The Deanery Leadership Team (DLT) consists of the eight Deanery officers, who meet regularly to plan activity and share leadership. It now meets as a Standing Committee (who plan the agendas) and an Ops Team (who run projects and actions). 

Reaping the Harvest

The past few months have seen an array of discussions reach fulfilment and it’s exciting to see so many of our long-term projects produce fruit. This is a wonderful reminder of my favourite saying, “people overestimate what can be done in three weeks, but underestimate what can be done in three years”.

New Start at St Frideswide’s

We have a new minister in Water Eaton, and a new congregation too! In September, the Revd Catherine Butt was installed as incumbent – the first since 2000! She was joined by a “transplant team” from St Mary’s Bletchley who felt called to join her in this adventure. Bishop Alan and Archdeacon Guy joined us for a moving evening, at which the story of the church was told and a new vision for the future was celebrated.

There is a sense of new excitement at St Frideswide’s as older and newer members come together. We look forward to hearing how things develop over the next few years…

New Rector in Woughton

After three years of hard work, vision building and difficult decisions, a new Rector will be ariving in Woughton in November. The Revd Ian Herbert lived in Bletchley before being ordained, so he knows Milton Keynes well.

He will be serving in the churches along the River and the Grand Union Canal – St Mary’s Woughton, St Thomas’s Simpson and Woolstones Church. Please pray for him, his family and the congregations as they begin a new ministry together.

Ten Refugee Familes Welcomed!

We have now welcomed ten Syrian families through our Refugees Welcome charity. In October two families arrived, including one that is being welcomed by Watling Valley Parish. St Mark’s welcomed a family in May. It would be great if more parishes and churches could get involved through the Just One House scheme – or possible future developments…

There will be a Supporters Summit on Monday 13th November at the Church of the Holy Cross. This will be a key opportunity to get involved and help plan the next phase of the project.

Christmas Starts… so where’s Jesus?

Once again, we’re running an advertising campaign at Christmas linked to the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign. This year, we’ve made three new radio adverts (written and created by our own local team!) .

The focus is on the idea that Jesus can be found with those who are left out or left behind. We want to remind people that the story of Christmas is for all people, not just the rich, the religious or those who belong. We hope the adverts get this message across, and we are keen for local churches to pick up the idea and do their own thing with it…

There’s still a need to find money to pay for the project(!) and Linda would love your service details for the web site!

Fight against Hate

Hate crime and prejudice has been on the rise over the past few years, so we have been working as part of Citizens MK to address this. The Bishop of Oxford launched a poster competition when he was with us in the Spring, and this was celebrated at a special Hate Crime Day at Cornerstone in October. The Children of Summerfield School sang a brilliant new song and leaders made commitments to work together on this issue.

Hearing the Call

The Revd Paul Oxley and St Mark’s Church have launched a series of prayer events for Milton Keynes. The Call is an evening of worship, prayer, fellowship and inspiration once a month. It’s hosted by Cornerstone Church and there were 300 people at the first event – including members of MKCC, New Life and St Mary’s Bletchley – who all cleared their Sunday evenings to make this a priority.

We would love to see more people at the Call over the next few months because we think praying together is crucial to our mission in Milton Keynes.

Not to mention…

The MK50 visit from Prince William…
Various summer events including the Big Iftar at Campbell Park…
The annual visit of the MOTHs…
Working with Citizens UK Greenbelt…
The NHS Pilgrimage…
The Compass preaching course…
and a whole lot more…

And next?

We have a new Synod and a new DMPC. We also have two Assistant Area Deans who will take on particular projects. Our new DMPC has already met once and has begun to work on an action list for the next three years. We hope to bring this to Synod in the Spring. The Diocese is still talking about “Blessing” Milton Keynes, so there will be more to come from that angle. Given the excitment that 2018 will bring, I am taking my ten year sabbatical between November 2017 and January 2018. More about this soon… This has been an eventful year, but God has much in store for us.

Tim Norwood (Area Dean)

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