January 2016: St Mary’s Church, Potton, Paternal Service and LMDT Re-Mandating Ceremony

On Sunday January 24, the Archdeacon of Bedford, the Venerable Paul Hughes, the Diocesan Parish Development Officer, the Rev Jeanette Gosney, the Deanery Lay Chair, Mr Phil Brown, our Diocesan Local Ministry Team Consultants, Mrs Liz Toogood and Mrs Gill Thwaites, were welcomed by the  Rector, the Rev Gill Smith to St Mary’s Church Patronal Festival, a special service of Celebration.

During the service, Archdeacon Paul carried out the LMDT Licence re-mandating, presenting the Team with a new Mandate Certificate, signed by the Bishop of St Albans.

Mr Phil Brown then presented the Porch Notices for each Church in the Benefice to a representative of the Churchwardens, Mr David Montgomery. The other two churches are All Saints, Sutton and St John the Baptist at Cockayne Hatley.

St Mary’s Church Choir under the direction of Choirmaster David Barker, sang two beautiful anthems during the service and three hymns during the taking of Communion.


April 2016: The month of May will be a milestone for our Rural Dean, the Revd Lindsay Dew.  Not only will he be returning to duties as Rector of the Dunton, Eyeworth & Wrestlingworth benefice and Rural Dean of Biggleswade on 1st May after a year's sick leave, but on 7th May he will be installed as an Honorary Canon of St Albans Cathedral.   The installation will take place in St Albans Cathedral during a service at 4pm on Saturday 7th May.  This is a great honour for Lindsay and reflects all the hard work he has put in within benefice, deanery and diocese.

MAY 2016: Good news - a double celebration.  Our Rural Dean, the Rev Lindsay Dew has been invited by the Bishop of St Albans to become an Honorary Canon at the Cathedral.  Coming as it does when Lindsay returns to ministry from 10 months sick leave there is cause for great celebration.  Whilst Lindsay will have to go easy for a while, it is good to hear that he has successfully overcome the bowel cancer and the attendant pain and discomfort.

Lindsay will be installed in St Albans Cathedral during the service of Evening Worship at 4pm on Saturday, 7th May.  All are welcome to support him.


MAY 2016: Calling all churchwardens and anyone contemplating taking on the role.  Biggleswade Deanery is running a half day course for churchwardens, whether they be new or long serving, at St Andrew's, Biggleswade on Saturday 4th  June (10am - 1pm).  
More details in this poster

MAY 2016: The Rural Dean, the Revd Canon Lindsay Dew, was installed as an Honorary Canon of St Albans Cathedral during the evening service on Saturday, 7th May 2016.  

His stall is named after Frederick (Frithric), who was the last Anglo-Saxon Abbot of the Monastery at St Albans (now the Cathedral).  After William the Conqueror became King everything changed!  Frederick stood up to William demanding the old rights and customs be kept.  Sadly he lost out to the Abbot of Westminster who was an influential friend of William.

JUNE 2016: Christmas may still be months away, but the planning has started already for the annual Christmas Child exercise, which over the past few years has sent many shoe boxes of Christmas cheer to needy children around he world. In particular, they need someone to act as collection coordinator to liaise with donor organisations. More details can be found here

JULY 4 2016:

Petertide ordinations. On Saturday, 2nd July in St Albans Abbey, the Rev Daniel Foot was ordained priest.  Daniel is the assistant curate of St Swithun's , Sandy.  Please hold Daniel in your prayers at this momentous time in his ministry. [Picture attached]

Living God's Love. Parishes are being encouraged to look at their achievements over the past 5 years and look forward to what can be achieved in the next phase of Living God's Love up to 2020.  As part of this exercise, Bishop Richard will be visiting the Deanery on 10th November 2016.  Amongst other activities, the visit will include an evening with the Bishop for everyone to discuss progress with Living God's Love in their parishes.  Location - TBA.

LGL2.jpgIn addition, the Deanery is running Module 1 of the "Foundations of Living God's Love" course at St Swithun's, starting on Tuesday, 20th September 2016.  There will be 6 sessions at fortnightly intervals, the last of which will be a social evening.   More details

Rural Dean. The Rev Lindsay Dew continues to make progress back to full health after his long illness, for which we are truly thankful.  However, the Rev Guy Scott will continue to help in his capacity as Assistant Rural Dean. See Dewbenefice for details of Lindsay's progress."

SEPTEMBER 16 2016:  

Urgent!  There has been insufficient interest in the Foundations of Living God's Love course planned for this autumn and, with regret, it has been postponed to a future date.


Living God's Love - the visit of Bishop Richard to Biggleswade Deanery

On 10th November the Deanery hosted a visit by Bishop Richard, Bishop of Bedford.  We are 5 years into the Living God's Love programme and Bishop Richard was to discuss some of the results to date and look to the future developments around the Deanery. ….. MORE

Deanery Project 2017 The project voted for by members of the Deanery Synod at its October meeting was the specialist ‘Parenting Puzzle’ course for mothers living in Butterfly House, the women’s refuge in the Bedford area.  When families come into Butterfly House it is following a very difficult time in their lives, and both Mum and the children are traumatised by their experiences.  Butterfly House offers them a safe place to live whilst they sort out a future for themselves.  Butterfly House offers a time to reflect, learn and rebuild. An important part of that process is building on the relationships between Mum and her children, developing confidence in her ability to parent, learning or re-learning about healthy parenting, and understanding about the developmental stages of childhood and how to navigate these successfully. To offer an intervention of this type, particularly tailored to mothers in this specific situation, at this stage in their lives is priceless and will have a lasting impact on the families who will benefit from it.