Bishop spreads Christmas message

SUFFOLK'S new bishop is today spreading a Christmas message of peace and hope in the county and beyond.The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, recently enthroned as the 10th bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “I'm enjoying Suffolk immensely.

SUFFOLK'S new bishop is today spreading a Christmas message of peace and hope in the county and beyond.

The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, recently enthroned as the 10th bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “I'm enjoying Suffolk immensely.

“I'm becoming aware of what a very beautiful part of the country it is with some of the finest churches in the country.

“It has its pressures and difficulties, not lease for rural communities with isolation and difficulties for farming.


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“I think there is a lot churches can do for rural communities, I'm looking into various ways that support might be encouraged.

“The church is uniquely placed because is has congregations in all communities.

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“Maybe we can make the church building more valuable.”

Bishop Nigel, who has three grown-up sons, said problems around the world were also in his thoughts in the run up to December 25.

He added: “I'm very concerned with all the divisions in our world nowadays and the fear of violence everywhere impacts on us here in Suffolk.

“If peace can be secured in the Middle East it will help a lot of the problems.

“Some people say faith and religion is the base of these divisions but the answer to some of these divisions actually lies in faith.

“The message of the Angels to the sheep is a message of peace and God came in Jesus Christ to bring peace and hope to the world.”

Another global issue highlighted by Bishop Nigel were environmental concerns.

“We are using the resources of the world and we have to be responsible to the world,” he said.

“The church is trying to do its part by looking at the carbon footprint of local churches.

“If we are meant to be generous to others and self-sacrificing we need to see if we can live without as many of the things people think they need.

“I think every part of the world likes to think it is friendly and looks out for others but that really has been my experience of Ipswich, so hopefully we can do it.”

And he said he was optimistic about the town's future with a blossoming new university and new developments at the waterfront.

And he ended by added: “I want to wish everyone a really happy Christmas!”

What is your Christmas message? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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