This weekend teams of Bishops and others from across the northern province are descending on the Diocese of Carlisle for their Moving Mountains event
The Diocese of Carlisle is hosting Bishops and their teams from across the north as the latest phase of Archbishop Sentamu's mission endeavours take off. Moving Mountains is an ecumenical mission running from March 8th to 11th
Every diocese is holding this event over the next few years and it will be coming to Liverpool in March 2019 in the form of Tell:Serve:Give. We have a team planning this already and are looking for every deanery to catch the vision and see how this can help how we are a bigger church making a bigger difference. You can find out more about our plans on the sidebar.
Meanwhile we have a team going alongside Bishop Cyril Ashton, and so we spoke to one of the team members, Rachel Bray, a local missional leader from Southport, about what she will be doing over the weekend.
What are you doing when you are in Carlisle diocese?
We have been invited to join in with the Moving Mountains mission across Cumbria as part of the fantastic God for all initiative. From 8-11 March, bishops (drawn together by Archbishop Sentamu from the Northern Province) Methodist District Chairs, URC Moderators, and Salvation Army District Commanders will be leading and joining about 30 teams across Cumbria.
The teams will be made of lay people like me, ordinands like Kirsty, youth workers, and clergy like David, Brian & Bp Cyril. It feels like such a privilege!
Who are you working with?
We are being hosted by the Sedburgh Circuit and area, being hosted locally and joining in with whatever is planned. David Crouchley has done an amazing amount of work locally to help set things up, and we are so grateful for that. We all email regularly and are praying for each other and the mission, so our sense of anticipation is growing all the time and we are all really looking forward to it.
Why did you get involved?
Bishop Cyril invited me! He emailed and asked. I often get told locally that I take on too much, so I decided to take a day to think and pray about whether it was right to be part of it. I was part way through what I thought was a slightly cautious email when he rang to see what I thought. I couldn’t say no could I haha?!
I expressed my cautions but he met each of those with encouragements. My Methodist colleague at PPW was also very encouraging about the opportunity, my family agreed even though my twins are 21 on the last day of it, so I said yes and am really glad I did.
What excites you about being part of this mission?
I’m part of an Anglican-Methodist LEP in Southport, and have been for many years. I am becoming increasingly passionate about ecumenism and this mission, just part of a picture of the way the churches across Cumbria are already collaborating across denominations is truly inspiring and makes me want to see this more locally and across the Liverpool Diocese.
The focus is mission and working together looking outwards and that thrills me. Another key thing is that vast amounts of energy haven't gone into one-off events, but rather, we are being invited to come and be part of things that are already happening. There will lot's to learn and experience and being locally based, I think there will probably be more long-term fruit as a result – which is what it’s all about.
I’m excited to be away from my normal context. For family reasons, I don’t get to go away that often, so this will be good. Going away allows you to see what is going on elsewhere and also to stand back a bit from your own situation which is always good from time to time. Hoping too I can steal some good ideas.
I’m also excited and scared in equal measure.. the latter may grow as it gets nearer! Since I became an LML 15 months ago, God has been regularly taking me outside my comfort zones and putting me in situations I never imagined myself in. Time and again, I find myself on my knees praying for courage as my faith is yet again stretched, and I experience God’s enabling and blessing when I’m doing what he wants me to do, and feel myself growing.
This is another of those times, and I’m excited to see what I learn and how my faith can grow as I trust God to use me in whatever way he wants to. I also look forward to seeing people being challenged, comforted, encouraged and empowered by it as we pray and encounter God at work in their lives.
What do you hope to achieve during your time?
For each of us to be open to God’s leading, each being a small piece in a very big heavenly jigsaw –where we can’t see the whole picture but God can – to be channels for God to work through, to be faithful and for our faith to also grow as a result.
"There will be lot's to learn and experience and being locally based, I think there will probably be more long-term fruit as a result – which is what it’s all about."