Our next Bishop of Ripon, Revd Canon Anna Eltringham enjoyed a packed day meeting people in parishes following the announcement of her new role.
She was welcomed to our diocese at St Peter’s, Harrogate, at 10am and where the team led by Revd Alan Garrow and Revd Chris Clayton had just finished their daily food ministry café.
Donations from nearby Betty’s enable them to give breakfasts to local people in need of support at tables within the body of the church.
Invited guests to the announcement included the chair of the newly-created North Yorkshire Council, Cllr David Ireton, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, Clare Granger and the Mayor of Pateley Bridge, Mike Holt.
Local business people, charity organisations, clergy and laity were also present for the announcement made by the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds.
Award-winning Eco Church St John’s Sharow was the next stop, where Revd Anna was greeted by Revd Ruth Newton and PCC members and given a brief tour of an ordinary parish church doing great things to promote our diocesan goal of carbon net zero and good environmental practice.
Dean John Dobson welcomed Revd Anna at Ripon Cathedral and introduced her to members of Chapter before giving her a short tour of the Cathedral where those enjoying a lunchtime organ recital gave her a round of congratulatory applause.
Rural ministry will play a key part in Revd Anna’s new role and she was keen to meet farmer James Johnson, who runs a 600-acre tenancy near Studley Royal using progressive land management techniques.
James, who has attended both COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Egypt spoke of the importance of transforming the quality of farm soil through natural methods and similarly how he is improving the suitability of his cattle to remove the need for artificial inputs.
Of the day, Revd Anna said: “I'm so delighted to be coming to the area of Ripon as your next bishop.
“In fact, I have to keep pinching myself to be sure it really is happening.
“And what an amazing, beautiful part of the world to be coming to.
“It's all so exciting!
“It's not an area that I know particularly well, but I'm pleased to say that the people here live up to their reputation and so far have been just so friendly and warm and welcoming, which has been wonderful.
“And it's really helping to make this transition for me easier and to make this area already feel something like home.
“So thank you so much for the welcome.
“I want to assure everyone that I am committed to coming and getting to know all the different types of communities that are in this place, from their small rural communities, the farming communities, the villages and the towns.
“And I really look forward to finding out everything that's going on, the challenges you face and working with you and serving you as we bring God's love and care and kingdom to bear here.
“So be assured of my commitment and that I'm excited to work with colleagues across the Ripon area and across the diocese as a whole, both clergy and lay.”