Bishop calls for "excellence, energy and engagement"

by Gerry Lynch last modified 19 Jun, 2013 11:19 AM

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, called on the Diocese to continue being a place of "excellence, energy and engagement" as he fed back on his 'Let Us Talk' consultation at a Diocesan Synod where Sudan took centre stage (Thursday 13 June).

Bishop calls for "excellence, energy and engagement"

Bishop Elijah Matueny of Cueibet embraces Bishop Holtam at Synod

Excellence, energy and engagement were the hallmarks Bishop Holtam said he wished to see characterising churches across the Diocese when he addressed Diocesan Synod at St Paul's Salisbury.

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The Bishop was reporting back on the first phase of the ‘Let Us Talk’ consultation, to which 52% of parishes have already responded. He said the responses had been the product of hard work and revealed a Diocese full of faithful Christians working hard for their parishes and contributing tremendously through deep engagement in the wider community.

‘Let Us Talk’ also showed a Diocese rich with stories of transformed lives, such as two Beaminster teenagers who came to an 8 o’clock service to learn more about God. They later cycled 30 miles to be confirmed at Salisbury Cathedral. A retired school teacher from Gillingham has found a retirement vocation setting up 12 pre-schools in the South Sudan. These stories were, he said, equally important metrics of our impact and success as hard numbers about attendance and finance.

The June Synod meeting, held in St. Paul’s Church in Salisbury, took place on the same day as the conclusion of a successful Salisbury-Sudan Link 40th Anniversary Conference. Sudanese guests led worship in tandem with local clergy and lay people, while a significant block of Synod time was given over to hearing directly from the Sudanese Bishops where they saw benefits from the Link to the Church and people of the Sudan and South Sudan.

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, reported on the Anniversary Conference, adding further reports directly from the two African nations.

In his Presidential Address, Nicholas also discussed the importance of the Salisbury-Sudan Link to both partners, as well as the proposed legislative timetable for introducing women bishops and his recent letter to Lord Alli supporting the introduction of same-sex civil marriage. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, warmly welcomed the letter as a contribution to the national debate when he spoke in the House of Lords’ Second Reading Debate on the Marriage Equality Bill.

A later session discussed the proposals for women bishops in more detail, and plans for celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta were discussed.

The Bishop of Salisbury
The Bishop of Sherborne
The Salisbury-Sudan Link
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