Continuing to be a Transforming Presence
14th Apr 2020
Love God, love people and tell them about Jesus – a message from The Rt Revd Peter Hill, the Acting Bishop of Chelmsford and the Bishop of Barking:
"On Easter Day Bishop Stephen leaves us to take up his wider leadership and ministry in God’s church. In a few months’ time he will become Archbishop of York, but before then we must release him to contribute more fully to the Church of England’s national resilience and mission strategy in the midst of the health and social crisis brought about by the coronavirus epidemic.
"Due to the current restrictions we are not going to be able to give him the public blessing and send off we had originally planned. Yet we will still pray him and Rebecca into their new future under God’s call. He leaves behind a great legacy defined by two words: transforming presence - a vision and strategy for the proclamation and mission of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which he has held high before us these past 10 years. The great story teller leaves behind a terrific story.
"The call upon us who remain is to continue to tell that story through the power of the Holy Spirit, even in the demand of this tough time. We will not and must not tread spiritual water while we wait for our new Diocesan Bishop to arrive.Rather our call is to press on in making disciples, evangelising effectively, serving with accountability and inhabiting the world distinctively now more than ever.
"Please join me in praying for Bishop Stephen and Rebecca as they go with our resounding thanksgiving and let us pray and work with one another in this neediest of times to be Christ to our families, our communities and especially to the disadvantaged and marginalised amongst us.
"Our task, as Stephen has reminded us so often is to love God, love people and tell them about Jesus. That is how we change the world!"
+ Peter Hill
Acting Bishop of Chelmsford and Bishop of Barking