The annual Chrism Eucharist has taken place at Bradford Cathedral with clergy and lay ministers renewing their vows in a service which included the blessing of 15 litres of holy oils.
Bishop Nick presided over the Maundy Thursday ceremony, which was held at Ripon last year and will take place at Wakefield in 2018.
He said that while some might find aspects of the diocese, or indeed aspects of the Church of England itself, to be occasionally “irksome,” it was the case that “people and places thrive when they grasp the opportunity for change.”
He said the diocese had come a long way since its creation and at times it had seemed the odds were stacked against it. And that while there were still challenges ahead regarding finance and declining congregations, the diocese was drawn by hope, not driven by fear.
Citing Samuel’s eagerness to serve as an example, he said: “I am here, for you called me – let that be our response to the Lord as we seek to be faithful to him.”
Joint Diocesan Secretary Debbie Child invited clergy to renew their vows during the service, which was also attended by visiting ordinands from the Diocese of Liverpool.
Oil for the Sick, Oil for Baptism and Oil of Chrism were blessed and will be sent out to each parish church.
Speaking afterwards, the Revd Sharon Wilkinson and lay reader Dawn Tattersfield from St Mary's, Woodkirk, gave their views.
Sharon said "For me, it's an opportunity to be ministered to, rather than minister to others, and it's an opportunity to remind us all of the huge responsibility we have in serving God," And Dawn said, "I like the renewal - it's lovely to get everyone together and refresh our promises."