Our new ‘Diocesan Bishop’– that means the Bishop of Oxford – the lead Bishop in Oxford Diocese, is Steven Croft. He came to Oxford last Autumn from being Bishop of Sheffield for eight years. He’s currently going round all the deaneries in his (rather huge) diocese to meet church members. And he is inviting us all to come and meet him on Wednesday 7th June at Uffington Village Hall at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start.
In one of his books Jesus’ People: What the church should do next, Bishop Steven reminds us what a church is: “A Christian Church is not a gathering of loosely committed consumers or more or less satisfied customers. It is the living community of those who are offering their whole lives to Jesus Christ and will live in this dynamic rhythm of worship, fellowship and mission: coming together to be with Jesus and being sent out in love and service to God’s world. This, and only this, is what it means to be church: Jesus’ people”. Now there’s a challenge about being a missional church and not a consumer church.
The programme for Bishop Steven’s day in our Vale of White Horse Deanery is packed. It includes meetings with deanery clergy and lay ministers, school visits to Buckland School and Faringdon Community College (I’ll be going along on the latter). He’s having a visit to Pennyhooks Farm to meet the team working with young people on the autistic spectrum. He’ll also meet lay leaders across the deanery. But the event to which we are all warmly invited is the evening meeting at Uffington Village Hall. After an opening time of worship, Bishop Steven will tell us something about himself and his vision for the diocese and then invite any questions we want to ask, so please think about bringing your question along. Avril Coleman will be chairing this Q and A session.
So please make a point of coming along if you possibly can that evening. If transport is likely to be a problem, I’m sure we can find space in a car for you. And please pray regularly for Bishop Steven and our own area Bishop Colin Fletcher as they bear the responsibility of encouraging many churches forward in sharing the life-changing news of Jesus.
Yours in Christ,