THE Bishop of Chelmsford wants the diocese’s churches to be “ever more generous” and “ever more hospitable”.
The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell also said that churches have “a really important part to play” during his annual Easter interview with the Yellow Advertiser.
Bishop Cottrell said: “The church is still one of the few places, perhaps the only place left in society where you can turn up, you don’t need to make an appointment, you don’t need to fill in a form, you can come and you’re welcome and you will receive a welcome.
“So we have a really important part to play and we have a branch in every community so I want our churches to be places, and I’m not suggesting they’re not, I want them to be ever more generous, ever more hospitable to their community.
“Because my strong feeling is that a lot of people in Essex and east London, they may not call themselves Christians but they’re definitely not atheists either and there’s that longing inside them for something.
“Perhaps where there is uncertainty around, where there is a bit of hardship, perhaps a bit of fear, I want to say to people don’t give into what’s worst in you by responding to those uncertainties and fears by pulling up the drawbridge, by building a great big wall to keep ourselves separate.”
He added that the best way of building a safe and prosperous future was by looking to what is best in you, and said that the church could nurture that.