CHRISTIANS' rites of passage were made even more poignant when the Bishop of Winchester hosted a special service.

The Right Reverend Tim Dakin welcomed more than 150 people to St Peter's Church in Bournemouth on Sunday for a jubilant service of baptism, confirmation, with holy communion.

Also in attendance were the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, councillor Eddie and Janet Coope, as well as the team rector, and church wardens.

The Bishop's visit fell in line with a new plea from the Diocese, inviting all Christians to write and follow a Rule of Life in an effort to connect more closely with their faith.

To help individuals put their rules into practice, the Diocese has announced a series of workshops during Advent at Wolvesey and around the Diocese during Lent.

The Right Revd said: “The Rule of Life is about sharing God’s life in everything we do. Individually and together, we are committing to loving, living and serving people in every aspect of our way of life.”

A version of the Benedictine way has shaped Christianity in the Winchester Diocese since the seventh century. This heritage is the inspiration for the Diocesan Rule of Life, designed to be used by everyone wanting to grow in faith through Christian practices dating back hundreds of years and are grounded in the teachings of Christ himself.

The Winchester Rule of Life is founded upon three values of loving, living and serving. Every member of the community is asked to make their own response to this three-fold invitation to share God’s life, to be reviewed regularly with another disciple, and to be renewed annually.

The Bishop added: “I’ve been really encouraged by the response we’ve had to the Rule of Life as it’s a way of putting our relationship with God into practice, by sharing His life in every area of our own. It isn’t about ‘keeping the rules’, it is about discovering how we can grow as Christ’s disciples in the rhythms and relationships that make up our everyday lives.

“I have been praying about my own Rule of Life, and the commitments I have made will shape the way I approach my work and home life every day. I invite everyone to come along to one of the workshops to find out how their own rule of life could help them receive the Holy Spirit and revitalise their relationship with God.”