Hope: where community begins


After the referendum and as a new government begins its work, we invite all concerned for the future of our community and its relationships in Europe to meet to share faith, hope and commitment.

The Christian faith has shaped and built the culture of our continent. It is committed to peace, justice and human rights. It is rooted in the message of Christ, and inclusive of other faith traditions. It is the place where an inclusive community begins.

This act of witness and reflection invites each of us to affirm your own faith, as the foundation on which our society is built.

Ely Youth Leader news from Rachael

Hi there,

I hope that you’ve been surviving the heat or dodging the outbursts showers and hailstones depending on which part of the diocese and eastern region you’ve been in this week!

A few notes of news and update from me before the summer well and truly hits! Whatever you are up to, may I wish you an excellent summer time, a good breather, and I look forward to journeying with you in the next academic year in all that it will bring!

Some news, events and an exciting job-role I’d love to draw your attention to…… as follows:

· Job Vacancy – ‘Secondary Schools Coordinator

We are advertising a new role that will be based within the Mission Team of Ely Diocese and working in a designated hub area to develop the work in Secondary Schools in that area. The person will work in 1-2 schools within that area as well as working strategically with local Churches in order to encourage, equip, train and mobilise volunteers within local churches in their engagement with their local Secondary Schools. For more information – see the poster/advert attached, see the vacancies page at www.elydiocese.org or contact mission@elydiocese.org for an application pack.

· Two Free Seminar Events in the autumn – again hosted by Ely Diocese in partnership with the Cambridge Youthwork Collective

Event posters attached. Both events to be held at Kings Ely. To book your free space, get in early and email mission.events@elydiocese.org

Thurs 22nd September, 7:30-9:30pm  – REPEAT Seminar due to popular demand – ‘Depression & Loneliness amongst Young People’ led by CAMHS

Weds. 16th November, 7:30-9:30pm – ‘Challenging the Culture of Pornography amongst Young People’ – led by Rachel Gardner, Romance Academy

· Local Mission Project Fund Grants (as part of Ely 2025 Growth Fund)

As part of the ELY 2025 10-year Strategy that was launched in the autumn of 2015, there is grant-funding available for any group/church/initiative who seeks funds to support any new missional initiative that they are engaging in, in collaboration with others. For more information about the Local Mission Project fund click here  or for larger initiatives and pots of funding, please explore the options for Growth Fund grants by clicking  here

· Vision & Strategy Evenings

Does your Church have a strategy for its work with children and young people? Would you value the opportunity to consider what you as a Church are trying to achieve?  Could you gather all those involved in your Youth/Children’s work for one evening to explore what needs to be developed or changed within your discipleship of children and young people to reach these aims?

If you would value a consultation and advice from the Children’s and Youth Advisers to help your Church move forward, we offer a simple three-step process to identify your priorities and to increase the effectiveness of your ministry amongst children and young people. Contact Debbie Hill (Children’s Adviser) – debbie.hill@elydiocese.org  / Rachael Heffer (Youth Adviser) – rachael.heffer@elydiocese.org

· Calling all Youthworkers! The next Collective Termly event will take place on Tuesday 27th September, 9am-12pm, at Great Shelford Free Church. Come along for breakfast, bacon butties, coffee, worship and networking. We will be happy to welcome Phil Timson of Hope Revolution and gain further insight into what plans for Hope 2018 are emerging and what this could look like for us, in  engaging young people in mission across this region. For the full programme and details, click here

· HEADS UP! National Youth Agency call for Youthwork Week 2016 :

This year’s Youth Work Week will be held from 7-13 November 2016. The theme – Fair chances: How youth work helps young people to brighter futures, focusing on how youth work can support young people’s life opportunities.

· Lastly……Soul Survivor is coming to the EAST!

As you may well have hopefully seen, via their Facebook News release put out last week, as of 2017 Soul Survivor wave goodbye to Shepton Mallett and pitch up a new summery camp in Peterborough! A

great opportunity for our regions’ young people and youthleaders. Watch this space for more info….

May I wish you again a wonderful, restful, and very happy summertime! Do drop me a note anytime if I can further help to serve, resource, equip you or your Church in any way.

Every blessing,


Rachael Heffer

Youth Adviser & Mission Communications

Department of Mission

Diocese of Ely

Working Days: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday

Please note that my email address has changed. Please change it in your records and address book. Thank you.

Mobile: 07495 638 803


Cambridgeshire Church Leaders commit to working for good of all in our communities

In her first speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May acknowledged that our nation is currently experiencing a “time of great national change”, but that in the midst of that we are called to be a country that works for every one of us, whoever we are and wherever we are from. It is natural to be anxious about the change that lies before us, but as church leaders in Cambridgeshire we commit ourselves and call on our churches not to look inwards or to our own needs, but to draw on the Spirit of our generous self-giving God to reach ever outwards to our whole community for our common good. This will bring different challenges in our different places, but the way to the better future we all long for is to be found in the heart of each one of us, as we seek to live out the Gospel call to love our neighbours as ourselves.”

Statement issued today, Thursday 21sr July, by Bishops Stephen Conway and David Thomson (C of E) and the Revds Simon Goddard (Baptist), Julian Pursehouse (Methodist) and Paul Whittle (URC) on behalf of the Church Leaders Group of Churches Together in Cambridgeshire.

Youth concerns: free seminars in Ely

Depression and Loneliness Poster 2016 22 sept 2016 (7)Pornography Poster - Seminar Event November 2016 (4)

Continuing our Youth-themed stream of Free Seminars, please find attached our new event-posters for the two Seminar events that are to take place in the autumn term.

As always, these will be hosted by Ely Diocese and as part of our partnership with the Cambridge Youthwork Collective (CYWC), but led by experts on the given themes.

Free spaces can be booked via: mission.events@elydiocese.org and all details are enclosed within the posters. The two autumn events will be on the following topics:

Thursday 22nd September, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

REPEAT SEMINAR due to popular demand

‘Depression & Loneliness amongst Young People’

Led by CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services)

Wednesday 16th November, 7:30pm-9:30pm

Challenging the Culture of Pornography amongst Young People’

Led by Rachel Gardner, Romance Academy

Hope to see you there.

Rachael Heffer

Youth Adviser & Mission Communications
Department of Mission
Diocese of Ely
Working Days: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday
Mobile: 07495 638 803

Uncomfortable reading

Today we keep the feast of Saints Gregory and Macrina, and pray that “we who celebrate your servants Gregory and Macrina may press onwards in faith to your boundless love and ever wonder at the miracle of your presence among us.” And goodness me we need to pray it, because each news bulletin seems to bring further reports of murderous violence committed by people who pray too. I firmly believe that a proper understanding of God is that in him we have the origin and example of the redeemed use of power, giving everything to and for us in creation, in Christ, in the life of the Spirit. And I look to the Scriptures as the place where the path to that redemption is shown us, containing, as the 39 Articles of the Church of England say, all things necessary for salvation. Here, as I was preaching last night as we put a new priest in at Houghton, Wyton and Hartford, is hope for our world gone mad.

But then – the uncomfortable reading. Alongside the beautiful prayer for Gregory and Macrina, our pattern of readings takes us to 1 Samuel 15 and another gruesome story of God’s word through the prophet Samuel demanding the wholesale slaughter of the Amelakites. It’s a question we have to face.

The best answer I can come up with is that the revelation of God’s character and will, and our reception and grasp of it, is progressive. The Scriptures are the narrative of that journey, all there for our learning, containing all we need to follow the way of salvation, but not all pointing to those truths and that way in the same manner. Samuel was both a man of his time, early on in the journey, and a flawed human being like us. That is by no means to take a “low” view of Scripture; it is just to listen to it carefully and not treat it as an oracle (which is not at all what the Articles make it). Only in Christ do we encounter the truth itself made flesh and dwelling among us.

You will have I hope your own way of wrestling with how we read Scripture (and are indeed, I hope, reading it). It may be better than mine. We need to talk about how we do it. We need to do it together. We need to work together as we face deep challenges in the life of both the world and the church today.

Getting to Grips with Big Questions: “Can Cosmological Fine-Tuning Constitute An Argument for God’s Existence?”

Come and hear Dr Natalja Deng speak on “Can Cosmological Fine-Tuning Constitute An Argument for God’s Existence?” – part of our Getting to Grips with Big Questions about Science and Religion seminar on Saturday October 15th, 10-12.30 at the Old Palace, Ely, with Professor Sarah Coakley in the chair. No need to book, but pop the date in your diary now! Coffee from 9.30.

This will be one of three short talks, with time for questions and discussion too. The others will be by Dr Peter Woodford on “Is Evolutionary Coperation the Natural Foundation of Ethics?’ and by Dr Daniel De Haan on “Has Neuroscience Disproved Free Will?” It promises to be a fascinating morning!

Getting to Grips poster