There is no doubt that church life is evolving with new styles of being church and the more traditional styles are often regarded as out dated and in need of change. However, if we look to our cathedrals, we see that there is a substantial increase in people attending services who value a high standard of church liturgy and traditional music. They still feel there is a place for a structured, theologically-sound sermon that is relevant to the present.
The sacraments of baptism and eucharist are the bedrock of church practice and, as we welcome new families to belong to our church family, we should also encourage them to participate in the full membership of the church which means in time sharing the eucharist as faith grows and develops.
The Easter season continues until Pentecost with signs of new life in the countryside around us. The spring flowers and new growth is a wonderful mirror of resurrection life. We believe that the resurrection of Jesus brings new hope and life to all who believe. The Resurrection is more than believing the tomb is empty - it is quite simply life changing.
Enjoy the bluebells and hopefully the longer days of warmth and light.
easter renewal by Rev Dilys
We have a new Bishop of Oxford: the Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft, who is presently Bishop of Sheffield. We still have a few months yet to wait before his installation but at last we have an appointment.
Bishop Steven is from the open evangelical tradition and is an experienced missioner and evangelist. Some will remember that he was part of the team who wrote the Emmaus discipleship learning course (along with our previous Bishop of Reading Stephen Cottrell and others). We look forward to welcoming him to our large Diocese of Oxford at a date to be announced.
The seven years that Bishop John Pritchard was in post as Bishop of Oxford were a time of growing confidence for our churches as he gave us the template of 'Living Faith' to work with and develop as we wished. We want to continue to build on that foundation, and with new perspectives and initiatives there is plenty to keep us engaged with the wider community.
We will have had our annual meeting by the time this Parish News is distributed, but I hope that we will feel thankful for the year passed and ready to move into the future with renewed energy and enthusiasm. I have been reflecting on the changes that are happening in the C of E, in particularly as we are now 20 + years on from the ordination of women to the priesthood and are now also seeing the first few appointments of women bishops come to fruition.