Bishop’s Blog: Our Diocesan Family MATTERS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to this week’s Blog!

The first meeting with the new Council of priests, the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Fernyhalgh, a visit to The Sisters at Hyning monastery, the annual Mass celebrated in memory of Blessed Edward Bamber with a very pleasant gathering at St.Winifrede’s, Bispham, interviews of applicants for the permanent Diaconate, a day of recollection for and with the priests, and all the bits and pieces in-between.

One elderly priest in the seminary advised us to try to avoid being known as ‘busy’ priests. His point was that if people saw us as always so busy they’d feel less able to approach us. Transfer that to the world of the family. Try not to be known as a busy parent, otherwise your little ones will perhaps fear you don’t have time for them. However, the danger is that if you aren’t busy people may think you are lazy, leaving it all for others to do. You can’t win can you!

We know the story of Martha and Mary. We also know that our God gave us a commandment to rest regularly. Try it . . . without feeling guilt. One of the joys of getting around for the various celebrations and events is simply finding time to meet parishioners and school-children, and whoever. Our parishes and schools rely on a vast amount of goodwill and personal sacrifice. Even those in paid employment often go much further than simply doing their duty. It is humbling to sense the motivation and prayer underlying so much goodness happening so quietly around us. Thank-you for showing the world evidence of the Lord’s presence, particularly when it involves getting dirty or hurt or misunderstood. Thank-you for remaining faithful when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable. That is when it most closely mirrors the love Christ has shown us.

May God bless you all.

As ever in Christ,


Paul Swarbrick

Bishop of Lancaster