February 2020 Newsletter

14th February 2020

Dear all,

Welcome to our third email. I hope that this new year and indeed decade, has begun with many positives and is proving to be a great ‘new’ beginning.

Beginnings (and resolutions at the start!) are often challenging. They involve some kind of change and many of us find change difficult. Before joining CCE I always said I ‘hated’ change! I have learned the error of my ways over the past year (yes it was a year on the 14th February that I was appointed! A salubrious day indeed!). I embrace and relish change now. I have learned that stepping out with God brings growth and joy. I have also learned to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ I love the variety each day brings, the opportunities to serve others and the joy of hearing stories and visiting chaplains and schools where there is such life, vision and energy. One verse that has taken on new meaning for me is:

‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.

We serve a generous and extravagant God (we need only look at the amazing sunrises or sunsets in recent days) who truly wants us to live life ‘in all its fullness’. Where we, (or indeed those whom we serve) have yet to embrace that fully perhaps the first step is knowing God plans are for good. Sometimes it is our thinking and beliefs that need to take that in!

I recently spent a day in Somerset and then a morning in Cheshire, visiting primary (and a middle) schools and listening to pupils, staff and headteachers talk glowingly of the work of their chaplains and the impact they have. What an amazing bunch of people you are. Please let me know some of the stories that make you glad you work as a chaplain. We may have the chance to feature your story in the national Christian press soon.

I have finally (with Paul’s help) gathered the highlights of the National Summit together. These are attached for your interest. It was a wonderful day of warmth, support, encouragement and vision. Those with a national role in chaplaincy are so aware of the day to day hard work and challenges you face. We hope that our desire to support you further and ‘grow’ chaplaincy will result in the Church, our schools and colleges and those with whom you work becoming more and more inspired and envisioned with all that chaplaincy can bring.

I am excited to report that the first phase of our collaboration with Newman University and the initial research project will draw to an end at the end of March. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you have not yet followed the link and participated do so TODAY! Your input is really wanted as we want to ensure that the research truly reflects what you are saying (as well as pupils and other stakeholders such as Headteachers).

The next National Conference for School and College Chaplains (June 2021) is currently being planned. We are truly delighted that so many leaders at the Summit wished to be involved in planning this event. We have already begun to identify some of the objectives, methodologies and ratio of time given to types of activity. This looks as if it might be the best conference yet…. We hope so!

Finally, as the year continues to unfold and we head into Lent, may you find joy in serving a God whose love and generosity know no bounds; wisdom as you encounter those who are struggling or  have yet to meet Him and hope when the clouds hide the brightness of His glory.

Praying for you,

Maggie

 

Link to Newman:

https://rdap1psi.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ccenewman-school-chaplains

 

People can also email cce@newman.ac.uk and they will get a link to the survey.

 

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