"Bishop James makes us see that words need a response"

Bishop Richard has thanked Bishop James for "finding the words that help [...]draw us into a personal relationship with Jesus."

Bishop Richard has paid tribute to Bishop James, thanking him for "finding the words that help us better to understand the eternal mysteries and to draw us into a personal relationship with Jesus."

Among other things, he also highlighted the warmth of Bishop James and his wife Sarah in welcoming people to their home, and talked about the strong relationships, personal and international, that Bishop James has developed, saying “Tonight we have gathered from within the Diocese and beyond, signifying friendships which are personal and links that bind us closer together in fellowship. One special relationship has been with the Diocese of Virginia part of the Episcopal Church of the United States.”

Bishop Richard added “Bishop James’ breadth of vision and enterprise has been matched only by the depth of his personal involvement in many of the enterprises for which he has been responsible.  He has combined imagination and creativity with an eagle eye for detail and displays an impressive mastery of even the most complex of briefs.  No wonder Bishop James has bestrode the world of Liverpool and Westminster like a mighty colossus.”

Bishop Richard also paid tribute to Bishop James’ ability to communicate the Bible through words:

“Words are an important part of our lives but for Christians who believe in “The Word made flesh” words have a very special place. How appropriate it is that James, who has a special love of St John’s Gospel, knows the importance of words – and so effectively uses them to communicate the Christian message. I want to add how appreciative people are of +James’ teaching and what an impact this has had upon the life of our Diocese. 

Bishop James makes us see that words need a response. For the story of Jesus to be told, it needs more than God’s word to be spoken, it also needs encouragement for humans to say “Yes”. Listening to James, it is remarkable how he manages to elicit that “Yes to God” – it is the great gift of an evangelist who understands that for God’s word to become flesh, there must be a human response.

In the Word made flesh, God reaches out: that is half the story. The other half depends on how we hear the story: thank you James for helping us to do just that – for finding the words that help us better to understand the eternal mysteries and to draw us into a personal relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Master.”