Over my first few months as Bishop of Truro, I’ve spent many a weekday travelling around the diocese, deanery by deanery, from Penwith to Rame Head to Morwenstow, getting to know my new ‘patch’ and its people. It’s been fascinating. But I’ve been particularly struck by the significance of doing that on a weekday. Let me explain – after I’ve told you a little bit about just some of the many things I’ve actually seen.

In the far west, I visited the ever-impressive RNLI in Sennen, with its chaplain Canon Vanda Perrett, and in Breage, we discussed how we might help children in the church school receive communion.

‘Little oasis’

In Falmouth I was deeply impressed by the little oasis that is the Mission to Seafarers centre: a real bolthole of calm and creativity in the midst of the port. In Redruth, I had the great joy of joining in with the massed ukuleles of the afternoon drop-in centre at St Euny Church.

Eastwards, in Lanreath, I visited the remarkable village convenience store, run largely by volunteers and set up in the old public loo (so it really is a ‘convenience’ store). In the St Columbs (Major and Minor), I visited the Wellbeing Centre providing care and community to those who might otherwise be housebound and alone, before opening a clothes bank set up to complement the existing food bank. And in St Tudy, I visited another wonderful village store and coffee shop run by and for the community.

‘Not just Sunday services’

Not all these activities were organised by the church, though many were, and all had church members fully involved in them. To me, it made the point very powerfully that church is about so much more than what happens on Sundays: it’s about weekdays too. It’s about service, and not just about Sunday services. And it’s not just about the clergy either: these were genuinely community activities, the church community serving the wider community and both communities serving together.

In the footsteps of Jesus

Jesus himself said that he came not be served, but to serve. And it’s wonderful to me to see so many people following faithfully in his footsteps. I hope to see more and more of it in the years to come.