Monday, 28 March 2011

New Lay Canon for Ripon

Congratulations to Dr Colin Harrison CBE on being made a lay canon of Ripon cathedral. It is very good to have among the college of canons someone who brings the perspective of a scientist. Since his retirement as a global Research and Maunfacturing Dirctor for ICI, in 2007, Colin has been a member of the Engineering and Physical and Sciences Research Council, Chair of the national Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network and Director of the Centre for Process Innovation. (What did he do before he was retired?!) This work, which promotes the transfer of the insights and techniques of science into products and services, will contribute to the establishing of the government's recently announced new Technology Innovation Centres. 

The dialogue between faith and science is so often focused around the 'glamorous' sciences to do with things like cosmology or genetic engineering. It is very good to be reminded of the central place of the physical sciences in contributing to innovations which affect our everday lives and which equally remind us of the ingenuity of the human mind and the wonder of the created order, though they are often taken for granted. I hope that, as well continuing to offer his considerable skills in serving the life of the cathedral, Colin will be able to share some of his interests in science with us as a community. Most scientists are shaped early and need inspiring role models to open their eyes to what is possible. We have had wedding shows and medieval fayres and oral history workshops at the cathedral - how about a science and technology event? After all, the great medieval cathedrals were often places of engineering innovation (first flying butresses at Durham) and associated with centres of healing (the leper hospital at Ely) and education in the science of the day (the carvings at Chartres cathedral include pagan scientists, the  newly discovered plants of the day and a throne on which Christ is seated, carved according to the principles of Euclid's geometry. Chartres was built during a period of relative harmony and creative interaction between the church and the sciences.) 

A fascinating insight into the relationship between gothic cathedrals and science can be seen on

Friday, 25 March 2011

Farm Crisis Network

Yesterday, I received a communication from the Executive Director of the Farm Crisis Network asking for support for their 300 volunteers whose caseload has doubled in the last in the last few months as they have tried to help farming families weather the crisis caused by the delay in the 2010 Single Farm Payment. This has led to extreme hardship for a number of families, tipping them into a situation where the business is seriously undermined by the unexpectedly delayed arrival of a critical part of their income. The organisation (a charity staffed mainly by volunteers) is finding itself stretched beyond its capacity and is asking for financial support to enable it to manitain its helpline and the visits volutneers make to families who are experiencing difficulties. To give some idea of the kind of thing for which support is needed - £5 pays for some exssential phone calls, £60 for petrol to enable a day's visits, £300 covers the average cost of a whole case and the organisation needs £1,000 a day to keep running. I have seen the difference FCN makes to people, both in helping to keep them on the road financially and avoid serious debt, and in terms of moral support at times when people have nowhere to turn and feel isolated and despairing.

It is unusual to receive such an urgent request to help an organisation working to support a group in our own communities. If you are interested in the work of FCN, for any reason, or would like to help or to bring this need to the notice of your church, go to the FCN webpage.

You can find further information or donate online at

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A. S. Byatt

I was fascinated by novelist A.S.Byatt's recent observation that digital communication may sound the death knell of religion. I heard her saying that phenomena like facebook seem to be creating a world in which people try to form their identity through the responses they receive on interactive media such as facebook. You don't really feel good unless someone is sending you a message or tweeting or letting you know they like your latest post or image. The more people look at your profile, the more your sense of personal identity is strengthened and the more you grow in confidence. Self-worth means having friends who respond to your messages daily or tweet several times a day. The more responses you get, the greater your sense of your own value. If everyone appears to be ignoring you, what are you worth? Who are you?

How does this relate to religion? Well, Byatt argues, people have tended in the past to look to religion as a key source of their sense of value. They have sought meaning in religion personally. Think of the words of God at Jesus' baptism, 'This is my Son in whom I am well pleased' - this is also the the message of acceptance given to every child or individual at their baptism. And then people have sought corporate meaning in religion. They have looked to the world faiths to give a sense of pattern and overall coherence to existence, a map which helps them find their place amid complexity and shifting sands, 'What are human beings that you are mindful of them and mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with honour.'  (Psalm 8.3-5)  

So, is the value that is imparted to a person through the digital world gradually beginning to usurp the place of other sytems of value, including religion? My first reaction to this was to think that to find a reflection of who you are and to seek a feeling of self worth through internet relationships is no different from worshipping at the shrine of other false gods. Haven't we comfort-shopped and comfort-eaten and over-consumed and complained if we can't exercise endless choice in order to feel good about ourselves? How is allowing the internet to stoke up our sense of self-worth any different? All these things, including the internet, are but idols when used in ways that set them up as answers to our frail sense of who we are. But then I began to think that Byatt is on to something more profound, here. The artefacts of consumerism and choice are not interactive in quite the same way as digital media I begin to flounder....what is possible with digital technology is changing so fast that it does begin to seem that the boundaries of the real and the illusory, of the actual and the virtual, of the memory of what happened and memory of what didn't really happen are getting blurred in previously unimaginable ways. Will an increasingly digitally manipulated world lead us so far into the virtual and the illusory that we will lose touch with our own power to apprehend what is in fact influencing us?  I want to argue that digital media do not necessarily lead away from God and that the presence of God may be deeply apparent in this brave new world (and also God's absence.) However, as the forms through which we communicate radically change, religion - the systems by which we apprehend and understand God - is going to start to look and sound different. Religion has always adapted and been adapted; it has struggled with questions about what is real and what is illusory but it needs (and especially so for the Christian faith with the doctrine of incarnation at its heart) people to be encountering the life of God through the manifestations of new media and not holding back. To hold back and exercise caution is one thing as change takes place over centuries (as with the dawn of printing) but it is quite another when the change is taking place so quickly that there is little time for reflection and adaption. So I think Byatt is perhaps correct to see in the ways people are beginning to communicate something that will increasingly pull us away from religious expression. I suppose, however, that a theologian may have less cause to be pessimistic about this than a novelist whose great challenge is to portray human nature. The story of God's nature, at least in the Judeao Christian tradition, has always been the story of how creation has pulled away from the creator and I would see the digital age as the next episode in this narrative rather than the end of religious narrative. But it does all look very challenging or, at least, unimaginably different! 

Great is the Mystery of Faith

How many times have you heard the priest say those words, inviting the congregation to respond 'Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!' Where do they come from? Why have they found a home at the heart of the new Eucharistic prayers and why didn't Cranmer know about them - or did he? If you don't know the answers to those questions, you need to buy Paul Ferguson's new book! Paul is Archdeacon of Cleveland in North Yorkshire and a former Precentor of York Minster. One of the few people I have met who can rise from the dinner table to illustrate an obscure piece of Gerald Finsey (a Harrogate born-composer), by ear, at the piano! And also one of the few archdeacons I know who can make even a lecture on Common Tenure sound interesting. So get him on the topic of worship and how our worship helps us in our growth as Christian disciples and you have something worth reading!  

The Ven. Paul Ferguson, Archdeacon of Cleveland

His new book is a great resource for those who lead or participate in worship Sunday by Sunday (or day by day) and who would like to understand a bit more about the root of some of the texts we take for granted, texts which, one might argue, will shape the English of the future perhaps not quite as extensively as the King James Bible but, undoubtedly, to a degree.  The book also explores the theological and liturgical significance of many of the things we say in worship and would be a good basis for a short course of study or a Lent group. Reading it will help to deepen our relationship with the worship moulds us.

Great is the Mystery of Faith; Exploring Faith Through the Words of Worship Paul Ferguson, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2011 ISBN 978 1 84825 055 0

Druids' Temple

The Druids' Temple near Ilton produces a weird sensation. There is something wrong with it! It's too small, too neat, too complete and the stones clearly haven't been dragged from Pembrokeshire or anywhere outside of Yorkshire. There is an altar that, on closer inspection, looks a bit like a picninc table with stools and there is a structure that resembles a war memorial in the centre of the first 'chamber'. Of course! It is a just pre-Victorian structure built by William Danby (1752-1833), owner of the nearby Swinton Estate, to provide work for men on the estate. Apparently, they were paid a shilling a day (quite handsome) and invited to live the primitive life in the Temple and its environs for 7 years. The deal was that they would be given an annuity at the end of the 7 years. Someone lasted 4 and a half before it all became unbearably bleak and tedious! The site (now surrounded by Forestry Commission Woodland) is great fun and could fool someone who had never seen a prehistoric monument for about 15 seconds. It has the great attraction of being open to being climbed all over, unlike its authentic brothers and sisters, and of having actual stones, unlike Thornborough, although it has nothing like the atmosphere of the genuinely and evocatively pre-historic site at Thronborough, near Nosterfield. I can remember getting close enough to touch the stones at Stonehenge on a school trip in 1969; I should have savoured the moment far more than I did, aged 11. It now has to be viewed from metres away so I suppose follies like this serve their purpose in allowing us to enter into the spirit of original prehistoric structures. But 'Yorkshire's Stonhenge', as it is sometimes called, it most certainly is not!

The Druids' Circle is just west of Masham,  situated on a site with breath-taking views across to the Cleveland hills and Teeside in one direction and, in the other, over to  Leighton Reservoir, where you can spend a happy afternoon fly fishing or just enjoying the quiet and the birds.  

The Steels and The Big Night Out

There was a great concert by the Steels (high energy Christian Rock at its best) at Summerbridge Methodist Church last Saturday

Hmm, you say. Really helpful to be told about it after it happened. Yea, sorry, folks! I was told about it before it happened and just never got round to blogging. Now I feel really terrible because no less than three people have told me how good it was, not to mention the worskshop in the afternoon. Rock has been one thing that floats my boat from the days when Led Zep used to give concerts at the King's Hall in Aberystwyth. Robert Plant had a cottage in the hills behind the town and us kids just couldn't believe our luck that this world class, cutting edge rock band could take time out to perform at the local flea pit. We lapped it up.

Anyhow, the Steels are definitely worth investigation.

So that I don't comit the same sin of ommission again, can I flag up a forth-coming event at Lightwater Valley  (nr. Ripon) in May? Organized by the dioceses in the region, it's for people aged 11+ and anyone upwards of totally young who comes with a young person. Saturday May 21st, gates open 5.45pm

For info and bookings

See you there?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Libya; Where Are We Headed?

Are you, like me, very confused about the UK's involvement in Libya? David Cameron and his cabinet have been careful to observe the legalities and to obtain UN authorization. It is not a repeat of Iraq. Nevertheless, I find myself asking why it is that UK forces are now involved in military action which, at best, the Arab world blows hot and cold about and which Russia, China and Turkey did not lend their support to. In fact, it seems that Italy is threatening to curtail the use of their air bases and the United States are wanting to pass command back to the UN as quickly as possible. All this adds up to a picture of great uncertainty which has been heightened by the public disagreement of government ministers and military commentators about whether a regime change is the object in view or merely a restraining of attacks against the civilian population. This raises the question of whether attacks by Gadafi's militia or the UN bombing itself will, in the end, kill and wound more people and deprive more of the population of the basics for human life and dignity. 

Although the situation is not a re-run of the last war in Iraq, it has produced an unsettling feeling that, once again, we are leaping into a political situation we do not understand and have no end-game plan for. And why take action over Libya but not other Middle Eatsern countries? The stated aim is humanitarian but it seems that the UN is very selective in where, when and by what means it intervenes and there are already voices in the surrounding  Arab nations suggesting that the use of force over Tripoli, Sebha and Benghazi is disproportionate. Clearly the Middle East does not trust the motivation of, particularly, America and the UK. Does this display of force have more to do with oil and with the way Gadafi is viewed by the Americans? Barak Obama has stated that he wishes to see the end of the regime though by economic sanction rather than force. I seem to recall George W. indicating that he would finish the job his father had failed to complete in Iraq by bringing down Saddam Hussein and it is statements like this that throw into question the objectivity of the Western leaders and governments. I would be a great deal more persuaded that this is the right course of action if it was under UN command and nations other than the USA, the UK and France were lending greater active support and involvement.

Our thoughts are with the people of Libya and the service men and women involved in the strikes.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

A Hundred People Give Their Time

Around a hundred Readers from across the diocese gathered at St Mark's Harrogate, yesterday for a training day. (In case you're not familiar with Church of England speak, Readers are not people who like books (though they may do!) but they are licensed ministers who lead worship, preach, undertake pastoral work and sometimes take funerals, giving of their own time to do so.) They contribute hugely to the life of many parishes. The day was enormously good humoured and clearly our Readers enjoy one anothers' company and do a great deal to support and educate each another. The theme of the day was 'Renewning Yourself for Ministry'  and we looked at personal spiritual, emotional and physical renewal. How do we keep going when we are giving out both at work and in ministry? Elaine Wainaina spoke about emotional well being from her perspective as a counsellor and I tackled spiritual refreshment and physical well being (for which latter topic I am not sure I am really qualified!) In the afternoon there was a 'market place' of opportunities to examine aspects of Reader ministry and time to browse the bookstall.

Readers take on a great deal of responsibility in some parishes and indeed across whole deaneries working alongside clergy and churchwardens in the leadership of ministry. They come in different shapes and sizes, some concentrating on leading worship and preaching, others doing mostly pastoral work, visiting and taking Communion to people who are house bound and in nursing homes. Some take funerals and find this an immensely rewarding ministry (if a bit daunting at first - special training is given.) One or two work more with younger people through Sunday schools, youth groups and other activities.

The training for a Reader takes two years and involves an introduction to theological and pastoral disciplines and experience of church life and leading worship through placements. The training can be shaped to fit around a person's working life. You can also try out some of the training modules by auditing them to see if you get along with the study OK. I shall be teaching a Worship module in Ripon on Tuesday nights throughout the summer term. If you or someone you know is interested in thinking about Reader ministry, please get in touch. You can be as tentative as you like! I always say to people, if you feel prompted to explore, we can help you do that with no commitment to take things further if you decide it isn't for you. There were six Readers in the last parish where I ministered, all of whom would have said they started from a point of thinking 'I couldn't possibly do it'. But with encouragement, they found they did love reading and thinking about theology, leading prayer and bible study, preaching, giving children's talks and visiting and caring for people. They were all very different people, too, with markedly different talents and the age range was about thirty to seventy! 

If you would like to explore Reader ministry further, there are two Evenings An Intoduction to Reader Ministry on Monday 16th May at Thorpe Prebend, St Agnesgate,  Ripon and Wednesday 18th May at the Diocesan Office, St Mary's Street, Leeds. Both 7pm - 9pm. If you'd like to go, ring Ann Nicholl on 0113 2694045

Many thanks to Ann Hemsworth and Ann Nicholl for organizing the day so well.

The music I used during my talk was: 

Psalms 23 and 2 from Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms

Accentus' version of J.S. Bach's Come Sweet Death.

You might also like Accentus' version of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings; Agnus Dei

Saturday, 12 March 2011

March Hares

Days off are never better spent than wandering round bookshops and galleries (unless, perhaps, going for a long walk in the mountains.) It was a joy to discover the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk, this afternoon, and how very appropriate to find that they are hosting an exhibition on March Hares (do you associate them with madness?) Certainly some of the hares we saw looked fairly wild, most definitely inhabiting the borderlands between not-quite-normal and insanity! It's something to do with the body language of the hare and the gleam in the eye, isn't it? They have that ability to leap around and strike up odd postures. They also seem quite pugnacious and curiously knowing. But I do love them and we spent a happy half hour deciding we couldn't really afford a lino print of hares by moonlight!

Amongst other things, I learned that in mythology, hares are associated with Eostre, the Mother Earth, and therefore looked on as a regal animal, representing things that are most associated with the Mother - love, fertility and growth. Apparently, in Anglo Saxon mythology, the rising sun (Ostara) is sometimes represented as a hare's head with the ears. Hares are also associated with the moon and with the springtime when they are at their most visible and playful. They are the friends of all children. So, in pre-Christian thinking, the hare was largely a symbol of good luck. In the Medieval period, however, the church encouraged people to think of the hare as an animal of bad omen - a reminder of witches dancing and weaving spells.

A friend also tells me that hares were once thought to lay eggs - perhaps because laywings lay their eggs in territory inhabited by hares. And so they came to be associated with new life and Easter eggs

There is something about the hare that gets under your skin! I look forward to the gallery's Summer and Winter exhibitions.

exhibiting artists include; Jonathan Trowell, Andrew Haslen, Emerson Mayes, Ann Kilvington, David Winfield, Howard Towll, Ian MacCulloch, Venus Griffiths, Carry Ackroyd, David Bennett.  There was also pottery and jewelry on display as well as the paintings and prints. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

New Diocese for Yorkshire - Responses

For the latest thinking on the proposals for one large diocese for North and West Yorkshire by the diocesan synods of Ripon and Leeds and Bradford, go to

This gives you a bit on the Bradford perspective. You can read in detail about the Ripon and Leeds synod debate at which nine proposals were agreed on

Wakefield has not yet responded.

Earthquake in Japan

Sitting watching the news this evening, we are awestruck at the power of the natural disaster unfolding in Japan. It's obvious the earthquake around Sendai will have far reaching consequences that are unpredictable at this point in time. What an extraordinary day, as earthquake has been followed by tsunami and after shock - many of which are of the magnitude of sizeable earthquakes, themselves. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and Indonesia and all who live around the Pacific basin. It is impossible to begin to imagine what they are experiencing tonight. 

It's early to know how best to respond, but advice tonight from the various relief agencies seems to be, give through a reputable charity you know and you are sure is working in the area.

Lord, we cry out to you for the people of Japan.
As earth trembles and waves roar,
We look on and pray silently.
For the drowned, the lost, the bewildered,
For those alone and terrified, buried and hopeless,
For all who search the rubble or offer shelter,
For those tonight sharing what they have with strangers,
For all desperately seeking loved ones,
We ask your presence through the mystery of Christ
Who stilled the waves and harrowed hell,
Who suffered death and brought peace
Only through the path of suffering.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Women of Chile

As you may have realised if you read this blog regularly, I am not a great fan of single sex organizations or activities. Men and women doing things together usually makes for a more balanced approach to life. However, I must say that this year's Women's World Day of Prayer service was one of the best I've ever attended. The one I went to was at West Witton and was extremely well organised and beautifully presented by Gillian Vyner and some of the women from the Penhill benefice. It was a lovely early spring afternoon as I drove up Wensleydale and the small church in the heart of the village was pretty full. The service had been prepared by women from Chile which seemed particularly apt as we remembered the amazing rescue of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground earlier last year. Their plight had reminded me of my childhood in South Wales when mining disasters were relatively common and we were often glued to our radios and TVs praying and hoping for men to emerge from mines where some disaster had struck. One of my most vivid memories is coming home to find my mother sitting at the kitchen table in tears on the day of the Aberfan disaster.

According to Chilean folklore, when God craeted the world, He found, left over, a little of each element He had used; fire and cold, sun and snow, lakes, rivers and seas, burning deserts, massive mountain ranges, majestic volcanoes, leafy trees, metals, animals, birds, fish and fruits. Taking it all in His hand, He deposited it at the farthest corner of the earth and so Chile was born, a long, narrow strip of infinitely varied land, running for 2,640 miles between the sea and the mountains from Peru to Antarctica.

The service told the story of the women of Chile from the beginnings of the present nation in 1810. The theme was that, in a country of great contrasts of wealth, survival had been possible for the poorest because of the simple willingness of the women to share all they had with one another. 'How many loaves have you?' In a really imaginative liturgy, we heard the story of several Chilean communities and meditated on three readings.

Deutronomy 8.7-10 - gratitiude to the Lord who has given the people a wonderful land, full of natural resources.
1 Kings 17.8-16 - the story of the widow who shares her last meal with Elijah. God blesses the act of sharing and supplies her, her son and the prophet with enough oil and meal to see them through the famine.
Mark 6.30-44 Jesus feeds the five thousand because a few are willing to give up their fishes and loaves.

We meditated on the 'thin places' where the kingdom of God and the ways of this world come close together through the act of one person sharing what they have with another person. What can we share that we thought we could not? 

The picture above is an embroidery by a 78 year old Chilean woman, Norma Ulloa, who started embroidering by using the cloth of flour bags and home spun wool. Eventually her school of embroidery exhibited world wide in places such as Bonn and Nottingham. Norma and her embroiderers did not seek inspiration from commercial art but only from things they saw in their daily lives. She educated five children and a grandchild on the earnings from her embroidery. 

September Conference

The Simeon Centre is a centre for prayer and spirituality at Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge. This event looks interesting for those involved in end of life care and associated issues - and accommodation at Ridley is good value. It's right in the middle of the city of Cambridge with plenty of opportunity for sight seeing!

Regeneration Summit

Did you know that the average age of Church of England members is 61?  Fifty per cent of our membership is over 65. One in three hundred 18 - 24 years olds have never been to church at all, ever, apart from school visits.

Last Thursday over a hundred and fifty young people from the four corners of Britain met in Sheffield. Many of them got up at 4am to be there to meet 33 bishops and 2 archbishops.  I was asked to go to represent  Bishop John (Ripon and Leeds) and it was an inspiring event. The day was organized by the Church Army to highlight the appalling statistics which show that less then 7% of the Church of England is now aged 18 - 35. The event was undoubtedly evangelical in inspiration but there were young people from all sorts of Christian backgrounds and none. There were three young people representing our diocese from St Aidan's School in Harrogate and Graham Richards, our archdeaconry Adviser in Children's  and Young People's work, was there. We met at the Philadelphia Campus of St Thomas Crooke's Church.

It is unusual for 33 bishops all to give up a day to listen to one group of people. They had all been asked to adopt an attentive attitude and they really entered into the spirit of it! I have never seen such quiet bishops! (Someone did tweet that the bishop in his group had fallen asleep at one point, but all the bishops I saw were listening hard!)

As we talked in groups, I was very struck by the fact that there were not huge gaps between the generations on theological points or spiritual fervour, although there was a great range of theological perspective represented. In our group, we really got going when one of the bishops said that lives changed in some way by Christ was what sharing our faith was all about. However, there were stark differences, too.  Young people do not communicate in the same ways as older people and they value sincerity of relationship, lack of stuffiness and freedom to interact personally, verbally, electronically and structurally very highly indeed. There was also a sense that approaches to worship and relationship that are not overly intellectual are valued. Young peope said that they often lack resources in the church - they are not trusted in positions that influence church life, they are not trusted to handle budgets and there is a lack of committed, sustained adult leadership. I was very struck by the fact that, in this age group as it was represneted on the day there was a much better balance of male and female than is usual in church life.

I have not had time to digest all that I heard, but I think we were all impressed by the enthusiasm the young people had for their faith, the love and, indeed, respect they had for the church (while also criticizing it) and the pressure they are under as young Christians and leaders. It is very much harder to live as a Christian disciple today than it was when I was young.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York arrived hotfoot from a mission in Manchester. Rowan's message was that we should 'look for the church behind the church' (I think he meant historically!) and that church 'is not a lot of people with religious ideas but a lot of people who've had their lives turned upside down by Jesus Christ and are trying to make sense of it and don't necessarily find it easy to get along with one another.'  Sentmou's message was that you can be a disciple of Christ as any age - 8 or 88 - and that we should expect God to speak through young people. He gave some lovely examples of God working through young people and the community trusting them - Samuel and Timothy from  scripture - and then examples from his own life. 'Living church keeps you growing all your life and takes you out of your comfort zone!'

The most thought provoking idea I came away with was this - the Church of South India has decided that 35% of people on all boards and committees must be 35 or under and 35% of the budget must be spent on activities that support people 35 or under.  Unless we support young people and listen to them and their knowledge of contemporary culture and how to speak of faith within it, we will increasdingly lose touch. On the other hand, there was strong affirmation from the young people for the wisdom of older Christians. But, over all, it seems that under 25's and over 55's are not talking to each other and there is a sense that older people in groups may appear not to be interested in speaking to young people and learning from their perspective. In the parish where I served as priest, we tried very hard to value all ages and had a good number of older folk with activities they enjoyed. But the leadership team realised that young people need special encouragement in the church and we pledged ourselves actively to favour ways of worshipping, working, communicating and socialising that would appeal to young families. It worked - the church grew and younger people joined.  It isn't rocket science, but it takes courage!

The archbishops and all of us present signed a pledge during the closing act of worship to listen more to young people and to support them in their desire to live lives for Christ.

Take a global gap year with the Church Army (see below)

In view of all this, it was very encouraging to find myself leading worship at St. Paul's, Brompton on Swale this Sunday morning where we admitted 6 thoughtful, communicative and enthusiastic young people to Communion and baptized one. And also to feel that the entire congregation was delighted to support them in making this commitment. 

Can we work on a similar diocesan event to Regeneration to help us listen to our young people and to encourage them in their Christian witness and leadership among their peers?  

For information about gap years with the Church Army (must be 18-25) phone 03001232113 or e mail

Please listen to and talk to the young people who come into your church!