Archdeacon Vann to be next Bishop of Monmouth
THE Archdeacon of Rochdale for the past 11 years, the Ven. Cherry Vann, is to be the next Bishop of Monmouth. She received a two-thirds majority from the Electoral College in Newport last week. Archdeacon Vann, who trained at Westcott House, Cambridge, was ordained deacon in 1989 and priest in 1994, and her ordained ministry has been entirely in the diocese of Manchester. She has been Prolocutor in the Northern Province since 2013. She told the South Wales Argus that she planned to be “accessible and visible” in Monmouth diocese. “This is a very different Province to the C of E, and it works differently. I am aware that I have a lot to learn both about the Church [in Wales] and how it works, but also about the past and what I am inheriting.” The Church was struggling to be relevant, she said. “Religion is seen as irrelevant at best and people do not understand what it is about. That is a huge challenge for everyone.” Archdeacon Vann is also a pianist, and conducts the Bolton Chamber Orchestra.
St Paul’s, Bedford, joins Major Churches Network
ST PAUL’s, Bedford, has been awarded membership of the Major Churches Network in recognition of its importance to the town. The network comprises 350 of the largest and “most significant” churches in the Church of England which are not cathedrals. Qualifying criteria include being open daily to visitors, filling a civic and cultural function, and making an economic contribution to the community. St Paul’s is the largest place of worship in the St Albans diocese after the cathedral, is the civic and county church of Bedfordshire, and hosts events and concerts throughout the year. The new Bedford Visitor Information Centre has been based in the main body of the church since the former Tourist Information office closed last year.
Churchgoers in Fareham offer debt support
A DEBT-ADVICE centre staffed by church volunteers is to be based in the church hall of St John’s, Fareham, in Kent. The Vicar, the Revd Bruce Deans, said: “Some statistical analysis suggests parts of Fareham are among the 20 per cent most deprived category in the country. Problem debt . . . can cause great despair, and it exists here in Fareham.” Christians Together in Fareham and neighbouring C of E churches offered to join forces to start the service. cmaconnectfareham.org
Messy Church study begins in Durham
THE programme for a pilot study of Messy Churches in the dioceses of Bristol, Hereford, and Durham has been announced. The year-long research programme by the Church Army’s Research Unit is being funded by a £100,000 grant to the C of E’s Evangelism and Discipleship Team from the Strategic Investment Fund (News, 30 August). Durham is to introduce Messy Extras — an extra messy-church session per month — and Messy Mentoring, under which teams select a discipleship mentor to improve their work. Hereford is to focus on social action and “maturing” Messy groups. Bristol is to focus on supporting older children and teenagers. The founder of Messy Church, Lucy Moore, said that research had been “mostly anecdotal up to now. How do we prove that Messy Church is making a difference in people’s lives?”
Hallowe’en competition to design chocolate bar
THIS year’s Meaningful Treat Pack, in the third year of the Real Halloween Campaign from the Meaningful Chocolate Company, includes a challenge to children to design a Fairtrade chocolate bar, The Sight Bar, profits from which will be donated to fund 25 eye operations in the developing world. The winner will also receive 12 bars of the chocolate. meaningfulchocolate.co.uk