Bishop Jackie looks forward to serving the people of Devon with joy and with hope
Those who oppress and spread hatred cannot triumph over the souls of those who rejoice and celebrate, said the new Bishop of Crediton in her first sermon in the Diocese of Exeter.
Speaking at her welcome service in Exeter Cathedral, the Rt Revd Jackie Searle said: “People need hope in our world. We need purpose, a sense of belonging, and belief in a greater power, that power we know as God.
“Do not be put off by headlines of despair, by negative views of church, by the statistics of decline.
“We do not know how it looks to God. But we do know that we human beings need and long for love and life and joy and laughter as much as we ever did.
“We long for forgiveness, for goodness, for justice and truth. I dare to believe that these are found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Jackie quoted the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby when he said that cathedrals should be places of fun, and Pope Francis when he said that the church will grow when Christians share their joy.
She is the 10th Bishop of Crediton and was ordained by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu, in Southwark Cathedral just over a fortnight ago. She was the first woman to be made a bishop there.
Bishop Jackie said: “I really am looking forward to getting out there and meeting more people – and to serving the people of Devon with joy and with hope.”