Happy New Year!
Two years ago I wrote a magazine letter giving my first impressions of the diocese; this time last year I wrote an update. Now it’s time for that update to be updated.
I pay tribute again to what I have described each year as the “the heroic, faithful and imaginative Christian ministry being exercised across the diocese by clergy and laity alike”.
As last year too, I want to highlight two major issues, namely growth, both spiritual and numerical, and money.
Spiritual growth. At its last meeting, the Diocesan Synod spent some time not just talking about prayer but actually praying for the life of the diocese.
I really hope that this can serve as a sign of a deepening commitment to prayer. Watch out for “Thy Kingdom Come”, the Archbishops’ call to prayer in 2017.
Numerical growth. Each year I have written, “I long to see more people becoming Christians.” I rejoice whenever 1 see this happening. By making spiritual and numerical growth our number one priority, we are proclaiming that we have a faith to be shared.
Money. Our financial situation is very serious, but within our grasp to remedy. The good news is that the principles of the Offer system contributing to the Common Fund are widely understood; so too is the need for generosity, and there is indeed much evidence of such generosity. The bad news is that there are significant numbers of places where the understanding and commitment in principle have not been responded to with increased offers. Please do all you can to ensure that your own giving, and that of your PCC, represents a generous, realistic and joyful response to the Christian good news.
A letter from the Bishop of Hereford