An exciting mission opportunity in the Diocese of Newcastle
It was a real honour to accompany Bishops Christine, Mark and Frank on two Bishops in Mission weekends in Blackburn and Durham Dioceses.
Both weekends had a very different flavour, one being rural and the other urban. I was impressed with the creativity of the parishes I worked with who had organised a wide variety of activities such as a men’s breakfast, beach BBQ, women’s pottery workshops, grill a Bishop (and curate), school assemblies and RE classes, small group and prayer meetings, litter picks, a talent night, pub crawl and quiz, street evangelism with a God o’meter – quite exhausting, but immense fun. All of the activities were aimed at reaching out to those beyond the church with the simple message of God’s love.
While all the activities went well, I was concerned that many churches felt uneasy about inviting their family, friends and neighbours along to the wonderful events they had organised. It can take quite a leap of faith to ask someone along to a church activity. As a result, our Diocesan Evangelism Task Group set to work producing a resource to help people think through their approach to invitation. The material is now available here .
My lasting impressions of the Blackburn and Durham weekends are the warm, friendly people we encountered, the opportunities to really engage with people’s understanding of spirituality and Christianity, chances to pray with people, and the enormous fun we had. It was a real joy to discover afresh that God is ahead of us and active in people’s lives beyond the church and with us as we go out in mission. I’m sure our Pathways Mission weekend will be the highlight of the year and an exciting time in the life of our Diocese as we step out in faith and with the good news of Jesus.
Revd Capt Steve Dixon
Assistant Curate, All Saints’, G osforth