We need to listen positively “to each other, the environment around us, and to God,” the Bishop of Ripon, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, said at a visit to St Oswald’s Church Askrigg.
Bishop Helen-Ann was greeted by a packed and lively congregation for her first visit to the church in North Yorkshire, where she beat the floods to preside at a family service of Holy Communion.
The bishop encouraged the congregation to take a leaf out of the book of Radio 4’s The Archers, whose Lenten season in Ambridge was going to be “fuelled by positivity.”
This, she said, should encourage our own positive listening.
Bishop Helen-Ann also explained the significance of her vestments to the children, saying the embroidery on her cope represented the rural and urban nature of the Ripon area: the towns, fields, and water - “lots of it!”
She invited the children, many from sheep farming families, to hold the shepherd’s crook representing the bishop’s care for her flock.
(Story by Betsy Everett)