hillsong, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Rend Collective & many more) as well as the SOW team made up of local worship leaders & pastors who share years of ministry experience.
Over the year, students enrolled on the school will attend 3 training days in Plymouth, 3 online webinars & 3 one-to-one coaching sessions as well as completing 2 assignments.
If you think the school would be of interest to one or more of your worship team, please do let them know. You can find out more information on our website at www.swsow.org.uk. We would also love to send some flyers to your church so you can pass them on to your worship team. Please let us know if you would like any by emailing us at info@swsow.org.uk.
If you are attending Creation Fest in Wadebridge this year, our team would love to meet you at the SOW stand in the exhibition hall! You can also get a taster of the SOW course in our afternoon seminars located in the Showcase Cafe (Mon-Fri: 1-2pm).
We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the year ahead and hope you will pray & consider joining us on this exciting new adventure!
Every blessing, Jon Hudson (Director) & the SWSOW team

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How can I make a Difference to the Climate Problem?

Luci Isaacson, Truro Diocese Environment Officer, writes:

Many wonder what to do, many think ‘I’ll do it later’…many say “I’m too busy” or “My husband does that” – don’t be ashamed, it’s ok! For many this is quite new, but if you are here, you know it is upon us and no action means doom. So you have no choice really. Luckily, we came up with 10 LOVELY things to do. We were involved in getting recycling going too, we know it has to be easy. You do that don’t you? So come on, this is next. Well, if it was that easy, we wouldn’t be in this mess, but you can get us out of it!

Are you game? 

Some very busy people have done them, and made big changes as a result. 

Try one a week if you can, enjoy them.

When you have done one, wear your heart on your sleeve and tell people – your staff, friends, colleagues – tell them what you did. Invite them to join you.

Sarah Newton MP speaking about the Climate Pledges, House of Commons 1 May 2019
Download Pledges

Difference : A Course

Difference is a 5 session course that explores what it means to follow Jesus in the face of conflict and see transformation through everyday encounters.

Archbishop Justin Welby has brought together leading thinkers and peacemakers to create a course to help us join in with God’s work of restoring brokenness and transforming relationships.

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The Canonisation of John Henry Newman

The Canonisation of John Henry Newman
A series of special services and events will be taking place in October to celebrate the canonisation of John Henry Newman. Newman, a former Anglican priest who became a Roman Catholic in 1845 – midway through his life – and eventually a Cardinal, is regarded as one of the most influential figures from his era for both Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism.
 
There will be a series of events held in Rome on 12th – 14th October with the Canonisation Mass taking place on Sunday 13th. A service of Ecumenical Vespers will take place on Saturday 19th October in Westminster Cathedral and there will be celebrations at University Church, Oxford, where John Henry Newman was vicar for nearly twenty years.
 
Church of England’s press release
Catholic Church in England and Wales’ press release

More information about John Henry Newman and details of official events in Rome can be found via the website www.newmancanonisation.com

Government accepts in full the recommendations of Christian persecution review

Bishop Philip has welcomed the Government’s commitment to accepting all of the recommendations of the Independent Review into Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Support for Persecuted Christians.

Bishop Philip, the Bishop of Truro and who chaired the review, said he hopes it will now become a significant catalyst for change.

Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan told the House of Commons:  “the Government have decided to accept every recommendation in full” and outlined how they would take them forwards.

Sir Alan also said that a bold, whole-government response was needed. He said:  “This is not just a Foreign Office thing. Indeed, it is not just an envoy thing; it is an everything thing, which means that all departments, all of Government, and all Government policies must bear this in mind. And in doing so we should not be timid; we should be bold and ensure that the UK’s response to Christian persecution is in proportion to the problem, and that, as the report suggests, now demands serious effort.”

Bishop Philip said: “I am of course very pleased to hear that the Government has decided to accept all of the recommendations in full, and delighted that Sir Alan has formally recognised the need for a response across the rest of Government.

‘Recognition at the highest level’

“Our review was restricted to looking at the support from the FCO, but there was a feeling from the outset that this needs a cross-governmental approach, as this crucial issue traverses many boundaries and is not something that can be neatly compartmentalised.

“Accepting the recommendations in full is a measure of how seriously the Government is taking this issue and, I hope, a recognition at the highest level that Freedom of Religion or Belief is a fundamental human right – and one that is inextricably interconnected with other basic human rights, as well as issues such as security. For wherever we see this right compromised we can be confident there are other, darker forces at work.

‘Global leader’

“I hope that over the coming months and years the implementation of these recommendations will have a significant impact in the role the UK is able to play, and that the report will become a catalyst for change and enable Britain to pursue an aspiration to be the global leader in championing this right.”

Speaking in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “It is encouraging that several of the recommendations in the final report mirror those set out in the joint submission by the Church of England and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. I am encouraged that the review has grounded its analysis and recommendations in a human rights framework, in a way that will benefit all those who suffer bias, discrimination, societal hostility or violence as a result of their religion or belief.”

Other Church of England bishops have also welcomed the news.

Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, said: ‘I am delighted that Alan Duncan has announced that the Government has accepted in full the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s report into Foreign Office support for persecuted Christians.

“We look forward to working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as they seek to put into place the recommendations and take practical steps to safeguard those who are vulnerable to persecution because of their faith.  We trust that this will help to ensure that all can worship in freedom and without fear.’

The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, said: “We welcome the Government’s announcement that they are accepting the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s report into the Foreign Office’s support for persecuted Christians. We hope that this issue will made a priority across other Government departments.

“The plight of Christians around the world is all too often overlooked and we congratulate the Foreign Secretary on addressing this deficit.  Attacks on Christians are often indicative of a broader disregard of the human rights of people of other faiths and none. We now expect this important report to provide renewed impetus for the Government to rise to the challenges so clearly identified and for the UK to become, as the report recommends, ‘the global leader in championing Freedom of Religion and Belief for all’.”

To read the full Hansard debate in which Sir Alan accepted the recommendations of the review, click here.

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Bishop Philip speaks at global conference on religious freedom

July 22, 2019

Bishop Philip Mounstephen with the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Bishop Philip hands a copy of the review to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Patriarch Theophilos III.

Bishop Philip shared a stage with Nancy Pelosi and Tony Blair in Washington DC last week, when he spoke at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom organised by the US State Department.

It was the final appointment in a busy week to do with the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Support for Persecuted Christians, which Bishop Philip chaired at the request of the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.

A large number of faith leaders from around the world went to Washington to attend the conference, including the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Most Godly Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III.

On Monday there was a large stakeholder event in Church House, Westminster, hosted by Lord Ahmad, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and attended by several hundred people.

The report was launched by Bishop Philip the previous week at a press conference with him and Mr Hunt.

Government accepts recommendations

While he was in Washington, Bishop Philip heard the news that the Government had accepted all of the review’s recommendations (to read more on this, click here).

“This is such good news, and I hope the report will become a catalyst for change and enable Britain to pursue an aspiration to be the global leader in championing the right to freedom of religion or belief,” said Bishop Philip.

‘Undivided attention’

“I look back on the work with satisfaction, and while I will keep a watching eye on it, I am also very much looking forward to giving the diocese my undivided attention.”

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