By Emma Temple, LCI
On Thursday 14th March, Christians around Leeds gathered to hear Bishop Tony Parry tell his story of faith at New Testament Church of God.

As Dr Helen Reid introduced him, it was clear from the extensive list of communities he’d served and titles he’d held that this was a life whose impact created ripples throughout Leeds.

His work as a minister and bishop in his church, his powerful voice for social and civil rights, and his balanced approach to ecumenical unity all shone through, and told
a story of a man with a love of God’s word and passion for God’s justice.

When asked about his calling to ministry, he said: “I’m very shy and reserved, and most people don’t believe that, but it’s really true. So I wouldn’t necessarily push myself forward for anything, but I did really love God’s word. So I was always thrust into preaching, and, and it was from that people saw God’s call in my life.”

Bishop Parry has worked tirelessly for racial and social justice in Leeds, leading a call for transformation after the murder of George Floyd. He explained: “I don’t like confrontation, but because I like fairness, so
sometimes you end up challenging, and trying to help those who may not have a voice.”

Helen Reid carried the interview with gentleness and sensitivity. She introduced the passion for racial justice that led LCI to host these interviews: “At Leeds Lives events, we celebrate Black lives in Leeds, and the contribution made to church and city, to celebrate living by faith and challenging discrimination. These events are a chance to listen, and learn from one particular person telling their story.”

You can find the full interview on the LCI YouTube Channel here:

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On Thursday 18th April, LCI are hosting Churches Against Racism, an opportunity for Christians in Leeds to come together and talk practically and theologically about action for racial justice in Leeds. Bishop Tony Parry will be speaking alongside local and national voices. Find out more here:
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