Bishops gather for launch of Pathways Mission
The largest gathering of Church of England bishops seen in Newcastle Diocese in living memory took place on Holy Island last Thursday.
A total of 26 bishops and their missional teams travelled to Northumberland, accompanied by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to launch the Pathways Mission weekend.
Among them were the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman and the Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Mark Tanner.
Welcomed by the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, the Ven Dr Peter Robinson, a service was held at Lindisfarne Priory to launch the weekend.
Nearly 300 events took place across Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside and parts of Cumbria, organised by parishes and deaneries to strengthen their relationships with local communities, which the bishops will be attending.
They included the blessing of fishing boats at Craster; Bishops for Breakfast in Etal village hall; a service to commemorate the Battle of Flodden; and an event at the Sill on Hadrian’s Wall focusing on St Cuthbert and his heritage, in partnership with Northumberland National Park.
Meanwhile, Bishop David, retired Bishop of Bradford, visited Whittingham C of E Primary School, where he met some of the children.
Bishop Christine said: “The Pathways Mission was a significant opportunity for us to grow church and bring hope as we invited people to explore for themselves the transformative relationship of love and hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
“We were blessed that we were joined by the Archbishop of York and nearly 30 bishops and their teams from across the Northern Province.”
She added that she looked forward to working alongside them in the deaneries and parishes.
Bishop Mark said: “It is wonderful when the church gets together and finds ways of celebrating the wonderful gift of life God pours out in Christ. We had a rich and varied programme of events on offer throughout the diocese.”
The weekend concluded with three Celebrating Hope events, which took place simultaneously on Sunday, at St Michael’s Church, Alnwick, Newcastle Racecourse and Hexham Mart.