The Diocese of Gloucester is now into the period of conversation, where we take time to listen to one another and have our own say on the future of our Church in and around Gloucestershire.
I always think I’m good at conversation, I can pretty much speak to anyone, whatever position in an organisation, whatever age and background. Although my husband tells me what I’m good at is the talking and I could do with more of the listening!
This made me think about a recent interview Bishop Rachel did with the BBC on Eastwood Prison. Bishop Rachel was asked what was one of the biggest issues the women prisoners face. She responded that it was their lack of value and self-esteem. When questioned about how we could build up self-esteem, she said that just listening to the women could make a difference. Something as simple as just listening, to their stories, to their fears and concerns, to their hopes, could make a difference to how they felt about themselves, to make them feel valued.
What a great opportunity this period of conversation will give us, to have conversations with people which we might never normally have, to build new relationships, strengthen networks to share stories. In all of this my hope is that during this conversation period we listen well and that people know we value their opinion.
Lucy Taylor, Head of Communications, Diocese of Gloucester.