The Deanery Leadership Team (DLT) consists of the six Deanery officers, who meet regularly to plan activity and share leadership.

Church Inspections

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The summer is always dominated by the annual Church inspections which we carry out on behalf of the archdeacon. Each church has to be visited once every three years, and there is a list of questions that we have to ask the churchwardens. It can be really useful for new wardens, because it gives them an idea of what their role might involve. It’s also a good way of maintaining good links between churches and deanery officers. Our Deanery Administrator, Linda Kirk, spends a lot of time booking the inspections – which often involves finding out who the new churchwardens are. The Area Dean, Tim Norwood, visits roughly half the churches each year – usually with one other DLT member. We’ve just finished this year’s inspections, and are currently processing the results…

Refugees Welcome

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Work has continued on the Refugees Welcome campaign. During the summer we welcomed three new families to Milton Keynes through the United Nations relocation scheme. National government provides the money to pay for accommodation, but Refugees Welcome MK has coordinated the preparation of the houses, and is working closely with the Red Cross to help families integrate. Members of our churches donated furniture and money (through the Church of Christ the Cornerstone) and volunteers helped prepare the houses. The next round of arrivals will probably be later in the year…

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Christmas Starts with Christ

We have already started our planning for Christmas. We held a meeting to review the Easter advertising campaign and think ahead to December… This year we have commissioned three radio adverts that will be produced for us by Heart FM. This is a big change on previous years when we’ve used material produced by Church Ads. They no longer have funding for this, so our adverts may well be used elsewhere. Watch this space…

Weaving Trust

The EU referendum was followed by a rapid change in government. We have a new Prime Minister, and are now waiting to see what Brexit will actually look like. One of the unfortunate consequences of all this has been a rise in hate crime and “everyday racism”. There were a few emergency meetings organised by Citizens to gauge the impact on local communities, some of whom feel that their right to be here is being questioned. The language used about immigrants has clearly damaged trust between groups of people in our city.
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In this light, the Weaving Trust campaign has become even more significant. We’ve had a number of events over the summer which took place in the Council Offices, the Quaker Meeting House, the Synagogue and Downs Barn Church. This has been a significant project for Tim, but he’s now planning to hand over leadership of the campaign group to somebody else, so he can concentrate on new work.

More about Weaving Trust

Churchwardens

By popular demand, we organised a second Churchwardens evening. Our Lay Chair, David Thom, hosted a night of information, discussion and cake. We hope to do another event like this next year, probably soon after the next Churchwarden elections have taken place

Deanery Chapter

There was a Deanery Chapter meeting in July, organised by our Chapter Clerk, Keith Straughan. Over the past few years few years we’ve only had three Chapter meeting each year, because attendance can be patchy otherwise, and people have so many other commitments. There is a desire for more frequent events, so the DLT have been asked to look at a monthly Eucharist and sandwich lunch. This is being discussed and may start in January…

New Start for Water Eaton

St Frideswide’s Church in Water Eaton has been without an incumbent for ten years. It is the most deprived parish in the Diocese, according the Church Urban Fund figures, but it has not been possible to appoint a stipendiary minister. A team of self-supporting clergy have resourced the church through a Local Shared Ministry Scheme, and Tim has been providing interim ministry for the past three years.
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After a great deal of work it is now time for a new start. The boundaries have been changed so that the parish will incorporate the new developments in Eaton Leys. The Deanery and Archdeaconry have also agreed to support a new full-time post with a major emphasis on community engagement. Significant changes are underway and we hope to advertise in the new year. Please keep praying for this church and the congregation as they look to the future…

St Frideswide Web Site

The MOTHs

The national memorial for the Memorable Order of Tin Hats is behind the library in CMK. Tim once again acted as “padre” for the MOTHs at their national memorial service in September. This is always a moving event.
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Watling Valley, Whaddon Way and Newton Leys

In September we welcomed three new ministers. Steve Summerfield was inducted as minister of Whaddon Way Church – in a service led jointly by Tim and the Baptist Area Leader. The new Methodist circuit Superintendent, Dawn Saunders, will be giving half of her time to Watling Valley. Ben Thorpe will be leading a project in Newton Leys. It’s exciting to see new things happening in these places, but keep praying for Woughton, Great Linford and Water Eaton where we hope to appoint new clergy soon…

And also…

There’s so much more happening in MK Deanery, but we can’t cover it all in detail:

  • Tim has been supporting churches with Sunday services, weddings and baptisms…
  • We have a new proposal for the Rector post in Woughton and a new profile is being drawn up…
  • Tim is now covering the “Community Engagement” brief for the Mission Partnership…
  • We have a new Archdeacon…
  • There will be a preaching course in Spring/Summer
  • John Robertson is working on a lay leadership training programme using the methodology of “community organising”
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