Is this the man to heal Sheffield's wounds?

The Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Sheffield

Sheffield's new outspoken Bishop is on a bridge-building mission to bring the city together.

"Angry" at injustice, The Rt Rev Philip North seeks to repair divisions within a community suffering fall-out from "dangerous and toxic" events.

Today's unveiling witnessed a manifesto "to turn fear into joy" in the face of local and global upheaval in Brexit and Trump times of uncertainty.


He concedes church leaders must try help folk better understand one another in such divisive climes.

And the man who has previously accused C of E of ignoring the poor highlights poverty and homelessness as crucial challenges.

He claims clergy have "lived with reality of decline for a long time,"' adding "it has made us a bit nervous and reticent."

He continues: "I would love to see some fresh confidence in Christians in living out their faith".

The 50-year-old cleric with South Yorkshire roots hailed Steel City "buzzing, vibrant, youthful and exciting".

But he admits there are areas locally where life is "tougher".

The Bishop says: "Around Sheffield there are big social housing estates where a lot of people are really struggling to manage.

"Families are working hard but still depend on food banks. That kind of injustice makes me angry."

To that end he wants to give a voice to poorer people within his diocese, emphasising the church's "healing" role in an increasingly divided world.

We need to better understand each other in today's "dangerous and toxic" political environment.

"The Brexit vote is an interesting example - national politics is badly divided. It is incumbent on the church to understand both sides."

He adds: "Because we are present everywhere, we can perhaps help to encourage dialogue where there isn't any."

Join that dialogue now - tell us, and the Bishop, what YOU think?


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