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News and Comment

SOUTH HOLDERNESS VILLAGE CHURCHES WEEKLY BULLETIN

Downloadable PDF of the current bulletin available here giving details of services for the next two Sundays and other events.

THE PARISH CHANGES ITS NAME

As you see from the header at the top of the page, the Parish of Keyingham formally became the Parish of Keyingham with Burstwick at the beginning of February 2024. We have been waiting for this for some time. For worshippers at St Nicholas, there are no significant changes, though those who give donations by bank transfer need to be aware that the full name of the bank account will change in due course.

ORDINATION OF THE REVEREND DIANE BERRY AS PRIEST

Bishop and clergy at the ordination of Rev. Diane Berry

Deacon Diane Berry was ordained priest by Bishop Eleanor on Sunday, 7th January at All Saints Roos.
Click on the image (© Lou Dover / Diocese of York) for more pictures.

APPEAL FOR AL-AHLI ARAB HOSPITAL

You may not be aware that the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, that has suffered  devastating explosions, first on the 14th October, with severe damage to two upper floors, affecting the mammography and ultrasound departments, then again on the 17th October in the courtyard, with hundreds killed and wounded, is managed by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, led by Archbishop Hosam Naoum, who is a Palestinian Anglican. The Archbishop of York and the Bishops of Whitby, Selby, and Hull, have passed on a request for prayers suggesting, if you are able,  a donation to the Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association Appeal will help the hospital that "remains open to minister to those in need at this time".

An update from Archbishop Hosam on the 26th October says, "though Ahli's buildings were heavily damaged, two nights later our devoted staff partially reopened the hospital. In doing this, they demonstrated the determination we have in the Diocese of Jerusalem to persevere in our Christian mission to serve others as though we were serving Christ himself (Matthew 25.31-46). And this is the case not just for Gaza, but throughout the Holy Land. Yet in order to accomplish this mission in the midst of devastating war, we need to draw upon the strength of the larger Body of Christ. For we understand that when one member of the Body suffers, all parts suffer (1 Corinthians 12.26)". 

UPDATE 19th December: In an account from the Anglican-run St George's College in Jerusalem, we read that Israeli forces raided the hospital overnight, knocking down a wall at the front entrance, and detained most of the staff. Two doctors and four nurses were left to care for 100 seriously injured patients with no electricity or running water. At least four died in the assault.

UPDATE 12th February: Despite the challenges and damage, hospital staff are still providing medical care for hundreds. This is now the only functioning hospital in the north of Gaza. Bombing continues with about 300 wounded received each day by the 24-hour emergency response team, with 18-20 surgical operations carried out in four functioning operation theatres. There are 150 in-patients in this 80-bed hospital. The hospital has to use the church and the library as makeshift spaces to treat the injured. They are drastically short of medical supplies, bone stabilizers, antibiotics, and anaesthetics. The lack of fuel, safe food, and drinkable water is resulting in a dramatic increase in outpatients with critical infectious diseases, as well as respiratory tract infection cases. Our support is still needed!  

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION AND MINISTRY

The Archbishop has requested that this leaflet on Supporting our Mission and Ministry be made available to as many people as possible in our congregations. Parish Ministry is mostly funded by the Diocesan Fund, to which the individual parishes make a contribution each year that was once called the Diocesan Quota and is now known as the "Free Will Offer". The problem is that the amount currently collected from Free Will Offerings is rather less than the direct cost of providing ministry, the shortfall amounting to £2,136,000. It has been agreed that every Ministry Unit should at least meet the cost of the ministry it receives by 2026 and also, by 2031, bear a share of pooled diocesan costs. The St Nicholas Keyingham PCC are hoping to increase our Free Will Offer in 2024, and a decision will be made on this shortly.

DEANERY CHURCHES UPDATE

As we saw in the May edition of The Edge our plans for the future of the Deanery are beginning to take shape. Alisdair is now licensed as 'Interim Priest-in-Charge' to all the village churches, the term 'Interim' allowing for future developments. Clive Hall has been licensed as 'Interim Minister' to Withernsea, with the Revd Sue Pulko giving particular attention to Hedon, so we have a full-time minister for the two main centres of population. The Revd Diane Berry is now ordained priest. A further 'House-for-Duty' post will be appointed to give further part-time assistance across the village parishes. The Revd Janice Sharp has been given 'Permission to Officiate' in her retirement, and she is helping with occasional services and funerals. Simon Clark was ordained Deacon in July, and we expect him to be priested in 2024. A new training programme and the 'Authorised Lay Minister' scheme will allow lay members to develop skills and make an additional contribution. 

LIVING CHRIST'S STORY  (No longer an update, but kept here for reference)

The Bishops' Council has given the South Holderness Deanery proposal the green light. This is the plan to work over six years towards building a local Christian family that is, by and large, able to stand on its own two feet (over ten years, with tapering off support from the Diocese)*.

The plan assumes that locally funding three full-time clergy posts is possible. During the first six years, both Withernsea and Hedon will have one member of clergy each,focusing on their development as significant population centres within the deanery, but with availability to help support services across the whole deanery. Over the six years, the Withernsea post will be funded externally from national funds.

The third full-time member of clergy will work with the twenty village churches, with the assistance of two new 'house-for-duty' posts. The deanery will continue to have the ongoing help of Philip West, and other clergy who are part-time or retired.

So much for the clergy! The plan depends on collaboration amongst all the churches of the deanery. There will be additional support and training available to lay people, especially those who have responsible roles within their parishes and benefices.

We will be building on the determination and relationships that already exist to support each other, to share resources and expertise, and enable congregations of whatever size to know that they belong to a genuine family of faith, hope and love.

Will it work out? We certainly won't know if we don't try, but there are good signs that we can create a new foundation to build faith and enable good organisation.

PCCs will soon be asked to re-affirm the willingness of their congregations to support the proposal. There is a great deal to be done to flesh out the plan and make it workable, and we can only go forward with that work if we genuinely support it.

Please pray that this plan is carried forward wisely and with good will. You are welcome to contact me if you have doubts or questions.

God's peace be with you, Alisdair

*It is understood that the long-term maintenance of Grade 1 listed buildings is largely beyond the scope of the plan, and beyond the resources of many local communities, let alone congregations! The plan focuses, as it should, on supporting people and enabling us to uphold the good news of God's love, and hope through Christ.

[From The Edge  November 2022]