The new Bishop of Lewes, the Rt. Rev. Will Hazlewood, presided and preached on Sunday October 3 at St Mary’s Church, Rye at the 10:30am Communion service. It was his first visit to Rye and East Sussex as a Bishop, and he thanked Canon David Frost, the Rector, and the congregation for his warm welcome.
His sermon was thought-provoking and he asked us to not be so judgemental, especially in these difficult Covid-19 times. “A quick look at any social media platform will soon show us that we like to judge others, often without being fully in charge of the facts. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus is often called to sit in judgement on individuals, and groups of people and he usually responds with compassion, forgiveness and love.
“As Christians we must train ourselves to respond in the same way. What a difference we could make to our communities and world if we tried just a bit harder to follow Him, who will lovingly judge each of us at the end of time.”
Will Hazlewood grew up in rural Gloucestershire. His father was the Rev. Canon Ian Hazlewood. Will left school at sixteen to take up an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic with the Ministry of Defence. Bishop Will then took his first degree at De Montfort University Leicester, before spending a year as a pastoral assistant.
Having completed his theological training at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, he was ordained Deacon in 2001 and priest in 2002 in Bristol Cathedral. He served his curacy in a parish in the centre of Bristol before moving to Buckinghamshire to the parish of Iver Heath on the outskirts of Slough.
He moved to the Diocese of Exeter in 2011 to be incumbent of Dartmouth and Dittisham, a market town and village in the South Hams and he became Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral in 2017. Bishop Will was elected as suffragan Bishop of Lewes in 2020 and the Bishop of Lewes has pastoral responsibility for the Anglican Churches of East Sussex, Brighton & Hove and one parish in Kent.
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