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Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
New bishop marks out principles
Rt Rev John Pritchard
The new bishop is touring his Diocese
The church must be aware of the "big picture" when dealing with contemporary culture, the new bishop of Oxford has told the Diocese of Oxford.

The Rt Rev John Pritchard outlined his principles in Blackbird Leys on Monday during his first major address to the diocesan synod.

He also said there was a hunger among people for the Christian message.

Bishop John replaces Richard Harries to lead Anglicans in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Vibrant force

The former suffragan bishop of Jarrow and archdeacon of Canterbury, emphasised the importance of expansiveness and forward thinking.

He told churchgoers that the Diocese of Oxford, "has to be concerned about the big picture...attending to the riches of the Christian tradition and also to the realities of contemporary culture".

Bishop John is touring the diocese in order to "meet as many people as possible in his first few weeks in office".

Rt Rev Pritchard said: "The visitations are a great way for me to start getting out and about in the diocese."

We're a community of joyful, confident pilgrims
Right Reverend John Pritchard

During the address, he also emphasised that the church was a vibrant force to be celebrated.

"We're not a beleaguered remnant in society planning an honourable retreat," he said.

"We're a community of joyful, confident pilgrims praying that more people will hear the good news."

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