Bishops from The Church of England in Lancashire are heading to Southwell and Nottingham Diocese later this week for ‘OneLIFE’ – the latest Northern Bishops’ Mission event, led by the Archbishop of York.
Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn and Rt Rev Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley will join many other Bishops from across the north of England in Southwell and Nottingham for four days, from Thursday, September 12 to Sunday, September 15.
For coverage from across the four days these are some key links to view and follow before, during and for reviewing coverage after the event:
Accompanying our Bishops will be experienced mission team members from parishes across Lancashire, including people from Blackpool, Accrington, Heysham, Leyland, Chorley, Ribchester and Standish. Please see below a list of the team members accompanying Bishop Julian and Bishop Philip.
All these team members and our Bishops will be welcomed by, and will stay at the homes of, people from local parish churches.
You can follow their mission work – and the whole mission event – on social media, using the hashtag #onelifemission … including on the local Diocesan Twitter feed which is @diocswellnott and on our own Twitter feed @cofelancs for retweets from participants.
Launched in 2015 by the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, the first Northern Bishops’ Mission was in Sheffield Diocese, followed by this Diocese in 2016, and since then Durham, Carlisle, Newcastle and Liverpool Dioceses have all hosted.
The Archbishop attends the entirety of every Mission and is joined by many of the Bishops from northern Dioceses, who each bring a mission team; everyone then working alongside local teams from the host Diocese to spread the Gospel.
Three years ago, when the Mission was in Blackburn Diocese, the event was entitled ‘Crossroads’ and was used as a platform to launch our ‘Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’.
The legacy from Crossroads was our parishes further emboldened to ‘do mission’ in their local areas following more than 450 successful events over four days.
This latest four-day mission, to share the Good News about Jesus across Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, officially begins at Mansfield Town FC on Thursday, September 12 with a commissioning service led by the Archbishop. Then the teams will scatter across the area for the many mission-focussed local events.
Each visiting Bishop has a team with them to help with the mission work and to collectively support a local ‘Deanery area’ they are assigned to.
Bishop Julian and his team will be based in West Bingham Deanery while Bishop Philip and his team will be based in North Nottingham Deanery.
Speaking today Bishop Julian said: “For many months preparations have been taking place for OneLIFE mission, both locally here; in other Dioceses across the north of England and, of course, in our host Diocese.
“It is exciting now to be approaching the start of the mission and I am looking forward to joining the Archbishop; fellow Bishops; our own teams from this Diocese and the local teams of clergy and parishioners.
"With packed schedules there will be multiple opportunities to share the Gospel across the four days we will spend together doing grassroots mission work.”
Bishop Philip added: “I am really looking forward to getting involved in OneLIFE mission and I am excited to take advantage of the opportunities we will have to share the Gospel with people of all backgrounds and all ages. My team and I are involved in a range of events organised by local churches in North Nottingham Deanery and we are also grateful to the local families who will host us during the four days.”
Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster, is unable to attend this time due to other diary commitments but added her own message of support saying: “I am sorry not to be able to join this mission, but I will be praying for generous sowing and much fruit.”
In his YouTube video the Archbishop says: “Life is an adventure, but at the heart of it where do we come from? At the heart of this mission the The One who gives life; Jesus Christ, living in you and living in me. I encourage you to get involved in our OneLIFE mission.”
Keith McIntosh, from St Andrew’s Church in Leyland and Diocesan Ministry of Sport Ambassador, has been asked to be part of the Bishops’ mission teams.
He said today: “I am really looking forward to joining up with the rest of the Blackburn Diocese OneLife team.
“In Southwell and Nottingham Diocese I will be involved with some opportunities at school and church events to share my personal story as a Christian in sport"
Meanwhile Rev Sam Cheesman, Bishop’s Chaplain and Curate at St Peter’s Salesbury, who will be part of Bishop Philip’s team, added: “I love these missions as they give you a unique chance to get alongside people and to tell them why Jesus is important enough for me to come all this way to tell them about him.
“I will be at a Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade camp for much of my time in Nottingham doing a bit of Bible teaching, playing a bit of table tennis and encouraging a lot of young Christians in their faith. I can’t wait!”
And another mission team member, Rev Nick McKee, who is Diocesan Director of Vocations added: “I’m excited by doing three of my favourite things this Saturday – picnicking in a park, helping with an all-age service and speaking to people about Jesus!”
Team members accompanying Bishop Julian and Bishop Philip are: