Bishop's mapreading challenge

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jun, 2016 05:03 PM

Bishop Christopher Herbert has challenged members of the Salisbury Diocesan Synod to read updated maps when they plan the mission of the Diocese over the coming months and years.

Bishop's mapreading challenge

The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Herbert

In his presidential address to the 150 members of Synod gathered at St Nicholas’ church Corfe Mullen on Saturday 5 February, Dr Herbert argued that Church leaders should be guided by the development of communities  in the economic and information technology spheres when they plan the Church’s ministry.

Pointing to the strongest growth of the early Church in the Mediterranean along olive oil and grain trading routes and in ports, the Bishop said, ‘Where trade happens, people share ideas. And it was in and from these sites that new ideas were created and spread, including the foundational ideas and faith of Christianity.’

He went on to assert that the spread and distribution of Christianity is often complex and  much more bound up with secular developments than we think.

Dr Herbert asked Synod members to take into account dominant features of economics and trade as they considered the ways in which the Church in the Diocese might develop in the future.

The Bishop pointed to the revolution in information technology and asked what the consequences might be for Christian mission. He explained, ‘If more and more people work from home using new Information networks,( they are, after all, the 21st century equivalents of the 3rd century trade in olive oil) how can we meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of those people?'

He concluded, ‘What hubs and nodes of true community and human flourishing do we already offer? Are any new ones required?'

Dr Herbert is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Delegate leading the Diocese of Salisbury during the vacancy in the Bishopric. He is assisted by the Bishop of Sherborne Dr Graham Kings.

The full text of the address can be found by clicking here.

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