#SalisburysGotTalent: A £10 challenge from Bishop Stephen

Bishop Stephen gave away £10,000 during his welcome service on Sunday. 

Preaching on the Parable of the Talents, Bishop Stephen spoke of how togetherness in the diocese can transform lives, and that we can invest what we have for the good of God's Kingdom. He pointed out that it only takes one person out of 50 to bring someone to faith in order to see Church growth, and that this takes everyone's collective involvement. 

Instilling courage into those listening, he said, "If it can't be done in Salisbury Diocese, it can't be done... well it can be done, and it starts now." 

What followed was an operation to hand out mystery envelopes to every person present – inside was a share of £10,000, which had been generously donated by two anonymous benefactors. 

With the £10 note, came a mission from the bishop - "this is your talent", he said, "What will you do with it? Will you bury it, save it, or make it grow so that good can come from this?" 


Bishop Stephen suggested ideas of how to use the money: buying a meal for someone struggling, donating to the local food bank, buying some tiles for a church roof, taking someone lonely for a drink, donating to the Sudan Medical Link. All the suggestions were linked back to the Gospel, as Bishop Stephen reminded us to share Jesus' love at the same time. 

He closed with a strong rally cry to all listening: 

"We have the power to change the world pound by pound – Salisbury's got talent. It's all about us now – only we can make the church grow." 

Word has since spread of the unexpected move from our new bishop. #SalisburysGotTalent has popped up on Twitter, and stories are beginning to appear of how people have chosen to invest their '10 talents'. 

One tweeter commented, "Can't help thinking that you're witnessing – even taking part in – something special when the first thing a #NewBishop does is ***GIVE AWAY £10,000*** to the congregation at this inauguration service. Truly remarkable!" 

Some have already invested their money, giving to charities that are matching funds, and therefore multiplying their talents. One man is planning on buying ice creams for Ukrainian Refugees, to help them celebrate their Constitution Day. 

Speaking to BBC South Today, Kathryn Furnell, who was present at the service, said, 

"It was astonishing. No one expects to leave church richer than we went in. Then we realised that we needed to think back to the sermon, and that the onus is on each of us to do something good with our £10." 

Also speaking to BBC South, Bishop Stephen said, 

"I know of someone who is giving the money to someone who they know is having to make the choice between heating and eating. It shows us that we have the capacity to make a difference." 

Were you there? Let us know how you're investing your 10 talents (£10), and join the conversation on Twitter - #SalisburysGotTalent 

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