This email communication has been sent to all licensed Active Clergy, clergy who hold the bishop's Permission to Officiate, Retired Clergy, Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers, Churchwardens, Lay Chairs, PCC Secretaries, and the members of the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees.

Dear colleagues

We have now completed our meetings with each of the archdeaconries and really appreciate the way in which people were willing to speak and also listen with colleagues. Thank you. We are now reflecting deeply on the meetings and will get back to you with our thoughts as to how they help to shape our way forward as a diocese. Bishop David has also provided a reflection about lament and new learnings on the Lincoln - Bishops' Office Facebook as well as the diocesan website and Facebook page. 
In today's email there there is an update on changes to the planned Clergy Gathering for this year as well as links to resource from the National Church on streaming, funeral webinars and VE Day material. 
 
Clergy Gathering 

It will come as no surprise that the Clergy Gathering which was to take place at Bishop Grosseteste University next month has been cancelled.  However, we are already planning for the future, and just as soon as BGU re-opens we will be working with them to move our dates into their 2021 calendar.  

But all is not lost for this year as we are looking at possibilities for providing a few on-line events over the three day period we would have been together, that is Thursday 18th, Friday 19th, and Saturday 20th June.  Quite what that will look like is still in the mix, and we are keenly aware that there will be a variable appetite for more screen-gazing, so whatever emerges will be offered for those who would like opt in, with no pressure to ‘attend’.

We hope that those three dates are still ‘booked-out’ so to speak, and, whether you decide to participate in any virtual gathering or not, it may be a good time to step back from whatever your pattern of work has become, and use that time differently – however is most helpful to you, and to your family.  

As you are considering the wellbeing of those around you, please don’t forget your own.  Jesus modelled a life of service and retreat, a fact often lost to us, as we tend to focus far more on a life of self-denial.  But Jesus was attentive to His Father’s will through prayer, he slept (even in the storm), took time to eat good meals (lots of omega-3), he made space for friendships (Lazarus, Mary and Martha), and on at least two occasions in the Gospels he hid from the crowds when he needed to get away from the constant need for help, ( “24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.” Mark 7: 24 NRSV, and, “36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”  After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.”  John 12: 36 NRSV).

St Luke’s Healthcare for Clergy (https://www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk/news/) are providing wellbeing resources, one of which is attached.  It’s message echoes my own – i.e. the need for self-care, most particularly at a time such as this.  Remember also the Sheldon Hub (https://www.sheldonhub.org/), an-on line forum of support, prayer, and discussion.  There is also the EAP, our partnership with Health Assured, (see Bishops Corona-virus update 7, dated 26 March for details); and please, use me too (Mobile:  07590 950040 [email protected]), as I can signpost assistance, or simply provide a listening ear.

The Reverend Jackie Johnson
Wellbeing and CMD Officer

   
Resources from the National Church 
 
Webinars 
There is a great demand for attendance at webinars on funerals. A webinar from last week will be available on line later this week. We hope to bring you this link on Thursday. With regard to other webinars that are available - the next is about Thy Kingdom Come in Lockdown happening tomorrow and there are two further webinars on funerals available for registration. “Bereavement: an ongoing concern” and “Remembering: a future concern” are happening at 10am and 11.30am on Thursday 14th March respectively. There is more information about the series and links to registration for each webinar here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/evangelism-and-discipleship/webinars
The following link provides webinars on various topics about live streaming and social media: 

VE Day 
The following link provides resources for VE Day.  

We will be in touch again on Thursday should be there further information to pass on.

With our thanks to you for what you are doing at this time. 

Bishop David
The Right Reverend Dr David Court
Bishop of Grimsby
Acting Bishop of Lincoln

and

Bishop Nicholas
The Right Reverend Dr Nicholas Chamberlain
Bishop of Grantham