Four amazing days of the oneLIFE mission

Over four exciting days of the oneLIFE mission, churches across the diocese shared the good news of Jesus with the people in their communities.

In the city of Nottingham, in towns and in villages, new contacts have been made and new steps in faith have been taken.

Churches organised more than 400 events and activities as part of the mission and invited people along, and they came – some of the venues were packed out. Events included film shows, picnics, barbecues, school visits, fashion shows, Messy Church and prayer walks.

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The Archbishop of York was here for the mission along with 12 other Bishops from the north of England. Bishop Paul Williams welcomed the Archbishop at the launch of the OneLIFE mission, which took place at Mansfield Town FC on Thursday (12th Sept).

Time was spent in prayer and worship during a commissioning service before the Bishops and their teams set out for all corners of the diocese to support local churches and take part in the events they had organised.

Prior to the service a penalty shootout was held on the pitch, with a team chosen by the Bishops taking on a team from Betel, the charity that works to rescue people from addiction.

When Kate met the Bishop… watch more oneLife videos here

The Bishops’ team, which included Bishop Paul and Archdeacon Phil Williams, was led out by Mansfield Town manager John Dempster, while Carolyn Radford, the club CEO, led out Betel.

The Archbishop later went on to St Swithun’s Church, Retford, which was packed to the doors to listen to him telling his life story, from his early life in Uganda, fleeing to this country to escape persecution, to becoming ‘Yorkshireman of the Year in 2007’ in his role as Archbishop, but always centred on the life and freedom that loving Jesus brings.

One of the highlights of the mission was Bishop’s Question Time at Clipstone, when Liverpool Bishop, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes was on a panel with priest and TV personality the Revd Kate Bottley, comedian Andy Kind and Notts Forest under 18’s coach, Gareth Holmes. There were some interesting and challenging questions from the floor and one or two controversial answers! Notts Radio and TV presenter, Fran Finn did a sterling job of chairing the panel and a great evening was had by all.

Ex-Gladiator Warren Furman was a big hit with adults and children alike when he refereed a gladiator-style knockout event at the Party in the Park in Worksop on a balmy Saturday afternoon. ‘Ace’ as he was known in the 90’s TV series had plenty to share about his faith and enjoyed some banter with Bishop Keith Sinclair.

World-class saxophonist, Sarah Markham brought her quartet, Quirk, to All Saints Church Annesley on Saturday evening and their varied repertoire thrilled the audience, which included Bishop Paul Butler.

The Unbelievable event at Holy Trinity, Southwell, featured magician Adrian Ward. About 120 people of all ages, many of whom were new to the church, were there as Adrian entertained them and wove the gospel into his presentation in very accessible ways.

But the mission is not over – more than 70 nurture courses have been planned to support people who expressed an interest in faith during the mission.