Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Very Revd Neil Collings RIP

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the Very Reverend Neil Collings, Dean of St Edmundsbury from 2006 to 2009. He died on Saturday 26 June in Devon where he had lived, since January 2010, close to his family, including his father and brother. He was 63.

Former Dean of St Edmundsbury (the senior priest of the Cathedral and Diocese), Neil retired in September 2009 due to ill health. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2008 and despite surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and the continued efforts of his medical team the cancer returned in recent months.

The funeral will take place at Exeter Cathedral on Tuesday 6 July at 11.30 a.m. People in Suffolk will be invited to gather in St Edmundsbury Cathedral at the same time should they wish to do so.

A memorial service will be held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in due course.

For further details see

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wanting to get married at church ... is a website with lots of ideas and help. Why not take a look.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Agenda for July General Synod at York University

Key debates centre on women bishops’ legislation, while other subjects include clergy pensions, clergy terms of service, relations with the Church of Scotland, the status of deaneries and resources for Fresh Expressions in sessions of the Church of England’s ‘parliament,’ the General Synod, to be held in York from July 9th to 13th.

For full details see

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Millenium development goals and Micah 2010

It is 10 years since the nations of the world made the promise to halve global poverty by 2015. The critical Millennium Declaration Review Summit takes place in September in New York (20 - 22 September). The annual global ‘stand up’ has been brought forward this year to take place just before the conference (17 – 19 September). This year the plan is to ‘Make a noise for the Millennium Development Goals’. For ideas see

Then on 10 October churches worldwide are planning a further focus on the MDGs – Micah 2010.

The Micah Challenge is a global coalition of Christians which seeks to hold governments to account for the promises they made towards the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals. The idea is to make sure that these promises are not forgotten.

The objective is to have:

100 million Christians praying a global prayer on 10/10/10.
10 million making a promise to remember the poor and commit to living a life of justice. We will be asked to raise our hands in promise, then make a special handprint.
1,000 politicians worldwide reminded that there are only 5 years remaining to meet the promise the nations have made. The handprints will be the visible message to pass on to the politicians.
The global prayer is already on the Micah web site ( Churches can register online ( and then they will be sent updated details for action as they unfold - worship ideas, the use of handprints to indicate promises and the co-ordination of the lobby of MPs.

So please do get your church signed up and ensure that Sunday 10 October is a special time of prayer in support of the 8 Millennium Development Goals.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fairtrade and trade justice

Five years on from the Diocese receiving Fairtrade status, churches are being invited to renew their commitment to fairtrade and trade justice. I have written to all PCC secretaries and serving clergy. Churches which do not already have fairtrade status have been invited to apply, whilst Fairtrade churches have been asked to take their concern one step further. Each letter included a number of enclosures and suggestions about how to become more involved. These included:

ideas for incorporating teaching & prayers about trade justice in worship, Bible studies, home groups, Sunday school, youth groups etc.
taking part in the Big Brew in 2011 (28 February – 13 March 2011)
extending the range of Fairtrade products used in church
taking campaigning action (joining the World Development Movement) &
giving third world producers a step up into world markets (through Shared Interest or Traidcraft Exchange).
It has been that these ideas should be considered at a PCC meeting. If you are a recipient of one or both of the letters, please take action. If you are not a recipient and hear nothing about this at your church perhaps you could ask your PCC Secretary what is happening!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Church buildings repairs and possible VAT increase

A strongly worded letter to Prime Minister David Cameron from the Church of England’s governing body in Suffolk has raised the alarm over suspension of the Government’s e-petition service on the Downing Street website and the impact it could have on repairs to church buildings.

More information can be found at

and more information about the petition at

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Diocesan Clergy conference

later this month Father Stephen, together with the other clergy of the Diocese, will be meeting with our bishops from 22nd to 24th June for the Diocesan Clergy conference. The theme of the conference is "Speaking of God today". Amidst all the noise of our civilisation, hearing the voice of God and the deepest cries of the world is not easy. But it is crucial - God doesn't change, but our understanding of Him, and the ways in which we can bring His love to a world in need, does. We will gather together to listen to some eminent speakers, in order that we might be able to speak more effectively and responsibly of God today. Please remember the conference participants in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Philip Draycott celebrates 40 years as a Reader

Sunday June 13th marks 40 years to the day since Dr Philip Draycott was commissioned as a Reader in the Diocese of Ipswich and St Edmundsbury. This is truly a great achievement. We all wish Philip heartfelt congratulations on reaching this great milestone.