In his foreword to our latest annual set of accounts and departmental reports (available below as downloads), Bishop Peter Hancock says:
“Annual reports don’t always look interesting, but I think they are very important. They are a way of sharing necessary news, informing interested parties of what is happening, and inspiring us all
to continue in our journey of sharing the Gospel with the people of the diocese. So I hope you will take time to put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and enjoy reading the pages which follow.
Sometimes people criticise “the Diocese”, suggesting that the Old Deanery in Wells is a “faceless entity”, a drain on resources and of little benefit to parishes. I don’t agree. I could not do my job as Bishop and nor could the parishes in the diocese do all that they currently do without the guidance, support and resourcing from the various departments highlighted here.
Therefore, the Departmental Annual Reports this year highlight a number of ways in which the services provided centrally are benefitting our clergy, parishes and congregations. I hope that by reading some of the stories you will see examples of mission endeavour, careful stewardship of resources, sound governance, support for parishes, schools and chaplains, and a care for the
wellbeing of our church leaders, lay and ordained.
Having arrived in the diocese towards the end of 2014, I’m no longer the “new” Bishop of Bath & Wells. I came here with the charge given to me by Archbishop Justin: to re-imagine our
ministry, to facilitate growth in the church, and to work for the common good of our communities.
I spent much of 2015 in conversation with people in our diocese, reflecting with them on the journey the diocese has taken so far, and where we hope to see ourselves several years hence.
The conversations I’ve had have been enlightening, inspiring, and challenging, but above all, they have been full of hope.
The conversations continue, but later this year I hope to articulate how the diocese can build on its previous strategic endeavours through a new vision for this diocese over the next few years. I look forward to sharing that with you in due course. For now, join me in giving thanks for what we are together today and in hopeful anticipation for what we can become, with God’s help.
With warm greetings in the Lord,
Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells