A message from Bishop Anne: Visiting the Diocese

I know that many of you are wondering how I will get about and visit the diocese. Here is my plan.

Public transport – when I can:

I was heartened when I read in the Diocesan Profile that public transport is very good across the north-east. This does seem to be the case. When and where I can I will travel by bus or by train.

A good number of you have been in touch following hearing that I do not drive offering me lifts. I will be taking you up on these offers. Thank you.

Longer visits:

In many locations public transport is not good in the late evening or on Sunday morning. This is a good reason for me to make visits that last longer. For example, I might arrive on a Saturday afternoon, and leave Sunday afternoon, staying somewhere local overnight. This might be with a church member, if this was a possibility, or else in a B&B. Longer visits will help me to get to know people and what is going on. I might have time to meet others that live locally, or to do some pastoral visiting to those who cannot get to church and rarely see a bishop. Such longer visits could include eating together and times of prayer.

Lay-Chaplains:

Finally, I am looking to appoint some lay chaplains to help me. Jesus sent people out in pairs, so there is much to recommend this way of working to me. Lay-chaplains will be car drivers who are happy to accompany me on a visit, for example, out to a church on a Sunday morning. They might be located in any part of the diocese. This will be more than giving me a lift. I hope that a lay-chaplain will pray with me, help me make sense of where I am in the diocese (point things out to me!), and be a general encouragement. It will be important that such a lay-chaplain can keep confidentialities. This is not a liturgical role. If I needed a lay chaplain to accompany me on a visit the office would contact someone on the list to ask if they were available to help. Lay-chaplains will be able to claim mileage allowance from the diocese (45p per mile).

If you are reading this and wonder if you could help me through this role, please complete this form and send it to the diocesan office.