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by ben last modified 21 Sep, 2018 10:04 AM

By the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

A thriving Christian presence in every community is one of the aims of the Church of England. It happens in a number of ways with church buildings, committed Christians, schools and community projects contributing a great deal to the good of our communities, where we live for others in the way of Jesus Christ.

A few weeks ago I took the new Archbishop of South Sudan to some of our churches – the licensing of a Team Vicar in Tisbury, a community environmental day for a Greener Bradford on Avon, Sunday morning at St Thomas’s in Salisbury, followed by the installation of the new Dean in the cathedral.

The Archbishop spoke about the priorities of his church in a country where people have been killing each other and there are millions of refugees. His was a very different context to ours, yet in South Sudan they too were seeking to create a flourishing Christian presence in every community that is good for all in the way of Jesus Christ.

In Devizes we met with other partners from the Lutheran Church in Latvia. They had a different story again. A small country, they emerged from behind the iron curtain. They confidently sit on the border with Russia partly because they are members of the EU. It is a bit more complicated for the Latvian church to find its place in the worldwide Church. They face the same challenges as the rest of us with different understandings of what it is to be human and how we live the Gospel faithfully in our different contexts – men and women, gay and straight and as people with varied political views.

To some extent, where you stand determines what you can see.

We are challenged by Christians from different contexts who see things differently. Being part of the worldwide Church we see what it means for the Church to be local everywhere.

Taken from the latest edition of Grapevine. Page here

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