The first Diocesan Youth Forum was held last Saturday, and over 100 young people from across the Diocese of Oxford gathered in St. Andrew’s Church, North Oxford, for a morning of listening and reflection as part of our common vision process. There were doughnuts and burgers and funny hats. There was a lot of serious conversation. As the young people came in, they were invited to write up “Questions for the Bishop” on a large whiteboard. Here are just a few of Bishop Steven’s answers!

Is the hat comfy?
Not really. It stays on because it grips the head. After about 5 minutes I get a headache.

How do you address the bishop?
Print out a label and stick it on his forehead with a stamp.
More seriously – I answer to anything polite and don’t really mind.

Do you feel free?
Most of the time.

How many hours do you work a week?
50-60 most weeks

Do you think God wants us to wear clothes and if so what’s your favourite company?
Undoubtedly yes especially in February. Fat Face.

What is your opinion on the circles of hell?
The best quotation about hell I know is from C.S. Lewis: “If the gates of hell are locked, they are locked from the inside”.

Do you feel the Church is being inclusive when not everyone understands the words contemplative, compassionate and courageous?
I think so. I think most people do understand compassionate and courageous. Contemplative takes a bit longer to explain but it’s worth the trouble on both sides.

Can God change his mind?
According to the Bible, yes. Read the story of Jonah. Prayer is very important.

How do you lovingly tell someone what they do is sinful?
I love the quotation from Billy Graham, a great Christian who died recently: “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love”.

Have you ever put your hat on backwards?
Yes but it’s embarrassing. The tippets hang down over the eyes.

(To see the full report go to https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/is-that-hat-comfy/.

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