Bishop of Burnley urges worshippers to ensure church is not seen as 'a soggy sponge' (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Bishop of Burnley urges worshippers to ensure church is not seen as 'a soggy sponge'
10:57am Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
A LEADING churchman has urged worshippers to ensure the Anglican communion is not seen as a ‘soggy sponge’ as they await the appointment of a new bishop.
Bishop of Burnley, the Right Rev John Goddard, will act as ‘caretaker’ until a replacement can be found for the outgoing Bishop of Blackburn.
The bishop has warned it could be next September before the successor to the Right Rev Nicholas Reade, yet to be named, is in place. And through the Blackburn See – the diocese newsletter – he has called on the faithful to remain focused on ‘growing’ the ministry.
The bishop said that although the church was ‘sometimes seen as a soggy sponge’, a missionary zeal could transform congregations into a ‘power shower’.
He said: “It may be September before our new Diocesan bishop is inaugurated and so I pray this vacancy will be a time of growth.”
The bishop has pledged that it will not be a time for new initiatives but that the church will look to build on the ‘careful foundations’ laid by Bishop Nicholas.
Bishop John is also adamant that the diocese should remain united after the outcome of the General Synod’s vote on the ordination of women bishops next month.
“Handling this situation must be our highest priority in Christ and I’m committed to working through the vacancy and initially with the new bishop, whatever the result of the vote,” said Bishop John.