As part of the liturgy for the consecration of bishops the Archbishop says that bishops are called to serve and care for the flock of Christ. Mindful of the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep, they are to love and pray for those committed to their charge, knowing their people and being known by them.
So over the last ten days I have been meeting with people across the Diocese of London. They have been an inspiration and it has been a privilege.
I have been struck by the way in which Christians are engaging with their communities for the common good. In Southall women are listening to each other across faiths and building confidence. In East London Christians are working with their community to find land for affordable housing.
I have been encouraged by the way in which Churches are growing like Christ Church Spitalfields or like St Augustine’s Colindale. Different types of Churches in different communities and different traditions but both making the love of Christ known.
I have been inspired by the young people of London. Today I visited Greig City Academy in Hornsey and met with some wonderful students. They were confident and asked great questions. They also demonstrated some outstanding achievements – not least in sailing.
I had followed them last year as they competed in the Fastnet on the Greig City Academy’s vintage Fres yacht Scaramouche. They spoke today about what this had given them and how important team work had become for them. It was outstanding that an inner city school with all the pressures they were under they had given permission to staff to follow up on their ideas and those thing for which they had a passion and the pupils were flourishing.
The school was encouraging teachers to know their pupils and to be known by them – I prayer that I can do the same as the Bishop of London and for the glory of God.