Bishop Graham began his recent visit the Norwich North Deanery with a hearty gathering of the Deanery Chapter – clergy from the area – over a warming soup lunch. They talked about what they love about the parishes they serve and what they are looking forward to in the future as their communities grow and strengthen.
After lunch, it was a short walk to Old Catton Church of England Junior School. There, Bishop Graham was able to get involved with their investigation of Christmas traditions: giving a talk about the real Saint Nicholas, also a Bishop, who secretly gave away his money to the poor of his community.
Following Collective Worship, Bishop Graham sat down with some of the older students to answer their questions for him: ranging in topics from the day-to-day to questions of faith.
From Old Catton, Bishop Graham went to Norwich Airport to hear about their vision to be “The passenger Airport of choice for Norfolk, Suffolk and the adjoining counties.” This involved looking at the facilities, services provided, and what the future might look like for the airport.
While there, Bishop Graham also spoke with the Airport Chaplain, the Revd Rosemary Maskell about her role in the daily life of the airport. Staff were quick to praise Rosemary’s work and support among them – citing her as a counsellor and sounding board for the whole team.
Bishop Graham then left the airport to go to St Catherine’s Church, Mile Cross, where representatives from Hope into Action Norwich told him about the vital work they have been doing in three churches in Sprowston, Old Catton, and Mile Cross. The churches there partner with Hope into Action to support houses for the homeless to empower them to spring back into fulfilling lives. Bishop Graham heard from representatives of Sprowston parish churches who walk alongside the people who live in the houses they support.
At the end of the afternoon, in an interview with the Revd Dean Akrill, Bishop Graham shared moments of his life and the music that marked milestones.