04 Jan

Welcome to January 2022!

I hope that you have all had a good Christmas, taken some time off and are looking forward to a new year of ministry in 2022!  It was a pity that the Chapter Christmas lunch got cancelled but I’m hoping very much that we can all get together for an in-person Chapter in two weeks’ time and a party in February.  Then, we’ll have a summer Chapter lunch at The Royal Oak in June.

Here’s the plan:

Tuesday 11am 18 January – in-person Chapter meeting at Hope Church Hounslow with Rev Claire Clarke

  • Christmas stories – things that went a bit wrong as well as things that went well
  • Tips on tools that help us get organised – personally and as teams
  • Deanery news and things coming up

Thurs 10 Feb     7.30pm CHAPTER PARTY at my place – 60 Elmwood Rd W4 3DZ

Thurs 17 Feb     2pm     Online Chapter meeting
Peter Vannozzi will tell us about the new discernment process for potential ordinands, involving Grids, Traffic Lights and Carousels. 

Mental Health First Aider training
The Diocese is offering parishes the opportunity to have one person trained as a Mental Health First Aider.  This will enable the MHFA to recognise the symptoms of mental ill health; to provide initial help, on a first-aid basis; to signpost appropriate professional support; to be aware of their own mental health and well-being; and to understand how to use the MHFA framework within theological frames of reference and pastoral contexts.

The course comprises four half days of training, which should be completed reasonably close together.

Hounslow Deanery is being offered an in-person course for up to 16 people on Tues 10 May, Thurs 12 May, Tues 17 May and Thurs 19 May at 9.30am-1.30pm.

Would you, or someone else from your church, like to attend the course?  If so, please let me know.

GROW course
Just a reminder that, if you and your church have not done this, it’s definitely worth considering.  More info here: https://ccx.org.uk/grow-course/

Welcare Trust
The trustees meet again at the end of March so January/February would be a great time to reflect on funding needs for work in the community and see if this charity can help you.  More info here.

Deanery synod – Introduction to LLF resources – Thursday 24 Feb 7.30-9.00pm
Rev Jody Stowell, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels in Harrow, and Rebeccah Cooper-Jones, professional mediator, will facilitate an introduction to the Living in Love and Faith resources that have been produced recently.  The hope is for people in Church of England churches across the country to use these resources to study and pray together. This church-wide learning together, listening to one another, and listening to God is intended to enable the Church of England to discern a way forward in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.  Please do try to join this session – all voices need to be heard.

Please continue to pray for the well-being, both physical and mental, of clergy and church leaders.

Love, God bless and Happy New Year!


28 Sep

As you may remember, the October Synod meeting marks the beginning of a new triennium with the election of a new Lay Chair. If you would like to stand, or know someone who you think would be a good candidate, then please complete a nomination form and return it to Kat by email to pa@hounslowdeanery.org.uk NO LATER THAN 6 October.

Nomination forms can be found here in word format (to fill in on a computer) or in .pdf format (to print off and fill in by hand).

The Deanery Synod Meeting is still planned for Monday 25 October, with the section for Lay representatives starting at 6.30pm.  Clergy will join from 7pm for refreshments followed by Holy Communion (sharing bread only) at 7.30pm. Following this, Rev Derek Winterburn, Vicar of St James’s Church Hampton Hill, will facilitate a conversation about how we are caring for God’s creation.  Finally, we’ll have some brief notices and the appointment or election of our Deanery Synod Standing Committee.  An agenda will be sent round nearer the time.

Warmest wishes and God bless,

Martine Oborne
Area Dean
27 Sep

Oct Deanery Synod CHANGE OF DATE

We have had to change the date for the October Deanery Synod meeting and we will now been meeting on Monday 25 October (NOT 28 Oct.)  The meeting will still be IN-PERSON and still be held at St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Road W4 3DY.

Lay representatives, please do come for 6.30pm for the Lay Only Meeting (no clergy please!) to elect the next Lay Chair. Everyone is welcome from 7pm for refreshments followed by Holy Communion (sharing bread only) at 7.30pm. Following this, Rev Derek Winterburn, Vicar of St James’s Church Hampton Hill, will facilitate a conversation about how we are caring for God’s creation.  Finally, we’ll have some brief notices and the appointment or election of our Deanery Synod Standing Committee.  An agenda will be sent round nearer the time.

Please remember!
The Hounslow Deanery Common Fund Meeting is still going ahead by Zoom on the 5th of October, 7.00-8.30pm. Do invite anyone in your church who you feel would benefit from attending and I look forward to seeing you there! If you would like the zoom detail for this meeting then please reach out to Kat here.

Warmest wishes and God bless,

Martine Oborne
Area Dean

Hounslow Welcare Trust
 The Houslow Welcare Trust exists to make grants to help Deanery churches. The next trustees meeting is coming soon – take a look at the criteria and get in touch if you’re interested.

New Triennium Starts Soon!
If you would like to nominate someone for the Deanery Synod Standing Committee (even yourself), please out to me or Kat. Both clergy and lay members are needed.  

Christian Mindfulness and Contemplative Prayer
This course comprises two Thursday morning sessions on 7 & 14 October at St Peter’s Church in Southfield Rd W4.  Please contact Fabrizio Pesce to find out more.  Or book here.

20 Sep

Hounslow Deanery Synod news and updates….

As many of you know, I have recently been appointed as Hounslow Area Dean. Thank you so much to everyone who has sent good wishes and offers of support. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the role and I hope that our Deanery Synod meetings will be both enjoyable and helpful to your ministry and mission.

I am the Vicar of St Michael’s Church in Chiswick where I’ve been in post for ten years now.  Before this, I served my curacy in Islington and, before that, I had a career in the City.  I’m married to Peter and we have five children, but with only one still at school.

A new triennium!
We are at the start of a new three year cycle of Deanery Synod meetings, so this is an ideal time to have a rethink about what we do and why.  If you’ve got any comments or suggestions, please be in touch.  

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to focus on some of the new Kensington Area priorities such as: mission in the community; the environment; ministry to children and youth; and mental health and wellbeing.  If you would like to play a role on the Deanery Synod Standing Committee, possibly as a rep for one of these priorities, do please let me know.  We need both clergy and lay members.  Standing Committee meets three times a year by Zoom and is responsible for planning events, talks and the agenda at the Deanery Synod meetings.

Next Deanery Synod meeting – Thursday 28 October – IN-PERSON at St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Road W4 3DY at 7pm
I am looking forward to meeting and welcoming reps, particularly new ones, to Deanery Synod at this first session.  Do please join us if you can.

We’ll start first with a Deanery Meeting of Lay Representatives at 6.30pm to elect our Lay Chair.  Then there will be refreshments at 7pm for both lay and clergy reps, followed by Holy Communion (sharing bread only) at 7.30pm.  Then Derek Winterburn, Vicar of St James’s Church Hampton Hill, will facilitate a conversation about how we are caring for God’s creation.  Finally, we’ll have some brief notices and the appointment or election of our Deanery Synod Standing Committee.  An agenda will be sent round nearer the time.

Subsequent Deanery Synod meetings
The new Deanery Synod Standing Committee will meet in November and make plans.  We will probably have a Deanery Synod meeting by Zoom in February and an in-person one in June.

Welcare applications
Applications for grants for community projects are welcome.  If they are submitted by 15 November, they will be considered at the next meeting of trustees on 29 November.  More information and application forms can be found here.

I look forward to seeing you soon.
Warmest wishes and God bless,

Rev Martine Oborne
Area Dean

22 Jun

Daily Hope – Ministering among Seniors

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to recommend Daily Hope, especially for those of you who are ministering to the elderly during this time.

Daily Hope is a free phone line (0800 804 8044) which offers a simple ministry to those who might struggle to access services and prayers online. We know churches across the country have risen to the challenge of engaging many creatively online with worship and prayer during lockdown. We were also aware that this also highlighted the ‘digital divide’ between those for whom the online world comes easily and others for whom it is inaccessible and alien. We know that less than a quarter of over 75 year olds regularly engage in online platforms and so wanted to make sure they weren’t excluded from worship in a time of isolation.That’s where Daily Hope comes in.

Daily Hope is an example of a great working together across the church – backed by the Archbishops’ Council – to deliver a solution to a real need. Specialists whose vocation is to minister amongst ‘seniors’, those who have got great tech skills, liturgists and musicians, those from Comms and the Evangelism and Witness team at Lambeth Palace gathered together at the beginning of April to see if they could make this happen.

On the 26th of April the free phoneline was launched. The line offers each caller a number of options – a collection of well-known hymns, the stories behind the hymns, joining in with Morning or Evening Prayer, or receiving the latest relevant public health advice. Since it launched, Daily Hope has received over 150,000 calls totalling 1.7 million minutes from nearly 38,000 unique callers. Callers receive a welcome from Archbishop Justin and then a series of options.Feedback has been hugely positive.

My mum is 89 and suffers from macular degeneration. She is living alone nearly 200 miles from us without internet access, and, like many at this time, is feeling extremely depressed and isolated. A few weeks ago I told her about the phone line ‘Daily Hope’. I can’t begin to tell you how much she appreciates this initiative. It has brought her such comfort, and I know that she spends many hours listening to it, particularly in the night when she’s unable to sleep.”

Stories like this make it all worthwhile and we’d love it if you can pass out the details of this wonderful service to those in your congregation who could benefit. You can read more on the Church of England website here.

Do continue to let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you during this time.

27 May

Guidance from the House of Bishops Recovery Group

*This page was edited on the 6th of June with updated documents, please check to make sure that you have the most up to date guidance to hand

Dear Friends, 

Further to the update we did last week on the House of Bishops Recovery Group I am pleased to be able to share with you some more detailed resources to help plan for Government restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic being eased. Please note that we have yet to receive the definitive Government guidance so this may still change.

As you’ll remember we have been working on a suite of resources.  Along with the two advice papers shared on Friday (on access for contractors and building work), this first set of advice papers relate to  the current restrictions affecting buildings, and can be put into use now. These include;

In addition, however, I’m sharing with you some papers setting out advice on how activities not yet permitted might be carried out safely when the time comes.  I want to emphasise that these papers are very much intended to help with forward planning and not as definitive guides. We obviously do not yet know the exact timing and sequencing by which Government restrictions may be eased and there could still be significant changes to advice, but these are intended to help churches plan based on the best information we have. They include advice on:

 During the course of next week, Parish Buying will begin to make available cleaning, handwash and other supplies in preparation for the gradual re-opening of places of worship , and will be sharing information about this in their monthly newsletter.
If you have any questions about these measures, please contact mark.betson@churchofengland.org.  

With every blessing,

21 May

Guidance on using contractors during the Pandemic

Hi Friends,

Just a quick update today! Following the House of Bishops meeting this week, please find attached new guidance papers which will also be published on the CofE website tomorrow. Do let me know if you have any questions that I can assist with!

Guidance for Churches on Construction work is here

Guidance for on using Professional Contractors is here

Many thanks,


31 Mar

Updates and Useful Information 31st March 2020

Church Support Hub has baptism, wedding & funeral and bereavement resources from CofE online:

Funeral and bereavement resources on main CofE website:

For those doing Crem Duty, the following should be noted:

  • They should be fit and well themselves.
  • They should not have anyone vulnerable in their household.
  • They should take all reasonable precautions for their own wellbeing.
  • They should be prepared for little notice and minimal information of the details of the deceased.
  • They should be prepared for a severely shortened length for the funeral service.
  • Details of CofE texts and notes for these circumstances can be found on the CofE website (here)
  • Full details of each funeral taken to be passed to a central record to ensure follow up. Please send to keiron.ronan@london.anglican.org
  • They should be made aware of the support available to them.

Funeral Fees: It is likely that a blanket permission will be issued to waive funeral fees.

Funeral Ministry: Some thoughts from a trauma-informed perspective on supporting ministers in funeral ministry during the Covid-19 Crisis are available here

Church Print Hub resources for printing or order: https://www.churchprinthub.org

Finance: Encourage churches is to be in touch with Mary Spredbury about finance. This document from the CofE helpfully sets out all the key government financial measures which could apply to churches and institutions: Link to Document here

What comes next: This is a thought-provoking piece on thinking beyond this first phase to what comes next (written by one of ‘our’ clergy): Read Here

Online / Video tutorials – Tutorials on Zoom and Googlemeet: https://www.christchurchkensington.com/softwarehelp and 7 Hints & Tips for speaking to a camera:

14 Mar

Coronavirus Planning and Resources for Clergy

Some useful links and resources to save:

General Advice

  • Church of England page: keep checking this – support if you need to make unpopular decisions, and clear boundaries within which to make good local decisions. Additional detail on London Diocese page.
  • Official UK Government Advice.
  • Catering: Exeter Diocese has helpful informal (i.e. not mandatory) guidance – thanks to Sarah for passing them on. PDF here.

Financial Issues

  • If you have any questions relating to financial issues due to the Corona Virus outbreak, please see the latest newsletter from the Diocese of London Finance Team here.

Church and Community

Online – or on the phone – Church

  • While services are still happening – but some are having to stay away – here’s how to set up your church for live streaming.
  • Start thinking about to connect with people who do not have access to social media? Prayers by post, phonecalls (pairing people up to pray together each morning on the phone?) etc…
  • If services cease for a while, think now about how you might keep connecting with the congregation – would they benefit from a daily email with prayer, a regular blog or a weekly webcast?
  • And don’t forget the CofE Prayer for the Day online (and on Alexa).
19 Nov

Counter-Extremism Training

Sophie Lawrence, Counter-Extremism adviser for the Borough of Hounslow, is offering training for deanery clergy and key volunteers (for example in community-facing projects). She describes the training this way:

Understanding the developing threat of extremism should be a priority for all who work with the community and understanding how to report a concern is paramount.

Counter Extremism Awareness training refers to the national and local extremist threat picture and the local resources available to you for support.

We touch on extremist groups who have been active in recent history to groups active in the present day and look at groups that are becoming a growing concern. We consider the impact of Prevent and the shift in extremist threat in the wake of Brexit. We look at the warnings signs that could suggest someone is being radicalised, which is becoming more and more challenging to tackle due to the use of online propaganda and social media as a recruitment method.

There will be plenty of time for discussion as this is a very significant and sensitive topic which has seen copious amounts of mixed media coverage this year with the government review of the Prevent Strategy and the Counter Extremism Strategy.”

Sophie Lawrence

If you’re interested in this training, please do drop Kat, Deanery Secretary, a line using the form below. We can then liaise over timings.