Final Thoughts
Soon after I moved to Hereford I wrote a parish magazine article entitled “First Impressions”. Now it’s time to write my last article and I’ve been reflecting on those first impressions.

  1. Second only to the wheel, the sat-nav is a wonderful invention.
    I’ve got lost a few times, but what a wonderful area for that to happen.
  2. There are many extremely friendly people here. Kay and I appreciate more than we can say, the warmth of the welcome we have received.
    It has been the most fabulous place to live and work.
    3.There is much heroic, faithful and imaginative Christian ministry being exercised across the diocese, by clergy and laity alike. In many places, it’s tough – a lovely environment does not automatically make Christian ministry easy.
    That’s still the case. Keep up the good work!
  3. There is more deprivation than is immediately apparent. In many places, churches are responding to this.
    With turbulence all around us, there’s more need than ever to be fully engaged with local communities.
  4. I have some great colleagues and the staff in the diocesan offices are outstandingly good.
    Nobody could have asked for better colleagues.
  5. Just like so many other places in the Church of England, we get things out of proportion too easily: mountains and molehills come to mind.
    We’ve had our share of storms in tea cups.
    7.Money is one subject over which we sometimes get the worst of both worlds – talking about it endlessly without ever really cracking it. We do have to talk about money some of the time – in order to avoid ending up talking about it all the time. Having the lowest level of giving in the Church of England is not a record to be proud of.
    There’s been some progress in some areas, and thank God for the Parish Giving Scheme, but the basic problem still remains and leaves us driving with the brakes on.
  6. There is an urgent challenge to share our faith with others. I understand English reticence and the need to be sensitive and appropriate, but the Christian faith is for all. I long to see more people becoming Christians.
    The challenge remains. Thankfully there are a good number of people up for it.
  7. I am really enjoying living and working here.
    And that has continued right to the end.
  8. Yes, the cider is excellent and so too is the apple juice.
    I shall drink a toast to the new Bishop Richard. I’m delighted by the appointment and if he’s half as happy here as I’ve been, he’ll be a happy man.
    God Bless the Diocese of Hereford.
    With my thanks and continuing prayers,
    +Richard Frith