A Church for this generation

First published 27th March 2015

The Church of England faces great challenges but it is also a time of opportunity.

Becky Watts: statement from Bishop Mike

First published 4th March 2015

Statement from the Rt Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol, in response to the latest developments in the tragic Becky Watts investigation.

Bishop's Letter: Addressing the deficit

First published 28th January 2015

With Lent in view, this month Bishop Lee turns the spotlight on our vocation to discipleship.A year ago I heard Paula Gooder speak on the subject of discipleship.

A tribute to Carol Stone

First published 6th January 2015

She was both loved and valued by her ordained colleagues, but equally was loved by the people she served within and beyond the Church.

The challenge of being humble

First published 5th January 2015

One of the phrases that comes up reasonably regularly in the bible is The Word of the Lord came to... followed by the name of a person.

A quiet but historic day

First published 19th December 2014

The announcement earlier this week of the appointment of Rev'd Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport is wonderful news for the Church of England and for our wider society.

Bishop's Letter: Closed doors, open doors...

First published 5th December 2014

She laid him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:7 (NIV) I think this is my 38th Christmas as an ordained person!

Buckets in the rain?

First published 26th November 2014

It was very recently reported that cathedral congregations are on the up and that mid-week services have doubled in a decade.

Edward Colston, slavery and moral ambiguities

First published 11th November 2014

On Monday I spoke at the annual Charter Day service in Bristol Cathedral to a gathering of young aspiring people.

What we reap, we will sow…

First published 21st October 2014

The Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, a contemporary of mine at Ridley Hall, made the national news recently by seeking to define some reality for his diocese.

Bishop's Address - 20th September 2014

First published 15th October 2014

Anyone who was involved in any way with the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the past weekend, cannot but help to have been encouraged and inspired by his energy.

Bishop Lee backs Swindon's calls for climate justice

First published 15th October 2014

Swindoncampaigners are taking part in Christian Aids nationwideHunger For Justice action this month as they urge local MPs to act against the injustice of climate change.

David John Banfield 1933-2014

First published 7th October 2014

David Banfield started life in the south-west and his life ended there following a distinguished career in the Church of England in a variety of different contexts.

Bishop Lee in the hot seat

First published 4th September 2014

Bishop Lee will chair his first Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) meeting at the start of October, leading on the Dioceses work in schools and with young people in churches.

Bishop's Letter: Into the looking glass

First published 31st July 2014

Bishop Mike asks if we apply the ways we learn best, to the ways we could seek to spread the Gospel message.

Bishop Lee arrives in Land's End

First published 21st July 2014

The Bishop of Swindon, the Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield successfully completed his epic bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 13 Truro to Land's End (43 miles)

First published 19th July 2014

At around 2pm Mike and I arrived at Land's End to a rapturous applause.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 12 Okehampton to Truro (72 miles)

First published 18th July 2014

Today as I followed the signage from Bodmin to St Austell I recalled my father-in-law's words about 'Cornish miles'.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 11 Glastonbury to Okehampton (84 miles)

First published 17th July 2014

Today's central character unfortunately has no name but was our rescuer when the signposting, the map and the Garmin SatNav conspired to confuse.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 10 Gloucester to Glastonbury (91 miles)

First published 16th July 2014

This was a day of the musketeers! Some 70 miles of the total were ridden in a relay of fellow cyclists from across the Diocese, with wonderful contributions from the stars of the Malmesbury Abbey kitchen.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 9 Church Stretton to Gloucester (73 miles)

First published 15th July 2014

No time to post yesterday evening as it was a day of transition.

The Vote on Women Bishops - About Time Too!

First published 14th July 2014

On Monday 14 July, the General Synod of the Church of England gave its final approval to legislation paving the way for women Bishops.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 8 Wigan to Church Stretton (82 miles)

First published 13th July 2014

Sabbath post - arrived safely and in good time.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 6 Moffat to Shap (76 miles)

First published 11th July 2014

As the days go on, the Tour de Lee is beginning to resemble its more illustrious cousin in two interesting ways.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 5 Uphall to Moffat (60 miles)

First published 10th July 2014

Today's narrative has to centre around Simon...On our journey we have seen a number of other cyclists coming in the opposite direction.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 4 Perth to Uphall, near Edinburgh (47 miles)

First published 9th July 2014

Having seen two bikes on the roof rack some of you may be wondering when Mike has had the chance to ride his. After all, acting as my 'Director Sportif', domestique and general factotum has been a full time occupation!

Le Tour de Lee Day 3 - Aviemore to Perth (91 miles)

First published 8th July 2014

We have been well looked after by the staff in the Hotels and Guest Houses we have stayed in, with the breakfasts a key feature.

Le Tour de Lee Day 2 - Brora to Aviemore (90 miles)

First published 7th July 2014

Three category 3 climbs, two category 4's and one category 5. This may all be meaningless to you but not to my legs!

Le Tour de Lee Day 1 - John O'Groats to Brora (64 miles)

First published 6th July 2014

Mike Palmer and I were boarded in Brora overnight so we had to travel an hour and half to the off at John O Groats.

Le Tour de Lee Day -1 (getting closer)

First published 5th July 2014

As I write today we have just had our afternoon break in the lee of Ben Nevis. No time for a closer look, let alone climbing GBs highest mountain, as we are still 120 miles from our destination.

Le Tour de Lee: Day -2 (heading up north)

First published 4th July 2014

Having taken two hours yesterday to assemble and fit the roof bars and bike carriers, this morning Mike and I loaded the car and set off for the Grand Depart on Sunday.

Bishop Lee swaps robes for lycra

First published 17th June 2014

From Friday 4 July, Bishop Lee will be straddling the saddle of his bike for the next fortnight as he begins a mammoth cycle ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Bishop's Letter: Just Ask!

First published 4th June 2014

With the Archbishop of Canterbury due to visit the Diocese of Bristol, Bishop Lee reminds us of Justin Welby's priorities and the opportunities his visit creates.

Being an evangelist when the going gets tough

First published 20th May 2014

Becoming aware of my own mortality has proved to be a gift and caused me to perceive life through a more richly coloured lens; each day on earth has become more precious, and living it well more significant.

Bishop Lee jumps for justice

First published 12th May 2014

This Sunday the Bishop of Swindon, Rt Revd Lee Rayfield went over the edge to end poverty with Christian Aid as he took part in an abseil at St Sampson's Church in Cricklade.

The Shocking Truth

First published 1st May 2014

Radio 4 this morning carried a story which strongly implied a culture of sexual harassment and bullying in the 'Westminster Village.'

Bishop Lee's Chrism Eucharist sermon

First published 25th April 2014

On Maundy Thursday (17th April), Bishop Lee spoke at the Chrism Eucharist in Bristol Cathedral.

Bishop Mike's Easter letter; 'What if…?'

First published 16th April 2014

I heard recently about a genre of literature about which I had never heard before: non-factual history.

Bishop's Letter: Stepping out

First published 2nd April 2014

This month Bishop Lee shares more of his journey and invites us to step out in faith.

Bishop's Letter; Turning the Battleground back to a Playground

First published 7th February 2014

This month Bishop Lee focuses on education and Church of England schools: the opposition, the aspiration and the facts.

Reaching a significant point

First published 10th January 2014

After a last dose of chemotherapy on Louise's birthday (11 December) I technically completed my fourth and final Course on Christmas Day.

Everyone a witness

First published 6th January 2014

As we begin a year committed to proclaiming the Good News, Bishop Mike explores what it means to live out our common calling as witnesses to the life of Christ and what might be stopping us.

Bishop Mike's Diocesan Synod address

First published 9th December 2013

In his address to Diocesan Synod on 7th December, Bishop Mike urged support for Foodbanks and spoke on measures to improve the operation of the Welfare System.

Bishop's Letter; Earthing Christmas

First published 29th November 2013

As we approach the festivities of Christmas, Bishop Lee reflects on holding together hope and warning in the coming of the Christ child.

Happy Who-mas?

First published 12th November 2013

Three in five people polled say that Christmas is mainly for children. Its a sad fact therefore that 36% of children between ages 5 and 7 dont know whose birthday were celebrating on 25 December.

Grief & Loss: Post Script

First published 10th November 2013

This article is an addendum to Bishop Lee's letter on grief and loss found here. In the EHS Daily Office there were a number of reflections that stood out and to which I found myself frequently returning.

Bishop's Letter; Enlarge your soul through grief and loss

First published 7th November 2013

This month Bishop Lee shares how some telling questions have been enlarging his horizons and his soul.

Bishop Lee talks about his fight against cancer

First published 4th November 2013

Bishop Lee has appeared on ITV West talking on his experience fighting cancer.

Bishop's Letter; Are we good news?

First published 19th October 2013

Bishop Mike encourages us to build our confidence in sharing our faith.The only purpose of the Church is to go out to tell the world the good news about Jesus Christ.

If you want to Go fast, Go alone. If you want to go far, Go together.

First published 18th October 2013

I continue to be staggered and overwhelmed by the messages, cards and letters that are coming our way.

Finding a way to worship

First published 7th October 2013

Normally we pencil in Monday and Tuesday in the week after chemotherapy as fragile days and avoid any diary commitments.

Of sleep and kind truth

First published 1st October 2013

As I have mentioned elsewhere, chemotherapy has had a massive impact on my sleep patterns. Knowing this was on the cards Liz decamped to the spare room the evening I had my first dose.

Update from Bishop Lee

First published 26th September 2013

I confess I wasn't looking forward to my first doses of chemotherapy but the session went very well.

Bishop Lee blessed by the good doctors Mayo and Kermode

First published 20th September 2013

Checkout today's BBC R5 Live Movie Review

17th September: Update from Bishop Lee

First published 17th September 2013

I am now 14 days into my first course of chemotherapy and it has been something of a roller-coaster.

The pile driver

First published 10th September 2013

Sitting on the balcony, most of the time I find it very easy to filter out the sounds of the motorway and the construction of the new housing.

Update from Bishop Lee

First published 6th September 2013

I confess I wasnt looking forward to my first doses of chemotherapy but the session went very well.

Bishop Lee: Health, paradox and gift

First published 2nd September 2013

On return from his holiday Bishop Lee received the news that he has Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Bishop Lee diagnosed with cancer

First published 2nd September 2013

Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, the Bishop of Swindon, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system and will receive treatment in the months ahead.

Bishop's Letter; Who are we?

First published 24th July 2013

Should the Church support liberal social and ethical reforms?

Bishop's Letter; ‘Them', ‘Us', and what it means to be the Local Church

First published 1st July 2013

This month Bishop Lee reflects on the Church of England's understanding of what it means to be the local Church.

Thank you

First published 26th June 2013

I was so grateful to everyone that came to the service on Saturday evening at Bristol Cathedral to mark the 10th anniversary of my time as Bishop of Bristol.

The Syria Conundrum

First published 14th June 2013

News coming in overnight is that the American administration now confirms, what we have had circumstantial evidence of for a while, that the Syrian Government has used chemical weapons on its own people.

Bishop's Letter; Discovering our true worth

First published 28th May 2013

In this months letter, Bishop Mike argues the way the world around us measures our value is actually devaluing and reminds us of where our true value comes from and lies.

Woolwich. Jesus Christ stood for unity and love. So do we.

First published 25th May 2013

Bishop Mike HillWe wish to express our deep condolences to the family of Drummer Lee Rigby.

‘This, then, is how you should pray…'

First published 21st May 2013

Prayer draws us more closely into relationship with God, has an impact on the world and energises our Christian lives.

Christian Aid Week - video of the 'Bishops on Bikes' tour

First published 14th May 2013

Bishop Ed Condry (Bishop of Ramsbury) and Bishop Lee Rayfield (Bishop of Swindon) cycled a gruelling 180 miles around Wiltshire in 2 days in April 2013, stopping off in 16 Christian Aid groups along the way.

Bishop's Letter; Finding Home

First published 23rd April 2013

This month Bishop Lee reminds us of the thousands of children who have little experience of a loving home and asks how the gospel can help us engage with such a challenge.

The Diagnostic Trap

First published 29th March 2013

This past week in the media, I think following a press release from NICE, ( the National Institute of Clinical Excellence), the term conduct disorder has found its way into the public space.

Bishop's Letter; It's Friday, but Sunday's a'comin'

First published 22nd March 2013

Recently I have heard a number of preachers refer to those periods of Jewish history outlined in the Old Testament and referred to as exile.

Pope Francis I

First published 14th March 2013

I am delighted to hear of the election of Pope Francis I.

Christianity 365?

First published 26th February 2013

Reading in the Times sports pages in the light of England's Rugby Union victory over the French side I saw that on the wall of the England team's training camp was the simple slogan, 'England 365'.

Bishops on bicycles

First published 20th February 2013

Bishop Lee will cycle 172 milesin two days forChristian Aid on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April.

Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI

First published 11th February 2013

Bishop Mike has issued the following statement following the announcement that Pope Benedict will retire at the end of February.

Cautious Progress

First published 8th February 2013

The House of Bishops met yesterday for a day dedicated to trying to unlock the impasse created by November's vote on women bishops.

Last day in Gulu. Tomorrow we are off to...

First published 12th January 2013

Last day in Gulu. Tomorrow we are off to visit one of the legacies of the days of war in N. Uganda the huge displacement camp at Amuru.

I think it would be fair to say that many of us look across ...

First published 8th January 2013

I think it would be fair to say that many of us look across the Atlantic with a measure of disbelief when we think about their Constitution and their valued 2nd Amendment which hands citizens the right to bear arms.

Bishop Mike becomes Chair of Wycliffe Hall

First published 8th December 2012

Rt Revd Mike Hill has accepted the invitation of the Council of the Oxford theological college, Wycliffe Hall, to become its Chair.

Bishop's Letter: Is there any hope for Advent?

First published 28th November 2012

In his message for Advent Bishop Lee highlights the challenge of the season for our discipleship. This is the time of the year I find most challenging to be a follower of Jesus.

This week has been the most difficult I ...

First published 25th November 2012

This week has been the most difficult I think of my ordained life.

"We are going to need to do a lot of ex...

First published 22nd November 2012

"We are going to need to do a lot of explaining." So said Archbishop Rowan as he helped Synod face up to the implications of Tuesday's vote.

Many of us are still reeling after yeste...

First published 21st November 2012

Many of us are still reeling after yesterdays General Synod vote.

I was just approaching the turn off to S...

First published 20th November 2012

I was just approaching the turn off to Swindon when I heard that the measure to ordain women as bishops had been defeated.

Who would have thought it? Thursday's e...

First published 17th November 2012

Who would have thought it? Thursday's elections for the Police & Crime Commissioners have largely been written off as a 'shambles.'

Bishops delighted at “inspired” choice for Archbishop

First published 9th November 2012

The Bishops of Bristol and Swindon have wholeheartedly welcomed the announcement that Rt Revd Justin Welby will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.Rt Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol, praised Bishop Justin's exceptional experience.

On November 2nd 1917, 95 years ago today...

First published 2nd November 2012

On November 2nd 1917, 95 years ago today, a piece of history was made which has had a profound impact on world politics ever since.

Bishop's Letter; Fit for purpose? Cntd...

First published 28th October 2012

I have always admired those people who make a long-term commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.

Bishop's Letter; Fit for purpose?

First published 28th October 2012

In this months Bishops Letter, Bishop Mike asks how we can apply what we know we need to do in our physical lives to our spiritual lives.

The prospect of elected Police Commissio...

First published 25th October 2012

The prospect of elected Police Commissioners is not one that fills me with enthusiasm.

I must say I have found it very difficult...

First published 5th October 2012

I must say I have found it very difficult to understand those who call in on radio phone-ins to voice their displeasure at those who have come out and spoken of their abusive experiences in the Jimmy Savile scandal.

£17000. That was the cost the patient in...

First published 2nd October 2012

£17000. That was the cost the patient in the bed opposite me had been quoted if he wished to have gone private for his operation.

Bishop's Letter; To sell or not to sell? The messy business of ethical investment

First published 25th September 2012

This month Bishop Lee reflects on the work of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group and the decision to sell shares in News Corporation.

Bishop calls to support continued growth

First published 10th September 2012

Halfway through our Diocesan Strategy, our vision of a growing Church is becoming a reality. This month, parishes are being asked to increase their Parish Share giving to support that growth.

Bishop Mike supports tax justice campaign

First published 15th August 2012

Bishop Mike joined Bristol's political leaders when they boarded the Tax Justice Bus on Monday 3rd September as it stopped in the city as part of a 53-day tour of the UK and Ireland.

Bishop's Letter: Olympic Dedication

First published 6th August 2012

In this months letter, Bishop Mike reflects on what our Olympic team might have to say to how we approach our church life.

Bishop's letter: Giving a voice to wonder

First published 28th July 2012

This month Bishop Lee reflects on the significance of awe and wonder in our relationship with God and resisting being conformed by left brain ways of attending to the world.

Bishop's Letter: Ignorance of the law is no excuse….

First published 25th June 2012

In this month's Bishop's Letter, Bishop Mike asks who should be teaching children right from wrong, what they should be teaching, and what part people of faith have to play.

Bishop's letter: Growing the Church ~ From Peru with Love

First published 26th May 2012

This month Bishop Lee describes how the Anglican Church in Peru has been growing and asks what we might learn from them here in the Diocese of Bristol.

Bishop's letter: Redemption and risk

First published 28th March 2012

This month Bishop Lee offers some reflections following his recent accident.Ash Wednesday seems a long time ago.

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.

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