We moved house a week ago and I write this in the midst of builders and packing cases. It’s been a good move and we are glad to be here. I’m looking forward to the inauguration of my ministry on September 30 and to the four Welcome Eucharists in each Area of the Diocese.
I’ve been learning all I can about the Diocese and the communities we serve but there is no substitute for getting out and about. That will begin in October and November with visits to clergy in the Oxford Area, regular services in parish churches and a programme of visits to deaneries across the whole Diocese.
A great deal of thought and prayer is invested in the appointment of a new Bishop. Those appointing take care to listen to the needs of the Diocese at this moment in its long story. When the appointment is made, the Archbishop sets out the priorities for the new Bishop’s ministry in the words of a charge, drawing on this long and deep process of listening.
This is part of Archbishop Justin’s charge to me, read at my confirmation of election:
You are to bring vision and life, creativity and energy to the Diocese’s mission and ministry enabling all, lay and ordained to realise the joy of the Gospel and the workings of the Holy Spirit through the Church, and you are to lead the Diocese and its people in navigating their response to their call to Christian witness.
You are to release the God given possibilities in people, teams, finances and organisation unlocking the potential for re-imagining ministry and mission.
You are to be an intelligent and articulate voice for the Gospel and Church reaching out locally, nationally and internationally.
You are to seize the opportunity to act as interpreter, prophet, advocate and convenor across the Diocese nationally and in the public square.
You are to enable the Diocese to live its diversity well and as a sign of a flourishing Church.
Our nation and the communities we serve face many challenges and questions. We are called as the Church in this Diocese to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ with love and hope and joy. We are called to be a blessing and a channel of God’s grace in every place where we live and work and serve. It is an immense privilege to be called to serve the Diocese of Oxford at this time. Please pray for me as this new chapter and new ministry begins.
Oxford is a fabulous place Steve – every blessing in your new ministry. Have fun (apparently God likes us to have fun!!)
Hi! I have just read this and feel honoured to say you Steve had a huge role to play in the deepening of my faith! I will never forget the help you gave to me, the words of wisdom and of comfort especially when at my lowest.
I am now living happily in Spain … I am the proud Grandma to 10 and great grandma to 1!
My love and prayers are with you and Anne
God bless you richly
Janice Parker ….. Late of ovenden and St Georges