That evening in the District Manse, we shared a meal with invited ecumenical guests and enjoyed the hospitality offered by Stephen and Barbara.
This was the Sunday in the week of Prayer for Christian Unity and it was a great privilege to be invited to be in Ripon Cathedral, not least because part of the Darlington District where I serve is within the boundary of the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds. It was good to stand alongside my colleague, the Bishop of Knaresborough as I presided. There are photographs of this service and a report on the Diocesan website, which you can find here: http://www.riponleeds.anglican.org/news-624.html
After lunch in Ripon we travelled to Pocklington again, this time for a service marking the beginning of their 150th anniversary celebrations. I was preaching at a circuit service, the church was packed and the singing raised the roof.
|With Rev Sue Pegg, Rev Neville Simpson (Superintendent) and Rev Stephen Burgess (Chair of District)|
|With the Superintendent, Rev Neville Simpson|
|With Joyce Simpson|
I traveled home that evening but only for a brief visit before going, on Monday to the Briery Retreat Centre in Ilkley where I was leading the retreat for those in the early years of ministry in the York and Hull District. It is so important for all Christians to take time to reflect on their journey of faith and time to be consciously in the presence of God. Regular retreats are part of my own spiritual discipline and if they are not yet part of yours, I commend them to you.
These few days were relatively close to home but soon I will be going further afield again to visit the Bedfordshire Essex and Hertfordshire District.