Bishop and team on a ‘brilliant’ mission
Bishop Tony Porter, who led a team of six from Southwell & Nottingham on the Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Sheffield, described the experience as “brilliant”.
“It was a privilege to lead such a wonderful team from our diocese,” he said. “They loved every minute of it, at the cathedral, in schools, prison, cafe church and the open air.”
The mission saw 21 Bishops descend on Sheffield Diocese as part of an initiative by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to re-evangelise the north of England.
It was the first time so many Bishops had worked together in this way and with their teams they visited schools, pubs, universities, colleges, hospitals, youth clubs, shopping centres, community centres, cafes and churches, and hundreds of people passed through the Messy Church tents at Penistone and Rotherham Shows.
Bishop Tony said a prayer walk to the recently-closed Hatfield Colliery, where he led an act of worship at the pit head, was a moving and powerful experience: “The whole weekend fulfilled our diocesan vision of Living Worship, Creating Disciples, and Seeking Justice.”
The finale to the four-day mission was an outdoor service led by the Archbishop which attracted a crowd of 800 outside Rotherham Minster.
“What a few days we have had in this wonderful diocese,” he said. “It is quite right to say that a final meeting should take place here. I am sure Rotherham will be seen yet again as a wonderful place where the love of God can be made known to all.
“We are very glad to be here and I am delighted that we are ending our four days of mission in this particular place.”
Bishop Tony said listeners responded to the Archbishop’s message: “He preached about the love of Jesus on the cross and people publicly responded in huge numbers.”
The Bishops’ mission will be an annual event, visiting Blackburn Diocese in September 2016. The hope is that it will touch many people’s lives and bring them to a living faith.