‘A wonderful and joyful time of year’

December 27 2017
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The Rt Rev Peter Hancock has been Bishop of Bath & Wells since June 2014. Here, he applauds the liveliness of Wells and offers a Christmas message

How would you sum up your first three years as Bishop of Bath & Wells?

It has been a huge privilege. As a bishop I meet so many different people and visit lots of different schools, communities and places of work as well as churches and chaplaincies. It is a thrill to see all the wonderful and good things that are happening across the whole of the diocese.

What are the best aspects of living and working in Wells?

The city is small but really ‘alive’ with so much going on. There is always something happening around the Market Place, Cathedral or Bishop’s Palace and it is a pleasure to support as many of these things as I can.

What is your earliest Christmas memory?

Waking up excited at 3am and seeing a sack of presents at the end of my bed.

How will you be spending Christmas Day this year?

I shall be going to Bath Abbey to preach and speak at the services there, to meet the congregations who have come to worship and to celebrate the coming of Jesus, God’s wonderful to gift to us.

What is your Christmas message for the people of Wells?

In a world where anxiety and uncertainty seems to be increasing, trust in God and be open to his love and aware of his leading and guiding.

Do you wish that Christianity was a more central part of people’s lives, especially at Christmas?

Being a Christian means that every day is a gift and Christmas a wonderful and joyful time of year. I would love everyone to wake up and know that Jesus is with them as friend and as Lord.

What do you think when you look at the world around you?

The world is extraordinarily beautiful and precious, but it is also vulnerable. We need to preserve and steward it well – we must do that for each other, for the very poorest people in the world and for future generations to come.

Can we look forward with hope to the New Year?

Absolutely we can.