Revd Dr Andy Emerton hits the road!

At the start of July we welcomed the new Bishop of Sherwood (designate) Andy Emerton to our diocese, who’s been out making his first visits (suitably socially distanced) since his arrival to learn more about life in some of Nottinghamshire’s parishes and communities.

First, Andy went north to Worksop to meet some of the team in the Bassetlaw and Bawtry deanery. His first stop was a visit to St. Anne’s Church, Worksop with Revd. Dave Gough, Vicar at Worksop St. Anne’s benefice and Area Dean of Bassetlaw & Bawtry.

Together they met the Headteacher of St. Anne’s CofE Primary school, Clare Middleton; the school enjoys close links with St. Anne’s church.

Next, Andy went to visit Worksop Priory, where he met Fr. Nicolas Spicer, then onwards to visit to the Aurora Centre, a local charity which provides resources for people who have, or have had, cancer.  He completed his north Notts tour with a walk-through Worksop town centre.

On visiting Worksop for the first time Andy said, “It was a privilege to meet, begin to engage with and build relationships with some of the wonderful people that live, work and serve in the local communities in and around Worksop. What was evident was the importance of partnership between the church and wider organisations as we seek to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and contribute to the flourishing of society. I particularly enjoyed observing the close working relationship and missional partnership that exists between Dave and Clare at St Anne’s as well as the transformative work that is going on at the Aurora Centre”

During the afternoon Andy headed south to Bestwood Park Church to meet Chris Easton who is Pioneer Missioner at Bestwood Park benefice. Together, they took a walking tour of some of the estates along with Lorna Robertson, Church Warden at Bestwood Park Church. They were privileged to be joined briefly by Audra Wynter, one of the Councillors for Bestwood Ward.

They also met up with Mrs Alison Thomas, Headmistress and Dianne Finnie, Family Support Worker at Southglade Primary School, where they discussed the significant needs amongst local families and the support that the school and local church are together seeking to provide.  Last but not least, Andy met with Revd. Nicki Bates and Revd. Chrissie Little, both of Bestwood Emmanuel and St. Mark with Rise Park.  A busy day!

At the end of the day Andy said, “I was very grateful to all those who welcomed me so warmly to their churches and local contexts. Across the diocese I experienced many examples of faithful witness and service to Jesus Christ and met clergy and lay leaders who are responding directly to the diocese’s vision for Growing Disciples and seeking to see people’s lives and communities changed as a result. I am looking forward to spending time in each of the Deaneries in the early Autumn as guidelines allow.”

Andy plans to visit parishes across the diocese over the coming weeks and months to discover more. You can follow Andy’s journey by following him on twitter @andyemerton or by looking out for regular updates on the diocesan Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SouthwellandNottingham

Pictured left to right: Revd Dave Gough, Revd Dr Andy Emerton, Clare Middleton