Bishops thank parishes for "playing their part"

First published 26th March 2012

Bishop Mike and Bishop Lee have written to each parish in the Diocese reflecting on what has been achieved for the Kingdom of God in the last year and expressing thanks and support to each each parish for their commitment to ministry and mission in their communities.

Bishop Mike and Bishop Lee write:

As Bishops in the Diocese of Bristol, we are immensely proud of the parish churches that make up this diocese and what has been achieved in the last year.

We are humbled by the commitment of faithful Christians to prayer and worship in our 200 churches. That commitment is growing: one in three people are part of a prayer or Bible study group and numbers training for ordained ministry have doubled in the last five years.

We are inspired by the witness of Christs disciples to his truth and grace among their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues and the support that local churches provide. Over 100 new services have been started by our churches in the space of two years, providing new contexts where people can experience God's love.

We are encouraged by the way churches have been partnering together and with other organisations to have an impact on their communities. In Swindon, for example, each church actively supports or runs on average six community projects or activities.

We wanted to share just some of these signs of new life we see in our Diocese because it is as we join together as a diocese that we can continue to sow the seeds that lead to this life.

Together we recruit, train and equip over 200 clergy and 200 Licensed Lay Ministers in the Diocese. Together we are funding and developing a growing number of people - 50 at any one time - as they train for licensed ministry. Together we can provide diocesan staff to support and strengthen the ministry in parishes and church schools.

As a parish in this diocese, you are sharing in this overall picture of God's mission. We are growing in our appreciation of the apostle Pauls words, If one part suffers, all suffer together with it; if one part is honoured, all rejoice together with it.

We give thanks to God for all we see his Spirit doing among us and want to express our gratitude to you for sharing in the body of Christ in this Diocese through what you do locally and beyond, what you give in Parish Share and through your relationships with other church communities.

Thank you for playing your part.

Rt Revd Mike Hill Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield

Bishop of Bristol Bishop of Swindon

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