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Sixth Formers gave the Bishop of Hereford, Richard Frith, a very warm welcome when he came to Hereford Cathedral School for lunch to find out more about young people’s attitude to the Church.

Bishop Richard encouraged the 14 young adults to be as open and honest as they liked. “Don’t mince your words,” he told them. And it made for a lively discussion!

Our bold Sixth Formers were very candid about questioning Bishop Richard, commenting on a range of topics from science and religion, and the role of women in the church, to the church’s attitude to same-sex marriage. One pupil even told Bishop Richard that some church leaders should be more pro-active on social media in order to engage with young people of today.

In answering some of the questions put to him, Bishop Richard said the church must accept the world’s moved on. But, he advised the Sixth Formers: “I hope you will consider the Christian faith but continue using your own intellect and emotional intelligence to wrestle with some of these questions, particularly on issues where there sometimes isn’t one answer.”

Group of students with the Bishop of Hereford

After his working lunch, Bishop Richard said: “I very much appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Sixth Formers from Hereford Cathedral School. They were robust and courteous. I was stretched and challenged by their questions and views on a wide range of issues related to faith and daily life.”

At the end of the lunchtime session, when one of the Sixth Formers asked his fellow pupils, ‘who here has ever said a prayer?’, there was a huge show of hands.

You might be interested to know that Bishop Richard started using social media seven years ago! He can be found tweeting about a range of issues on Twitter and you can follow him at @rmcfrith. Bishop Richard has kindly agreed to return to Hereford Cathedral School next term to host another working lunch with our pupils and he said: “I really value invitations to schools.”