Uniting in Christ to Serve Christ and to Proclaim Christ
Stamford is Deanery 13 of the Diocese of Lincoln and consists of five parishes in the town of Stamford and seven village parishes to the east of the town. We work alongside our brothers and sisters of the other Christian denominations in the town to proclaim the good news of God's love as revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ both in the words we say and the work we do.
A group of lay people from our deanery has now completed the Parish Foundation Course and the Leading Worship ministry module, and another group had already completed a recognized Pastoral Visiting ministry course before taking the Foundation Course. Both of these groups have received the recognition of their Parochial Church Councils and have now become the first Authorized Lay Ministers in the Deanery of Stamford, receiving their authority at Deanery Evensong in All Saints' Church, Stamford on Sunday 3rd February, at which the Ven Tim Barker, Archdeacon of Lincoln, was the preacher.
Following the success of the first Parish Foundation Course, our Synod has decided to run the course again this autumn with a view to growing the discipleship of any who wish to attend, and hopefully helping others to discover a possible vocation to lay, or even voluntary ordained, ministry in the deanery. Meanwhile a second ministry modules might be offered in Leading Worship this spring, and consideration is being given to what modules might be offered in the future. We hope to authorize a further group of Lay Ministers later this year.
MISSION AREA PLAN REVISION
The current Mission Area Plan ("MAP") which determines the deployment of stipendiary ministry in the deanery and among other things includes the current lay training schemes and ministry authorization included as part of its provision that it would be reviewed immediately with a view to a revised MAP being implemented after three years. That three-year period is coming to an end and revision of the plan has been well advanced but has come to a difficult stage because of changes at diocesan level. Our Deanery Synod has therefore decided to leave the Plan as it is while we await the outcome of the diocesan changes which have been spurred by the Bishop's review of central services and the wider issues that this review raised. Until the diocesan review work is complete the resources available to us in the deanery will not be clear.
One area in which some development may be possible is the provision of ministry to Christ Church. A diocesan Mission Initiatives Fund was part of the previous diocesan provision, and a new enhanced fund is expected to be established in due course to invest in church growth projects across the diocese; until this is established some interim funding is available for this sort of project and at its recent meeting our Deanery Synod decided to apply for up to five years' funding for a mission priest at Christ Church in the hope that with an appropriate growth strategy the post would become self-sustaining within a viable Mission Area Plan by the end of the diocesan funding. It is our Bishop's hope that the funding will be used for this purpose, to start mission provision where it is needed and where there is potential but not immediate prospect of local funding. The application is still being prpared and during this interim period there is no clear mechaism for applying, but the Rural Dean is in touch with diocesan staff and negotiations will start shortly, once we are clear what we shall need.
Father Michael to retire
The Rev Michael Ruff, Priest-in-charge of Stamford St Mary and Stamford Baron St Martin, has announced that he is to retire at the end of April. Fr Michael has made a huge contribution to the life of his two parishes and has been a faithful member both of Synod and Chapter and will be greatly missed in the deanery. While we say fareweill to him, plans for dealing with the vacancy, and for appointing a successor, are already in the early stages. The suspension of presentation has expired and there are no plans at present to make any change to the ministry provision for St Mary's and St Martin's so it is the Synod earnest hope that a new Rector can be inducted swiftly to take the parishes forward.
DIOCESAN SYNOD ELECTIONS
The following were recently elected to serve on the Diocesan Synod of the next three years:
House of Clergy
The Revd Martyn Taylor
The Very Revd Mark Warrick
House of Laity
A subsequent meeting of the clergy chapter appointed the Rev David Oxtoby as the third clergy member.
DEAN OF STAMFORD APPOINTMENT
Inauguration of the Ministry of the Dean of Stamford
The Very Revd Mark Warrick's new rôle as Dean of Stamford was celebrated at a Songs of Praise at All Saints' Church at 6.30pm on Sunday 20th November 2011, with the Rt Revd Time Ellis, Bishop of Grantham and until recently Dean of Stamford, preaching. The Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Ven Tim Barker, led the welcome of Mark into the office of Dean, along with other representatives of the local community including the Stamford Town Mayor, Cllr John Binder. Afterwards the congregation gathered for refreshments at Browne's Hospital; Governorship of Browne's being one of the ex-officio duties of the Dean.
Since the 1930s the title of Dean of Stamford has been held by the Bishop of Grantham of the time, and as part of the recent reorganisation of deaneries in this corner of the diocese, Bishop Tim resigned as Dean of Stamford in order that one of the local clergy could hold the title and thereby become the contact person for the Church of England in the town, relating particularly to Stamford Town Council. Mark Warrick, priest-in-charge of All Saints with St John the Baptist received the Licence as Dean of Stamford on 8th September and is now developing that role in the town and deanery.
Bishop of Grantham announces he is to leave his post
The Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Revd Dr Tim Ellis, today announced that he is to stand down on 26 September 2013 - the 37th anniversary of his ordination, and shortly after his 60th birthday.
Bishop Tim, who has held responsibility for appointments and the pastoral care of clergy in the southern half of the Diocese of Lincoln, has also led the Diocesan Youth service.
Before being appointed Bishop of Grantham in 2006, Tim was Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey in the Diocese of Lincoln for five years. He previously served in Old Trafford and Salford in the Diocese of Manchester, and on the Longley Council estate in Sheffield where he was also an Honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral.
"Serving as an archdeacon and bishop in Lincolnshire has been a great experience, but the time is now right to explore new aspects of life and ministry," said Bishop Tim.
"I am deeply grateful to all who have supported me and with whom I have worked."
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: "Tim has faithfully served the Diocese of Lincoln for almost 13 years, and we are very grateful for his work and ministry, particularly his expertise in church buildings, and his work in the challenging urban areas of the Diocese.
"We keep Tim and his family in our prayers as he prepares to move on."
Bishop Tim will be returning to his hometown of Sheffield, but will continue to exercise a role as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln.
Our former Diocesan Chief Executive, Maximilian Manin has appeared in court, accused of fraud and lying about his qualifications to obtain his job. Max appeared at Lincolnshire Magistrates' Court on 16 April. He is alleged to have falsely claimed a first-class honours degree in English Literature and the History of Art from Sheffield University to gain his post.
Lincolnshire Police had announced that they were making inquiries, after receiving information from the Bishop which came to light after Max left last May.
He was since been charged with obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception between 1 April 2004 and 1 June 2012. He also faces three further charges of fraud, and is due to return to court on 11 June.
The Bishop of Lincoln is delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Dr Justine Allain Chapman as Archdeacon of Boston.
Justine comes to the Diocese of Lincoln from the South East Institute for Theological Education where she is Vice Principal and Director of Practical Theology.
Having been a Head of Religious Studies in a North London Secondary School, Justine trained for ordination at Lincoln Theological College and then ministered for ten years in the Diocese of Southwark as a Curate and as a Vicar.
Speaking of her appointment, Justine said: "I am delighted to be taking up this new role as archdeacon and with a focus on developing our Christian discipleship across the whole diocese.
"Enabling deeper discipleship has been a passion of mine as a parish priest and as a teacher preparing people for ministry, ordained and lay, and so to come to the Diocese of Lincoln in this new phase of its life is a challenging and exciting prospect."
Justine's own particular research has been in how people can be strengthened as human beings and as Christians through the experience of adversity. She has written a book about this called Resilient Pastors: the role of adversity in Healing and Growth which was published last year.
Justine and her husband Thomas will be returning to an area they have lived in as students and which their four children have often come to visit their grandparents. Justine enjoys swimming, yoga and cooking for family and friends. A member of a book group, she particularly enjoys reading detective fiction reportedly because - unlike life and ministry - all the loose ends get tied up.
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: "I and my colleagues are delighted to have been able to appoint someone of Justine's considerable talent, experience and ability to this important new post, the work of which will touch the lives of Christians across the Diocese of Lincoln."
Justine and her family will move to Welbourn over the summer, and she will be installed in Lincoln Cathedral in September.
Central Services Review
The report of the Central Services Review Group is now available on the diocesan website in pdf and is recommended reading for all Deanery Synod members and others involved in church life in the deanery. It contains some exciting and wide-reaching recommendations. It will be debated shortly by the Diocesan Synod (see item below).
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