Our Bishops

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley

Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison

Suffragan Bishop of Dunwich

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Michael Robinson Canon Theologian and Bishops' Chaplain 01473 252829
Diane Matthews Executive Assistant to the Bishops and Archdeacons 01473 252829
Terry Atkins Secretary to the Bishop 01473 252829
Louise Richardson Administrative Assistant to the Bishops and Archdeacons 01473 252829


Bishop Martin writes...for the Bury Free Press Group 12 February 2021

I have just had my first Covid-19 vaccination.

It came as a surprise – by the Government’s planned roll out, I was not due to receive mine until after the middle of February.  But a receptionist from the surgery where I am registered telephoned me earlier in the week to book me in, and when I expressed surprise, pointing out that I was not yet 70, she explained that they were ahead in their programme and had started on the next age band.

So my first response was relief. Genuine heartfelt relief, and I realised just how much I had been anticipating receiving the vaccination.

While a lot else needs to happen to lower infection rates and roll out the vaccine to cover most of the population, it felt like a step towards a life with more direct human contact, and a step towards getting back to visiting communities and churches across the county – a part of my role I enjoy most.

And I also felt relief that I may be spared, and not catch the virus, or if I did now I would have some protection and the vaccine would reduce it’s severity.

The process of receiving the vaccination was efficient, caring and pretty swift. In fact the nurse had to assure me he had given me the shot – I didn’t feel anything.  Except now I felt a bit safer – or I will in ten days’ time, the period apparently it takes for the vaccine to start to work.  Feeling a bit safer. That phrase must sum up the yearning of most of us.  We are living in a danger zone, not knowing where an attack – an infection – might come from – so feeling a bit safer will be a great relief, and is what we all want right now.  It is what we want for each other, and for the whole world.

A great deal of expectation has been placed on the vaccine: it is to be our salvation from this surreal existence we have been living this past 11 months.  We have placed our faith in the vaccine.  And of course as I write this I realise this is language I use on a daily basis, but not normally of vaccine – words like “safer”, “salvation”, “faith”.  And there is a parallel here – up to a point!

My Christian faith enables me to feel safer – not a bit, but a whole lot – in fact, completely safe in who I am, in being unconditionally loved by God.  My faith is about salvation, about being secure, protected – but still very much in the danger zone.

Faith doesn’t take the danger away, but helps me live in it, challenging it where I can, bearing it where I have to, knowing that our ultimate safety in God’s love is assured.  Faith gives us the strength and protection to live loving lives for others in the midst of the troubles of the world, living lives of compassion and justice, and we do not need to be afraid because faith tells us we are loved.

So maybe maybe my analogy of faith as a vaccine breaks down here, and I need to return to the Bible where the analogy is about a transplant, about receiving a new heart of love.


Previous Press Articles

East Anglian Daily Times January 2021 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times November 2020 | PDF

Bishop Martin's interview with the Revd James Marston | Weblink

East Anglian Daily Times October 2020 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times September 2020 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times Aug 2020 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times July 2020 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times May 2020 | PDF

East Anglian Daily Times April 2020 | PDF


To find out more

Bishop Martin writes a monthly article in the East Anglican Daily Times as well as the Bury Free Press. 

Both Bishops also post a weekly vLog on their Facebook pages.  

Bishop Martin and Jutta lead daily Mornings Prayers on Facebook at 8.30am Monday to Friday.  Do please join them!


Please follow the Bishops' on their Facebook Page for weekly vLogs, Morning Prayers and the latest news.



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Page last updated: 15th April 2021 4:36 PM