16th February 2021
From Bishop–designate Malcolm
What a strange time to move, and to start a new job! But Pam and I want to thank you all for your kind welcome!
I am enjoying getting to know people and places so much as is possible on zoom – but can’t wait to get out around this beautiful diocese meeting people properly. Whilst I am inevitably feeling half-baked as a ‘bishop designate’, there is a sense that this time is also gift, a time for meeting people, learning about the diocese and discerning how I can best play my part.
The Diocese of Derby is new to me – but the varied landscape seems familiar. I have been fortunate to live in and enjoy living in urban Hackney, in rural parishes in Northumberland and in Buckinghamshire, and in former mining communities in county Durham. It is good to be here.
I’m not a great one for jigsaws, but we had dutifully started a 1500-piece puzzle – a gift – before we moved from York and managed to keep it nearly intact. In our new home, at the rate of no more than a dozen pieces a day, it is slowly coming together, and one day the picture will become clear.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we are going to have to pick up the pieces of our life in community, and see what picture emerges.
Trying to make sense of it all I am encouraged by what St Paul says of Christ in Colossians, that ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’. And in 1 John 3.2 we read, ‘Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.’
Looking ahead, I pray that as in Lent we try to refocus our lives and our life together, we will each behold the glory of Christ, and be transformed more and more to be like him.
A prayer for our government
The leaders of our nation bear the hefty weight of office
as they lead us through this pandemic.
So many voices speak to steer the course of travel
Yet there are many considerations.
Enable our Leaders to stay on the course you have set for them.
Be their wisdom and good counsel.
Help them to distil the voices.
Shine the light of your presence upon our prime minister,
our government and all who advise them.
Please take their yoke and shoulder the weight of responsibility
and lead us safely through this pandemic.
In Jesus’ name.