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Last updated 20th October 2021

Being Witnesses

Sharing the Gospel with Confidence

“Utterly amazed…we hear them declaring the wonders of God in their own languages.”

(Acts 2 v11).


In the 7th century, there was an incredible flowering of mission in the North. St Hilda is well known – she was abbess of a mixed monastery in Whitby that sent out bishops, evangelists all across Britain. Caedmon is far less well known. He was a cattle herder, who looked after the animals in the monastery. He was shy & tongue tied: he found it very difficult to make himself understood. But one night he had dream that he can sing a heavenly song about the creation of the world. When he woke up he can remember the song – in fact he can still sing it. He told his boss and his boss told Hilda who invites Caedmon to sing at the feast. This was the start of an incredible ministry – Caedmon would sing the gospel in the local Anglo-Saxon language in words that the ordinary people could understand.

There are modern day Caedmon’s everywhere. Often in hiding, tongue-tied, unable to get their words out, but it seems the Spirit of God releases them to speak the wonders of God in their own language. It is beautiful to behold.


  • Light the Beacons.  Across the diocese, Christians are bringing light.  Watch the highlights of Thy Kingdom Come here and see how churches are serving their communities.
  • Call out Caedmons to speak their language: Take heart from the experiences of the early Christians described in Acts 2:11 and Caedmon’s story here as well as other people’s stories of faith here and here.
  • Pray for your family and friends; it is one of the most powerful things we can do.  For ideas on how to do this, click here.
  • Join or start a Christian Enquiry course; it is an excellent way to learn more about our faith and help others explore what it means to know Jesus.  For more information on courses, click on the following links.  Alpha; Start; Christianity Explored and Pilgrim.
  • Make use of resources such as: Christianity Explored: Evangelism in Lockdown; Leading Your Church into Growth: Evangelism in a time of lockdown.
  • Share the Diocesan services with your family and friends.  You can find them here.
  • Talk about Jesus with young people using this Board of Education resource here.
  • Use sport as a means of sharing your faith.  The diocese is working with the Church of England sports’ team.  Read all about it here.

Meet Human Need with Actions as Well as Words


Churches are responding to differing needs in many ways.  Here are some useful resources on a range of topics:

Plant 200 New Local Congregations and 10 Strategic Church Plants

Around the diocese, New Local Congregations are taking root. In the past four years, 50 churches have started a new congregation in a different place or at a different time.

In the following video, the Revd Prof. Jeremy Duff describes the New Local Congregations he planted during his time as a vicar in Widnes.

  • At the October 2021 Diocesan Synod, Bishop Jill presented a paper on New Local Congregations which can be found here.
  • Congregations are growing in the outer estates; read more here.
  • Preston Resourcing Parish is reaching out to the people who study, live and work in the centre of Preston.  Find out more here.
  • Leading Your Church into Growth have written resources to support churches and  Christians as they seek to be witnesses; click here
  • Baptisms, weddings, funerals and other life events are significant occasions in people’s lives.  To find out how to make the most of these opportunities, click here
  • All ages and stages of life matter.  Some of our congregations are reaching out using: Messy Church  and Lyrics and Lunch.

If you would like more information on Being Witnesses, please email: