Church of England bishops to descend on Holy Island

Holy Island is set to host the largest gathering of Church of England bishops seen in Newcastle Diocese in many years.

Monday, 3rd September 2018, 4:10 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 4:15 pm
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

A total of 26 bishops and their missional teams will travel to Holy Island on Thursday, accompanied by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu to launch the ‘Pathways Mission’ weekend.

Nearly 300 events are taking place across Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside and parts of Cumbria, organised by parishes and deaneries to strengthen their relationships with local communities.

Statue of Saint Aidan on Holy Island Picture by Jane Coltman

It also gives people of all ages the chance to hear more about how faith and Christianity can touch their lives.

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Pathways Mission is part of the Diocese of Newcastle’s five-year vision ‘growing church bringing hope’.

The events will feature a range of interesting, fun and spiritual concepts, including the blessing of fishing boats at Craster; Bishops for Breakfast in Etal village hall and a service commemorating the Battle of Flodden at Cornhill.

The Archbishop will also host ‘An Evening with John Sentamu’ at Newcastle Cathedral; will visit a Tall Ship at Blyth about to embark on an Antarctic voyage; and will bless runners and stage open-air baptisms at the start of the Great North Run.

Other events include outdoor baptisms, pub quizzes, social evenings, fun days and guest suppers

The weekend begins with a Commissioning Event on Holy Island led by the Archbishop and attended by the Bishops, including the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman and the Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Mark Tanner. The Bishops then move out into the Diocese to attend many of the planned events.

Bishop Christine said: “The Pathways Mission is a significant opportunity for us to grow church and bring hope as we invite people to explore for themselves the transformative relationship of love and hope that is found in Jesus Christ. We are very blessed that we will be joined by the Archbishop of York and nearly 30 Bishops and their teams from across the Northern Province, and I am very much looking forward to working alongside them in our deaneries and parishes.”

Bishop Mark said: “I am really looking forward to the Pathways Mission. It is just wonderful when the church gets together and finds ways of celebrating the wonderful gift of life God pours out in Christ. We already have a rich, joyful and varied programme of events on offer throughout the diocese and I am looking forward to being part of some of them.

“Honestly, these weekends are great fun and I want to encourage everyone to get involved, to pray, to invite friends along, to join us in the celebration events, and even to plan an event of your own.”

The weekend concludes with three ‘Celebrating Hope’ events taking place simultaneously at 4pm on the Sunday – at Newcastle Racecourse, Hexham Mart and at St Michael’s Alnwick. These events are not ticketed and everyone is welcome.

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