Bishop of Chelmsford's visit offers message of hope in Saffron Walden

The Right Rev’d Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani and Rev'd Jeremy Trew

The Right Rev’d Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford and the Rev’d Jeremy Trew, Rector and Area Dean at the Deanery Service at St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden - Credit: Martin Hugall

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Rev'd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, presided at a Holy Communion Service for the Saffron Walden Deanery at St Mary's Church on July 20.

Instead of a traditional sermon, the Bishop gave an account of growing up in Iran - including during the 1979 Iranian revolution - as a daughter of the Bishop of Iran and a missionary mother, and seeking refuge with her parents in the UK.

Bishop Guli also described her appreciation of the Diocese of Chelmsford, and urged the congregation not to be fearful and anxious in the face of financial restraints and smaller numbers following the pandemic, but to be hopeful and to show what it means to be God's people in the community.

She said: "I’m grateful for the warm welcome I was given during my visit to the Saffron Walden Deanery which was made particularly special by the opportunity to preside at their service of Holy Communion.”