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Bishop Dagmar Ascensiontide Mailing

Issued on Friday 22 May 2020



Dear Colleagues

 “Don’t look to the skies, the Lord is here with you” – a song for Ascensiontide we used to sing in the youth group when I was a teenager, just a few years ago … Perhaps I’m not the only one who needs to hear this as it seems to me there is a growing sense of restlessness.  Following the Ascension, the apostles went back to Jerusalem, to wait with patience and prayer to find peace in the present, for somehow the Lord was with them, even if the mighty rushing wind of Pentecost was yet to come. Whether you’ve joined in with Thy Kingdom Come or not, I hope you will find such time for prayer that helps us to live in the present and offers us the peace of God’s presence.

This mailing contains a number of attachments. None of them require any particular urgent action before next week. Nonetheless, they might helpfully answer some of your questions and queries.

Guidance on contractors and construction work

Please find attached [linked above] two documents with the latest Church of England guidance on using professional contractors and on construction work in your churches.


Hot off the press, please find furthermore 4 really helpful documents [linked above]

  • Access to church buildings during lockdown: general advice for incumbents, churchwardens and PCC members
  • Access to church buildings during lockdown: advice for incumbents
  • Keeping church buildings clean
  • COVID-19 Advice on pastoral support in the community, including care homes

The current version will always be available to download from the Church of England website via the Coronavirus FAQs page.


You may have picked up that there is some guidance on its way as the Government proceeds on planning for an easing of lockdown. Please note that for the time being, current advice has not changed!

We expect some modest changes to be implemented in a few weeks regarding weddings and funerals, possibly further access to some churches, but no public worship in church in the near future. You will receive detailed information and guidance as soon as possible in order to help with your planning.

Internet Access / Telephone Lines in church

We have received a number of enquiries about putting telephone lines into churches to enable more reliable streaming of services over a broadband connection.  Trenching through a churchyard would normally require Faculty consent, but given the urgency of these requests and the clear missional benefits arising, the Chancellor has agreed that Faculty consent will no longer be required for this.  However, churches will need to comply with some simple directions, including consulting with the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

For further information visit:

ORDINATIONS and LICENSINGS – What is happening?


You may have heard that there will not be ordinations at Petertide in this Diocese. Those due to become stipendiary deacons will nonetheless “start” at Petertide and be licensed virtually as lay workers, thus also being entered onto the clergy pay roll.

We are tentatively planning for Michaelmas Ordinations of deacons and priests. While it is too early to give details, it is very likely that we shall need to ordain in smaller groups, and that attendance will be limited.

I have picked up some concerns around the furloughing of curates which some dioceses are doing. Be assured that there are no such plans in Ely Diocese.


Likewise, the manner of licensing of new LLMs due to take place in early autumn will be affected. Further details will be made available when the situation is clearer.


Eleanor Puttock

Against the backdrop of the ongoing financial uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, Eleanor Puttock, Digital Evangelism Manager, will not have her two-year contract extended once it draws to a close in the summer. A big thank you to Eleanor for all she has done during her time with us.  Her drive and energy to improve how colleagues use digital communications has seen her help and support parishes across the Diocese. In doing so, she has made a great many friends.

We wish Eleanor every blessing for her future endeavours and with her plans going forward.

Linda Church

Many of you will be aware that Linda Church is approaching retirement and will leave at the end of July. She has been a wonderful servant of the Diocese for eleven years, first in parish ministry and then in the last seven years taking on the complex and important role of Director of Development, Mission and Ministry. We wish her and Lawrence well in retirement. If you would like to contribute to a farewell gift, you can send a cheque to the Diocesan Office at Bishop Woodford House (post is collected regularly) made out to “EDBF” marked Linda Church,  or do a BACS transfer to EDBF, Reference Linda Church.


Thank you so much – we have just sent £3,769 for food to our friends in Kigali Diocese, to support their work with poor families whose lives have got so much harder due to the Covid-19 crisis.

This will undoubtedly make a huge difference to the most needy and enable the Diocese to feed a large number of families. Thank you to all who have contributed so generously. The need is still there as, like here, churches are closed and now the pastors and their families are beginning to suffer. If you wish to help it’s not too late. You can use the JustGiving button here or, especially for larger sums, make a transfer by BACS to the Ely DBF account (the same as for Ministry Share but obviously marked Kigali).

Prayer, wellbeing and our rootedness in God

Please find attached the next in the St Luke’s Series to support us in our ministry and lives.

Prayer Responses for Ascensiontide

As we wait in silence

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we listen to your word

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we worship you in majesty

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your refreshing

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your renewing

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your equipping

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.

As we long for your empowering

Make us ready for your coming Spirit.


God bless you this Ascensiontide.


Page last updated: Thursday 10th September 2020 2:46 PM
First published on: 25th May 2020
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