Bishop Tim’s two visits to our benefice were greatly appreciated; he managed to squeeze an amazing amount into the time available.
Bishop Tim spent most of the day in the parish on Friday 4 December . He visited the school and celebrated communion with members of the congregation who are unable to attend church on Sundays. He was delighted to find that he had an ‘ecclesiastical’ connection with Bill Hunkin!
In the Evening Father Doug demonstrated his wonderful culinary skills. He had invited all members of the PCCs to meet Bishop Tim at Portloe for supper.
While Fr Doug was preparing the food the churchwardens were able to talk to Bishop Tim informally about the future.
It was reassuring to find how approachable Bishop Tim is and how supportive he will be when Fr Doug retires. He expressed his confidence for the Roseland Cluster, he listened carefully to our concerns about dwindling numbers in the congregation and an ageing PCC, and how we shall miss Fr Doug’s leadership.
Bishop Tim responded with sincerity and warmth. He felt that the future must lie in all the Roseland cluster parishes being flexible and able to respond to change. This might include the provision of a broad base of clergy, both ecumenical and non-stipendiary, presiding at our services.
There might also be opportunities for ‘job-sharing’ between PCCs, thus reducing the workload. Reassuringly, Bishop Tim does not want churches to close but saw working together as a way forward for us all.
It was late in the evening before Bishop Tim left, having heard and exchanged many tales including the prowess of one of our number who had swum the Channel