Chester Bishops in Rome Oct 2013


undefinedThree bishops from our diocese met Pope Francis while on an ecumenical visit to Rome for a residential staff (senior leadership team) meeting.

The 10-strong team from Chester included the Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster (pictured right with the Pope) and the two suffragan bishops Robert Atwelll (Stockport) and Keith Sinclair (Birkenhead).

Our diocesan secretary George Colville was also among those who went to the Italian capital, as did  the Archdeacons of Macclesfield and Chester (Ian Bishop and Mike Gilbertson, respectively), and the Dean of Chester Gordon McPhate. The team spent four days in Rome.

The bishop’s staff team hold a residential staff meeting usually annually – normally in Britain – to look in detail at the mission and development of the Church in the diocese.

While in Rome, members of the staff team visited the Venerable English College, and the Anglican Centre , where they  met  Archbishop David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre.

It was during the Papal general audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday 16 October that Bishops Peter, Robert and Keith were called to meet the Pontiff. They exchanged greetings with Pope Francis, who asked them to pray for him.

The Bishop of Chester said: “It was an immense privilege to meet with the Pope in this way.”

In a video of the general audience our three bishops can be seen at the front, close to the big altar dais, as the Pope passes them before the general audience begins.

Forward the film until the clock states 0:29:40.