Belonging in, praying for, and caring for people and parishes in Stepney Area is the core of Bishop Joanne’s role. She is also the lead bishop for safeguarding on behalf of Bishop Sarah; works alongside Bishop Graham in supporting the work of the Compassionate Communities team; and, with Monica Bolley, chairs the Racial Justice Priority Group. Here are some of the key events and commitments in Bishop Joanne’s diary over the last couple of months:

  • Joining St Nicholas Aberfeldy for their patronal festival. Supporting St John’s Brownswood Park while their Vicar is on maternity leave. Supporting St Anne’s Hoxton for Midnight Mass and the feast of St Stephen. Preaching at St Mark’s Myddleton Square. Confirmations at Christ Church Isle of Dogs, St James the Less Bethnal Green, and Grace Church Hackney. Licencing Revd Matt Way as interim priest-in-charge of Hope Church Islington and Revd Tamsin Merchant as Area Dean of Islington.
  • Regular meetings together and sometimes individually with colleagues in the College of Bishops, the London Diocese Senior Staff, and the Stepney staff team.
  • Chairing the Joint Operations Team (JOT), the body that includes all the archdeacons and heads of department in the Diocese.
  • Having an ordinand alongside her on placement for various meetings and commitments over a couple of months, to encourage her in growing her leadership potential.
  • Joining in Zoom conversations with Bishops from across the Anglican Communion in preparation for the Lambeth conference in July 2022.
  • Supporting a Strategic Leadership Development Programme group, who are working on a parish resource called Faithful Change.
  • Being part of the steering group working to support the work of the independent reviewer who is looking into the circumstances leading to the death of Fr Alan Griffin.
  • 24 hours retreat in Canterbury, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with bishops from the southern province.
  • Two retreat days with any Stepney clergy who wanted to take up the offer of prayer and space together, at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine.
  • Diocesan Synod – meeting those newly elected to serve in this triennium.
  • Meeting Neighbours in Poplar volunteers, who have served thousands of hot meals during the lockdowns.
  • Working alongside others from Stepney Area, and Bishop Sarah, on the appointment panel for the new Archdeacon of Hackney. As well as reading paperwork and references, and interviewing four shortlisted candidates, we set exercises for the candidates to do around safeguarding, managing their inbox, setting priorities for their work in the first six months, and presenting to y12 students on a relevant ethical issue.
  • A TV interview with Euronews about how churches are responding to omicron and preparing for Christmas.
  • Visiting St Saviour’s CoE Primary School Poplar for a tour and to lead an assembly for the new term.
  • Planning with the head of St Paul’s School Bow some events to celebrate their 50th anniversary later this year.
  • Taking part in a Media Training Day with communications colleagues at Church House Westminster. This included radio and tv recording.
  • Working with colleagues on data management systems for the whole diocese: working out how best to manage, with consistency and efficiency, paper files, electronic records, and data transfers across this diocese or between us and other dioceses.
  • Working with Stepney colleagues on an appointments resource, to be available on the Stepney Lives website and in booklet form, for parishes in vacancy.
  • Meeting in person with the Racial Justice Priority Group, co-chaired with Monica Bolley, and supported by consultant Steph Ajayi, as we work out our strategy and capacity for change in this area.

Bishop Joanne is grateful for your prayers for these different aspects of her ministry, which she shares with you and with other colleagues in the Diocese of London.

You can follow Bishop Joanne on Twitter as @joannegrenfell where you can see posts about various events and parish visits. If you’d like her to retweet something that you’re involved in, just tag her or send her a message. See also our own @StepneyLives feed on Twitter and Instagram.