THE Bishop of Oxford is urging parents to slow down and spend more time with their children.

The Rt Rev John Pritchard, right, a father of two adult daughters and grandfather of four, wrote a prayer for Parents’ Week this week.

Bishop John, chairman of the Church of England’s Board of Education, said: “I will always regret not taking more time to enjoy looking at life through my children’s eyes.

“I was always busy as a young vicar, it was all important but some things are super important.

“Giving to your children is super important.

“The prayer is just a small drop from the sky, very simple.

“It might mean something to some and maybe they will reconsider what time we all can make for our little ones.”

He added: “It is just lovely seeing life through children’s eyes. I realise I didn’t spend enough time sitting, thinking and being with mine – but I don’t think I did a bad job as a parent.”

He said he doesn’t realistically think that parents can slow their lives down, but said: “Life is going faster and faster. What we do need to do though is put the brakes on occasionally.”

But not all parents agreed the idea was realistic.

Cowley dad-of-one Rich Heap, 29, said: “I am not religious, but it makes sense that you spend time with your children.

“It is all about balance, part of becoming a parent is being there to care for your children and bringing them up to be the best they can be.

“But equally, earning money is part of supporting the family as well.”

Littlemore dad-of-two David James said: “I do agree with that, but talking about it and actually doing it are two different things.

“It is difficult, but spending time with children should be done.”

Parents’ Week – which has a theme of ‘Make a moment’ – is being run by the Family and Parenting Institute and is supported by the Church of England.

'Archbishop role is not for me'

The BISHOP of Oxford has ruled out the chance of being named the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
A secretive Church of England committee is in the process of selecting a successor to Dr Rowan Williams.
The Rt Rev John Pritchard’s name has been mentioned in connection with the job by some religious commentators.
But yesterday he told the Oxford Mail: “I very much doubt it. I am not one of the names being considered.
“I won’t be around long enough for a 10-year term.
“There is all sorts of speculation.
“I don’t believe I have the qualities needed for this extremely demanding job, one I would be very glad to see someone else take on.”


The Prayer

Gracious God
Thank you for the privilege and pleasure of children,
Thank you for what they represent for both the present and the future
And what they give us as they explore life and make their discoveries.
Help us to slow down, to pause and make a moment,
Help us to share their world and enjoy their wonder.
Help us to walk at their speed, and find that it's your speed,
And so lead us together into life and joy,
In the company of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord