The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu completed the series of 21 weekends of mission, all organised by local churches across the Diocese of York, this month.
The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said: “My hope is that these mission weekends will be the start of a growth in confidence in people sharing their trust in Jesus Christ with those they know and meet day by day. It’s about all of us accepting Jesus’ invitation to life in all its fullness, being encouraged in our journey with God and being open to the grace of the Holy Spirit. Be Bold!”
The mission weekends followed the six-month Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing in which the Archbishop returned to each of the deaneries to meet up with people on the road, to share his own journey of faith and to tell others of the love of Jesus Christ.
The series began in Northern Ryedale in January 2017 with an ‘Invite’ inspired mission and finished at Harthill in June 2018 – with many memorable events including the Archbishop leading the flotilla of vessels along the River Humber ahead of the Hull Minster designation service, as well as encouraging hundreds participating in the Yorkshire Marathon and Tour de Yorkshire bicycle races. Plenty of questions and answers took place – and an outline is available here.
The Archbishop met people from many different walks of life, and at different stages on their faith journeys. Some felt able to share their story as a way of encouraging others to do the same, and these are now available to watch here.
These include (click on the heading to watch each video):
John Dixon, Christ Church Bridlington Community Hub manager shares how the Archbishop's mission weekend encouraged them in their volunteer outreach projects, getting to know the needs of the community and how the church can make a difference.
Steve describes how aged 49 that he discovered God and of how he made a leap of faith. He shared his faith journey in Redcar as part of the mission weekends and is now training to be a Reader at his local church.
Jean was prayed for on a mission weekend in Filey and shared the blanket of peace and healing that she felt following prayers. She gave an unexpected testimony at a service in a local church and said ‘Just say yes to Jesus – he’ll do the rest!’
Laura describes how she was invited by her local church to attend a LyCiG conference, securing funding for a Family & Children's worker and of taking up the role, being commissioned by the Archbishop as part of his deanery mission weekend in Hull.
Tim, a York landlord, explains how he was inspired by the Archbishop at the St Barnabas Spring Festival and offered the upper room of the Leeman pub as a meeting place for a LyCiG Start Course.
Jenny suffers with anxiety and was invited on an Alpha Course by a Curate in Scarborough. She describes how having God at her side has made all the difference for her.
Claire shares how her faith has now become more central to her life and of being bold in telling others of God’s love across Guisborough.
Trish joined in the Scarborough mission weekend entitled ‘Come and see – Come and follow me’ in which she shared her journey to faith at the Newcastle Packet Pub. She described growing up in the bottom end of Scarborough, of family lost at sea and of finally giving her life to Christ at York Minster.
Cathy Westby shares how the Friday Feast began at St John’s Church in Drypool, East Hull with her husband Revd Martyn Westby, and the importance for an informal time of All Age Worship followed with sharing food together.
Derek shares how he was invited to sit and chat and walk with the Archbishop on a local mission in the Easingwold Deanery and of how it came about.
The Archbishop visited the Open Door community café at St Michael’s Centre, Cherry Burton on its first day of opening to the public. Andrea Simpson shares with us her vision for the café and how she hopes it will be a welcoming place run by the community, for the community.
Helen Rawling became involved in Kitchen For Everyone responding to advert on Facebook looking for people to help. Helen describes how the Spurriergate Centre is filling a gap to help on a Sunday, of why she volunteers and of the Archbishop's visit with them.
Lois Rutter describes how her church has reached out to get to know people in their rural community, shared God’s love, and welcomed them into journeys of faith.
Toby shares how important it is to meet people where they are, and how he helped organise a men’s health event as part of the York Deanery Mission weekend. Toby was ordained Priest in the Church of England in May 2018.