Thursday, 9 February 2017

Meet the Bishop

Bp Martyn Snow
Last night St Pauls hosted the local Deanery Synod – the committee that unites the local Anglican churches – in our case going from the southern city boundary to the Northampton border. But this meeting of synod was special, as it was visited by Bishop Martyn Snow, who has spent a week in the deanery, meeting each of the clergy in turn. As it was a special event, all clergy, lay ministers and churchwardens were invited, and we greeted each other over a cup of tea or coffee. 

We started with a time of worship – with two songs, an illustrated Bible reading and prayer. A video showing the questions that a group of primary school children had asked the Bishop – and he replied to each one. 

The Bishop then talked of his commitment to prayer – and invited us to the lectures on prayer that would be held in different parts of the diocese during Lent. He also encouraged us to support the period of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. 

He then talked about Jesus sending the twelve disciples out on mission (Luke 9), pointing out that they were to travel light, which he thought, in our circumstance being ready to jettison traditions if they got in the way of more worthwhile new ideas. He compared the mission with just 12, to the mission of the seventy – just one chapter later. He suggested that the increased numbers reflected their increased confidence as they had seen Jesus work as he fed the 5000. As he had done that he had broken the bread – and perhaps that was symbolic of the way that we need to be broken, in order to be available for his service. 

There was then a prolonged period when the Bishop answered questions that had been submitted – about a wide range of local and national issues relating to the Church of England and to his role and hopes. 

Bishop Martyn has not yet been Bishop of Leicester for a year. But by the time we left, we felt that we knew him better. We need to commit ourselves to keep him in our prayers.