It is a pleasure to be able to commend to you our 2017 Continuing Ministerial Development programme and invite you to participate in it as fully as possible. Though we do not have a residential Clergy Conference this year there are several opportunities to engage with a wide variety of issues directly relevant to the mission and ministry of the Church throughout the Diocese.
It is our privilege to be able to meet together to learn, discuss and debate, thereby discovering new ideas and finding additional sources of support as we seek to further Christ’s kingdom in our midst.
Last year’s CMD programme included a training day focussing a variety of issues related to health, overseen by the Rev’d. Euryl Howells, Senior Chaplain with the Hywel Dda University Health Board, and involving several of his colleagues having expertise in key areas. Unfortunately, in the event the training day had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. However, I’m very pleased that the event has been rescheduled for mid May and I trust that it will be of interest and relevance to us all.
Many of us know from personal experience about the excellent work that Plant Dewi does in many of our local communities. In September we shall be pleased to have an evening event to showcase some of the projects currently being delivered across the diocese so that local churches may collaborate more effectively with Plant Dewi staff, to their mutual encouragement and support.
Recognising the importance of ongoing reflection and training, I urge all clerics to make participation in this CMD programme a high priority. All stipendiary clerics are required to attend all sessions (apart from the Geiriau’r Gair sessions on liturgical Welsh which remain optional) unless another pressing issue makes this impossible. Those wishing to be excused should consult their Archdeacon. I recognise, however, that full attendance at CMD events is more difficult for NSM and NSM(L) clerics, many of whom are in full-time employment, sometimes in situations where taking time off is normally impossible. If you find yourself in this position, please consult your Archdeacon so that he is aware of the difficulty.
The CMD programme is planned specifically with the training needs of clerics in mind. However, the need to work in a wholeheartedly collaborative manner is increasingly recognised and it is clear that some of this year’s events will be very relevant to other ministers and lay people with which you work, such as those who minister to children, young people and families, as well as those involved in the pastoral care of the sick and housebound. So please feel free to invite others from your local ministry area / benefice to attend with you. Simply inform our CMD officer, Ainsley Griffiths, of the additional numbers so that practical arrangements may be made.
Finally, could I please remind you to keep Monday 9th to Thursday 12th July 2018 free in your diaries so that you may join with me and other ordained colleagues for our Clergy Conference? Following the positive feedback received from last year’s event, the 2018 conference will be held once again at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester. The theme and speakers are yet to be confirmed but will follow as soon as the details become available.
Yours in Christ,