Bishop Alison White and Bishop Libby Lane with balloons for the start of the Crossroads Mission in Sheffield

Transformation of the North

Sowing the seeds of the Gospel

Bishops and their teams from the northern half of The Church of England led by the Archbishop of York have been sowing the seeds of the Gospel and encouraging people to learn more about the Christian faith.

Northern Bishops Missions have taken place in Sheffield in 2015, Blackburn in 2016 and Durham in 2017. The ecumenical Moving Mountains Mission took place across Cumbria in March 2018, the mission to the Diocese of Newcastle in September 2018, to the Diocese of Liverpool in March 2019, to the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham in September 2019 and to the Diocese of York in March 2020.

The Northern Bishops' Mission to the Diocese of York took place from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 March 2020.

The Come and See Northern Bishops mission to the Diocese of York took place in March 2020

A message from the Archbishop ahead of the Come and See Mission weekend:

crowds outside looking towards people on stage

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls - Jeremiah 6.16

The Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Sheffield

The Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Sheffield took place from 10-13 September 2015.  This was the first time so many Bishops have worked together in mission in this way in a single diocese in the long history of the Church of England.

The Bishops came from every diocese in the Province of York and from every tradition.  The Crossroads Mission in Sheffield included the most recent Bishops to be consecrated for the north: Bishop Libby Lane of Stockport, Bishop Philip North of Burnley, and Bishop Alison White of Hull.

Archbishop stands with man outside Sheffield Cathedral
Bishop Libby speaks to two women on the street

The hope is that Crossroads will touch many people’s lives and will help them to find a living faith.

Archbishop John Sentamu

Bishops and their teams visited schools, pubs, universities, colleges, hospitals, youth clubs, shopping centres, community centres, cafes and churches; the Penistone and Rotherham Shows also saw hundreds of people pass through their ‘Messy Church’ tents.

The Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Blackburn

Former gladiator Warren ‘Ace’ Furman joined the Crossroads Mission in the Diocese of Blackburn in September 2016.  Archbishop Sentamu, together with all of the Bishops of the Northern Province and their teams, worked alongside youth workers, ordinands and clergy. The essence of Crossroads is local churches engaging in local mission, inviting individuals to find out more about Jesus and his love for all.

I have prayed daily for the Crossroads Mission that we encourage all to come to encounter Jesus Christ; that we will be filled and renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that we go out to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and God’s love with everyone... From Blackpool to Burnley – may everyone know that Jesus Rocks!

Archbishop John Sentamu
Archbishop transported in car buggy to the Light at the Crossroads Youth Event
Talking Jesus in the Diocese of Durham

Four days of mission and celebration started at Durham Cathedral on Thursday 2nd March 2017 in a service led by the Archbishop, after which teams went out into communities in all corners of the Diocese - from the Tyne to the Tees and the Dales to the Sea. The Bishops and their teams set out to talk about Jesus at more than 450 community events across the sixteen deaneries in the Diocese of Durham.

Member of clergy standing between two stormtroopers
The Moving Mountains Mission across the County of Cumbria

God loves you more than you will ever know

Message from the Moving Mountains Mission

The Moving Mountains Mission across Cumbria took place from 8-11 March 2018.  33 ecumenical teams from the Methodist Church, the Church of England, Salvation Army and United Reformed Church worked across the county during the four days of mission.  There were over 500 events which included: puppet making, pub quizzes, ceilidhs, litter picks, Gospel choirs, magicians and comedians, walks and treasure hunts, art and craft, men’s breakfasts, film nights, walking football, dementia friendly events and services, flower festivals, photographic exhibitions, a passion play. 



The Pathways Mission in the Diocese of Newcastle

The Pathways Mission took place from 6-9 September 2018.  The Bishops of the Northern Province and their teams joined the people of the Diocese to assist their mission of growing church bringing hope. This was the fifth Diocese to welcome the Northern Bishops for a mission weekend.  260 events took place across the four days and included a men's evening focusing on sexual and spiritual health, the Archbishop pouring pints behind a bar, school visits, outdoor baptisms, pub quizzes, social evenings, fun days, guest suppers and more.

Archbishop of York standing in front of other northern bishops holding up a wooden cross at Lindisfarne Priory
The Tell Serve Give Mission to the Diocese of Liverpool

The Tell Serve Give Mission to the Diocese of Liverpool began on Ash Wednesday (6 March) to 10th March 2019. The sixth diocese to welcome bishops from the Northern Province put on a whole host of events and activities which included school and university visits, a beach clean-up, a jazz night, Civic Breakfasts, Messy Church, Healing services, ashing in the city centre, a comedy night, lego fun and a prison visit.

The oneLIFE mission to the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham

More than 15 Bishops signed up for the One Life mission which took place in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham from Thursday 12th September to Sunday 15th September. 

Every church was invited to take part in the mission, which became a catalyst for a whole range of activities and events designed to share the Good News of Jesus with communities across the diocese.

The Rt Revd Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood, who has been on previous missions with the Archbishop, taking teams to Sheffield, Durham, Blackburn, Carlisle and Newcastle, said: “It is a marvellous opportunity for churches to look at new ways of reaching out to people on the fringes."

Archbishop John Sentamu

"Jesus came to bring the very life of God as a gift to all of us. His resurrection makes it possible for us to live the life he lived. The heart of the Christian faith is about having an encounter with Jesus – an encounter which transforms and brings hope and love"

Future missions

There will be a further Northern Bishops' mission to the Diocese of York from 12th - 15th March 2020.

In the coming months we pray for an increase in the numbers of people coming to what are called 'enquirers courses' in our parishes. At these courses people can delve further into what it means to become a Christian and we hope they will choose to make a personal step of faith themselves.

Archbishop John Sentamu