The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, has been exploring the Diocese of Leeds as part of the launch of a new movement, Faith in the North.
Archbishop Stephen began his day with Morning Prayer at Wakefield Cathedral, before walking from Christ Church South Ossett to Dewsbury Minster for the launch of Faith in the North.
On the way he called in on and heard about the outreach of Destination 211 bus ministry, part of the Dewsbury Team Parish.
Faith in the North is a movement to celebrate stories and help renew the missionary purpose of the Church in the North over the coming years.
The Archbishop held a launch event for Faith in the North at Dewsbury Minster on St Paulinus’ Day in the Church’s calendar, remembering the life of the saint who established the Church of Saint Peter in York in the year 627 and who became the first bishop of York.
Archbishop Stephen, now the 98th Archbishop of York, led a time of prayer in the Chapel at Dewsbury Minster dedicated to St Paulinus.
He was joined by many church leaders from across the North including the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, and the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Smitha Prasadam.
At the event Bishop Nick commended Faith in the North, supporting it in our diocese and beyond.
Archbishop Stephen said: “The purpose of marking the mission of Paulinus is not to look back, but to look forwards, and to learn from some of the features of mission in Anglo Saxon times and the spirituality which shaped it.
“Exploring our spiritual roots in this way offers a wonderful opportunity to share the Christian faith in churches, schools and in all the communities we serve.
“Under a banner of ‘Faith in the North’ and working with others in all our dioceses in the Church of England, I am encouraging similar patterns of mission, celebrating our faith stories from the great Northern Saints of the past and from today’s church.
“In doing this, I hope we can equip the Church for its service and mission today, find ways of reaching out to others, and plant new Christian communities.”
The Revd Neil Walpole, Associate Priest in Dewsbury Team Parish, told Archbishop Stephen about the Destination 211 bus ministry, saying: “Destination 211 bus ministry reaches out to communities that struggle from high deprivation with the love of Jesus.
“It provides a warm space and a listening ear for the community in winter as well as offering emergency food.
“It is an after school drop in where real discipleship takes place with craft and a Bible study for parents and children, and we have our worship ‘Thrive on the bus’, where all can learn and grow in faith.
“This is an important and practical outreach especially to Chickenley which no longer has a church building nearby.
“Time and time again we see children sprint down the hill with parents following to join us for drinks, cakes, conversations and to hear the good news of Jesus.”
Find out more about Faith in the North here.