Bishop Paul has emphasised his support for the growth agenda and our mission together in his first presidential address to Diocesan Synod. Stating that “as a Diocese and as a Synod we are on the way together” Bishop Paul added “although I’m sure God will have many surprises in store for us as the journey unfolds, we know the direction in which we are heading.”
Speaking just ahead of the year’s anniversary since his interview to become Bishop of Liverpool, Bishop Paul affirmed the “seasoned and owned direction and vision” of our diocese and reaffirmed his personal commitment to the growth agenda.
Paying tribute to his senior clergy colleagues Bishop Paul showed his desire to share his episcopal ministry. He also stated how he has valued the various meetings he has had with clergy, church wardens, schools and parishes saying “I take very seriously the theological and pastoral fact that I share the cure of souls with every parish priest in the Diocese and through them with every church council and every licensed minister. And I pray for you all daily, believing as I do that this is the most important single thing I can do for you as your bishop.”
Bishop Paul used his address to bring together two themes he has been exploring since he started. He restated the picture of us being called to be a church on the edge and underneath as well as being called to hold together the growth of the Church in faith, in numbers and in discipleship.
Bishop Paul was clear that both are needed if we are to be a bigger church making a bigger difference saying “With this in mind I’ve sought to speak out for those in food poverty and for those seeking asylum. With this in mind I’ve called the Bishop’s Growth Conference for later this year so that we can learn together how to make new disciples. With this in mind I wholeheartedly support the LifeCall programme, bringing the challenge and the joy of vocation to so many people.”
The Bishop stressed the continuity of his ministry with that of his predecessors saying “In this Diocese we will enter the public square confidently but our tone of voice will be gentle and humble, even when we see rank injustice and seek to oppose it. We will do so as a family of growing and confident congregations, freely living on the edge and underneath, unashamedly holding together the making of new disciples and the recognising and ushering-in of the Kingdom. As I see it, this is our call.”
Download the address in full here
Bishop Paul's Presidential address from Diocese of Liverpool on Vimeo.