Grant Us Peace

Many churches remember the fallen in war at this time of year. I’m listening to the haunting and moving War Requiem composed by Benjamin Britten, first performed in Coventry Cathedral in 1962. Britten asks whether we can achieve a proper and long-lasting piece. Dona nobis pacem.

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The Legacy of Luther

There is no way we can change the historical facts in the muddle and melee of 16th-century religious politics. But 500 years on there is more convergence than divergence among Christian denominations. Yesterday I witnessed the Anglican Communion’s affirmation of ‘The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification’ signed by the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches in 1999. Let’s keep going!

Julian’s Hazelnut

I’m staying at the Julian Centre in Norwich. I sat in the garden next to St Julian’s Church, where in the 14th century Julian of Norwich wrote her The Revelations of Divine Love. She used the metaphor of the hazelnut as an image of God’s creative love. So I pondered a while with a hazelnut in my hand.

Patience

In the second of our nine-part series on some gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit we looked at patience. We discussed the patience of Job and the impatience of Jonah. Are you patient or impatient? With people or things? St Francis de Sales once said ‘have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself’.

Winds of Change

The Mistral blows in, whistling through the olive trees, reminding us of the ascendency of nature. Armand, our French friend, explained to us how locals have enjoyed five months of unlimited sunshine in Marseille, and are now cooling off in the seasonal Mediterranean wind. We have enjoyed a bit of this, but are also aware that Hurricane Irma is now battering the Caribbean islands. One British broadsheet has the headline, ‘God protect us all’. We pray for the islanders.

Cysegru y Tra Parchedig June Osborne

It was a lovely consecration service with some well chosen (and well read) readings. We were reminded in 2 Corinthians that we are brittle clay jars, but we all have godly treasures hidden inside us to share. Bishop June, seasoned in Anglican ministry, brings her own treasure chest.  The preacher mused that she has moved from the best job in the Church of England as Dean of Salisbury to the best job in the Church in Wales as Bishop of Llandaff. 

Footfall

I went to St Philip’s Cathedral Birmingham (see picture) to attend a Cathedral networking event. I was told that 20,000 people pass by its doors everyday. By contrast the Dean of St Woolos in Newport and I were standing outside the north wall of our own cathedral, and we counted 11 people walk past over 5 minutes, during the height of the morning commute. If only Welsh cathedrals were in the city centres! 


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