New Bishop of Liverpool: 'Things are changing in England'
The Right Reverend Paul Bayes, a former head of Christian CND, is to become the new Bishop of Liverpool.
Bayes has been Bishop of Hertford since 2010, having previously been the Church of England's National Mission and Evangelism advisor. He has also been a Green Party activist and co-chair of nuclear disarmament group Christian CND.
Today Bayes has been touring around Wigan, visiting school pupils and staff in the Anglican Diocese as well as Liverpool Cathedral. Bayes follows the Right Reverend James Jones at Liverpool.
"Our diocese is made up of tens of thousands of ordinary people who worship and serve an extraordinary and wonderful God," said Bishop Paul in a statement. "We believe that God calls us to respect, love and serve our neighbours in the name of Jesus Christ.
"I'm delighted that the church here is growing... Things are changing in England. In the old days the church had lots of money and lots of respect, and frankly we took all that for granted. Now we've got less money and we need to earn respect, by saying and doing true and real things. I think that's all to the good. We need to be humble as Jesus was humble. A poor church with a rich message for everyone."
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Bishop Bayes was raised in a Christian family, but then decided church activities were a "waste of time", and as a student he "investigated a whole range of other spiritual and political options."
He then encountered "Jesus Christ as a living person" and trained for ministry. He spent time as a university chaplain and also co-chaired Christian CND and was involved in the Green Party. Around 10 years ago he was appointed as the Church of England's National Mission and Evangelism advisor, before being appointed as Bishop of Hertford.
His twitter feed @paulbayes suggests strong support for women bishops and evangelistic work.
Bishop Paul will be formally installed in Liverpool Cathedral at a special service later in the year.