Archbishop of York to lead 21 bishops in historic 4-day event in South Yorkshire this September

4th August 2015

Early this autumn, an historic event will take place across South Yorkshire and East Riding. The Archbishop of York is working with a team of 21 bishops to engage in four days of mission across Sheffield Diocese from 10-13 September 2015.
It’s 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 are from every diocese in the Province of York and from every tradition.  They include 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.
Hundreds of events will take place across the region in schools, pubs, universities, colleges, shopping centres, community centres, cafes and churches; even the Penistone and Rotherham Shows will be touched by the mission.  The hope is that Crossroads will touch many people’s lives and will help them to find a living faith.
The vision for this mission came from a retreat of bishops on Lindisfarne in 2014, a Celtic centre from which the gospel spread across the North of England. They committed to work together to serve one diocese a year, Sheffield being the first diocese.
After an initial service in Sheffield Cathedral on Thursday 10 September, the bishops will be assigned to different parts of the diocese. They will stay with clergy and churchgoers. The bishops and their teams will lead on the visits and events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They will join in services in local parishes on Sunday morning (13th).  Some of the highlights include:

  • Youth event at Flash Lane Rec, Rotherham (10 Sep).
  • Bishop’s shoe shining service, Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster (11 Sep).
  • Working with Street Pastors around Page Hall (11 Sep).
  • Messy Church at the Penistone and Rotherham Shows (11 Sep).
  • A heritage day at Sheffield Cathedral (12 Sep).
  • A visit to The Moor Market by the Archbishop of York (12 Sep).
  • Bishop Libby Lane will be the first female bishop to preach in the Cathedral (13 Sep).
  • Finale event in Rotherham’s All Saints Square led by the Archbishop of York (13 Sep).

There will also be lots of school visits, a brewery tour, ‘pints of view’ pub-based question evenings, open-air worship opportunities, and a business breakfast.  Many events still to be announced.
In a call to the diocese, the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft said:
“We want to sow the good seed of the gospel outside the churches in the lives of the people that we love and serve who are our neighbours, we want to encourage people to learn more about the Christian faith.  The bishops are coming to help us in what we’re doing not coming to do the task of mission for us so it's going to be a real joy to welcome them and work with them.”

[The video of the Bishop speaking in full can be found here.]

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said:
“I am really looking forward to the Northern Bishops’ Mission this September. We start in Sheffield Cathedral on Thursday 10 September where 21 bishops will be commissioned to go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ across the Diocese of Sheffield. There will be hundreds of community events across Barnsley, Goole, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.  God’s invitation goes out to everyone; no-one is left out! If you want to find out more about Jesus’ love for you – come and join us!”
Notes to editors

  1. Further information, along with details on how to get involved will be posted to
  2. More specific photo calls will be issued nearer the time.  Media time will be available after the commissioning service on Thursday, 10 September.
  3. If journalists would like to follow any of the teams for a period of time (eg one day) please contact Lindsey-Jane Buxton by 19 August so permissions and arrangements can be made.
  4. The Bishop of Sheffield’s full blog on Crossroads can be found at:

About the Diocese of Sheffield - the diocese was founded as a Church of England Diocese in 1914. The population of the Diocese is over 1.2 million people across the metropolitan centres of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster covering an area of 576 square miles across South Yorkshire, East Riding and North East Lincolnshire.

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