The Archbishop of York leads Rotherham outdoor service
14th September 2015
An 800-strong crowd gathered outside Rotherham Minster yesterday afternoon for an outdoor service led by the Archbishop of York.
The Archbishop was speaking at the finale event of a four day mission in the Diocese of Sheffield which saw 21 bishops from the Church of England lead teams in hundreds of events across the region.
Standing in the warm September sunshine, attendees of the event included the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham, the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire and the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire.
The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield opened the service by addressing the expectant crowd:
“Over the past four days we have spoken with tens of thousands of people at events across our region. We planned some time ago for our final gathering to be in the centre of Rotherham, as we thought and prayed, there was nowhere else we wanted to be more than here at this particular time, to say to the town the love of the church, of Christian people and of God is with you .”
The Archbishop or York, Dr John Sentamu added:
“What a few days we have had in this wonderful diocese. It is quite right to say that a final meeting should take place here. I am sure Rotherham will be seen yet again as a wonderful place where the love of God can be made known to all. We are very glad to be here and I am delighted that we are ending our four days of mission in this particular place”
The Crossroads Mission took place from 10-13 September and is the first time so many Bishops have worked together in mission in this way in a single diocese in the long history of the Church of England.
The Bishops came from every diocese in the Province of York and from every tradition. They included the most recent Bishops to be consecrated for the north: Bishop Libby Lane of Stockport, Bishop Philip North of Burnley, and Bishop Alison White of Hull.
Bishops and their teams visited schools, pubs, universities, colleges, hospitals, youth clubs, shopping centres, community centres, cafes and churches; the Penistone and Rotherham Shows also saw hundreds of people pass through their ‘Messy Church’ tents.
The hope is that Crossroads will touch many people’s lives and will help them to find a living faith.
The ‘Crossroads’ mission is a personal initiative of the Archbishop, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. Dr John Sentamu. This will now become an annual event. Next year the Archbishop and the Bishops will be hosted by The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) when the second Crossroads mission takes place at venues across the region from September 8 – 11, 2016.