To our well beloved in Christ, Stephen David Lake, now Bishop and Pastor of the Diocese of Salisbury, Greeting.
I recall to you God’s mission entrusted by Christ to His Church to proclaim God’s Kingdom, to heal the sick and to make disciples of all nations. As the Crown Nominations Commission considered prayerfully and carefully the call of the new Bishop of Salisbury to share the historic and eternal gospel with a changing world, and to encourage all Christians in their witness so that more people become disciples of Jesus Christ, they discerned an especial sense of urgency around tasks and ministries which I now set before you, to guide you as you prepare to take up your new office.
Bishops within the Church of England are called
- To share in the ministry of the Gospel of Christ, proclaiming a narrative of Christian hope for all at a time of suffering for many;
- To exercise collegial leadership of the Church of England through the House and College of Bishops, promoting unity of the Church, and leading it in its mission and service;
- To lead, with brother and sister bishops, the emerging Church as we seek to live out our vocation locally and nationally, exploring opportunities for deepening relationships with neighbouring dioceses.
As the Bishop of Salisbury you are called
- To lead the diocese in discerning its vision for God’s mission and ministry in pastoral care and evangelism and in implementing a strategy for realising this;
- To have a care for bringing others to faith, for growing a church which is younger and more diverse, characterised by mixed ecology, by communities of confident disciples and by the care of older people and the isolated;
- To encourage people and churches to be courageous in the gospel, confident in their witness, bold in their hopes, faith-filled around an optimistic vision and energised to make a difference;
- To create a culture of mutuality across the diocese and with the wider church, living this out in the senior team and in deepening relationships with churches in Sudan and South Sudan;
- To empower lay people in their leadership and in their partnership with clergy, modelling this in collaborative working relationships with lay staff;
- To welcome the Channel Islands and to encourage their mission, to develop their relationship with the diocese and to connect personally with the wider civic leadership in the Islands;
- To encourage local churches in service of their local communities, with particular care for serving military and veterans, seeking opportunities to be present in the wider public square.
Stephen – you have a particular accountability for ensuring that the Diocese of Salisbury is a safe place for children and adults at risk and that it models the highest standards of safeguarding in accordance with the policies of the Church of England.
Stephen – as a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ remember you are also called to tend to your own spiritual life in prayer and study. So may the Lord of heaven, who gives you the will to undertake these things, give you also the strength to perform them, and by his divine providence may his holy angels succour and defend you on earth; and may his Grace and Blessing be with you at all times.