Bishop Mike Hill, Address to Synod 2014
Anyone who was involved with Archbishop of Canterbury visit to our diocese in September, cannot but help to have been encouraged and inspired by his energy, his total lack of stuffiness (don’t call me Your Grace, I’m Justin) and his evangelistic zeal, drive and competence.
I have so many good and moving memories: the Archbishop responding to a grilling from sixth formers; Standing Room Only at Bristol Cathedral; being prayed for by a bunch of Koreans at Hope Chapel; the Archbishop with the street pastors of Kingswood talking comfortably and naturally with clubbers; the time with our clergy and lay ministers; the Malmesbury baptisms and the magnificent Eucharist in the Cathedral on Sunday morning followed by a discussion on education chaired by the Dean.
These are all memories I will cherish…
One part of the weekend that was hidden from the sight of most was on the Saturday evening when we held a dinner with my staff and the Archbishop and his staff.
We asked him honestly whether our commitment as a Diocese to invest exclusively in our growth programme was a wise thing. The Archbishop was very clear that this was the only appropriate decision, indeed that it was the only sensible decision that dioceses in the Church of England could and should make in the current climate.
Many of our churches are growing and yet still too many are not, but we continue to pray, that as we plant and others water, so God will give us the growth.