Bishop Robert blesses Clovelly houses in lantern parade
Bishop Robert has blessed people’s homes in Clovelly as part of his visit to the Hartland Peninsula.
Following an evening service to rededicate All Saints Church after a renovation project, a group of people with Bishop Robert, walked with lanterns through the streets of Clovelly. Earlier, minister Kevin Beer had given ribbons to residents and asked them to tie them on their front doors to receive a blessing from the bishop. Some people came to their doors as the bishop arrived and were visibly moved to be prayed with.
Bishop Robert then joined with more people for a ‘Grill a bishop’ session at the Red Lion pub. He was asked about being a monk, becoming a bishop and spoke of his love of Devon. There was also discussion about the challenges of living in a rural county, with an aging population and lack of jobs for young people.
Bishop Robert began his stay on Sunday with an open air service in the Atlantic Village shopping mall in Bideford. Over 200 people attended the event, with some shoppers joining in. He also toured Appledore Shipyard and heard about their work to build patrol vessels for the Irish Navy.
He met with local tourism representatives at a hotel reception and visited a robotic milking parlour in Monkleigh as he met with farmers.
Bishop Robert’s stay is part of nine months when our three bishops are going round the county listening to people’s views and sharing their vision for the Church of England.
Speaking at the thanksgiving and rededication service in Clovelly Bishop Robert challenged those there to think about our ‘churches’ as ‘people’ not just buildings and spoke about the opportunities to reach out to tourists. He said: “How do we as church people welcome tourists in? And then how do we turn visitors into pilgrims and from pilgrims into disciples? People are the most precious gift of all. Jesus teaches us a new way of living. If we can embody that then I believe we will turn tourists into pilgrims as we show that Jesus is alive in our own hearts.”