OPEN LETTER FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK TO THE THREE DIOCESES
To the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield
I am writing today to send my greetings to you all as we approach Easter Day, which this year for the people of West Yorkshire and the Dales also marks the beginning of your new Diocese. In recent days you have given thanks for the life of the Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield, and now, you are like Abraham stepping out into the unknown, trusting in the presence of the risen Christ, and praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. You are all held in the God the Father’s love.
I would like to pay tribute to you all for your efforts through what has I know been a very demanding, difficult and long process. This has challenged you all more than anyone else. I thank God for your patience, forbearance and determination through it all. You are pioneers within the Church of England - I thank you with all my heart for all that you have given and forsaken in the interests of God’s future.
You have all justly celebrated the achievements of your three dioceses; and this has been very right and proper so to do. For what we begin this Easter Day is not a rejection of the past but an honouring of all that has been achieved, and a commitment to see the good news you have shared continue to grow and bear fruit more and more across this part of Yorkshire.
This Easter we also celebrate the present and the future, of new life breathed into every part of the Body of Christ which is the Church. We look forward to demonstrating in every mission unit, in every community and with everyone of whatever religious community in West Yorkshire that the work of the Church is thriving, growing and playing its part in everyone’s daily life for the common good.
In Bishop Nick I have every confidence you have a supreme church leader and a man who can above all make this new Diocese a success. From Easter Tuesday he will be Acting Diocesan Bishop, until his Confirmation of Election as Diocesan Bishop on Pentecost, in York Minster. I do not doubt that God will equip you, with the leadership of Bishop Nick and his fellow Bishops, +Tony Robinson, +James Bell, and +Tom Butler, working together in new ways with all the clergy and laity, and enable you to conquer the heights, and to develop and grow in ways that none of us had imagined possible.
To you all then, I offer my thanks, my admiration, and my prayers for all you are about to undertake. May the risen Lord Jesus Christ be your strength, your hope and your joy! We are an Easter People, and Alleluia is our song.
+Sentamu Eboracensis ...
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