On Tuesday 10 March 2015 we were delighted to host the first Farnham Deanery service with the new Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson. The evening began with refreshments and an informal ‘Question and Answer’ session. About 60 members of various churches across the Deanery learned about Bishop Andrew’s faith journey so far, including his initial inspiration by the example of his grandparents who were missionaries in China, his views on church growth, church finances, and political engagement and his talismanic reputation at Aston Villa FC in his previous role as Bishop of Aston.
A simple service of Holy Communion followed, during which Bishop Andrew spoke about a passage from John’s Gospel, including the need to make sacrifices in order to change and grow:
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds”
When Andrew the disciple is mentioned in the Gospels, it is very often in the context of bringing people to meet Jesus; after our first evening with Bishop Andrew it seems he is likely to be an inspiring example for us all to do the same.