Bishop Peter opened the July session of Diocesan Synod last night stating that everyone is meant to evangelise and encouraging those gathered to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to evangelising and living and telling the story of Jesus.
Extolling Pope Francis whose life, Bishop Peter said, “is a model of evangelism that we can all learn from,” he went on to use four quotes from the Pontiff. First saying, “An evangeliser must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!…May the world of our time be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelisers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ.”
In encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone, he reminded those gathered of another quote of Pope Francis, “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.”
With Bishop Peter fresh from General Synod, this last point was met with nods and some wry laughter. Download and read Bishop Peter’s address in full below.
Other business during the session included receiving the 2016 annual report and accounts,news of a ‘decision in principle’ to relocate the diocesan offices, an update on the diocese’s five year resourcing plan and encouragement from Bishop Ruth and Revd Charlie Peer to “seize the moment and build on the energy and momentum that we are seeing as the diocesan strategy takes shape.” The Diocesan Synod meeting was immediately followed by the 2017 AGM of the Diocesan Board of Finance.