Vicar's letter

Clergy letter

Dear Friends,

It is almost impossible nowadays to escape our society’s near obsession with celebrity.  So much of the television that is made is done with the aim of making the participants celebrities or indeed raising the profile of those who already have some form of celebrity status.  Think of programmes such as Britain’s Got Talent, The X-Factor and I Am a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!  These are popular programmes for a reason: for the public they are entertaining, for the participants they come with the temptation of stardom. 

‘Celebrity’ then has become a sought-after status because it brings with it fame and fortune.  Those who have this label are looked up to by many of our younger people; what they say, their lifestyles, what they wear, all influence a great many people.  Celebrities then – like it or not – are fast becoming role models.

Yet as this year passes into Autumn, we move into a time of the Church’s year when we begin to look at ‘role models’ of a different kind – the Saints of our Church.  Many in the Church of England can shy away from commemorating the Saints as often this is associated with the Catholic tradition.  Yet a quick look at the Church of England’s lectionary will show you that we too commemorate and celebrate the Saints of the Church and are encouraged to do so. 

As those who are living now as the Church on earth, navigating the path of faith in a world which feels increasingly unstable, looking to the lives of the Saints – those men and women who have made this journey before us – can provide us with hope, comfort and inspiration.  In the lives of the Saints we find people who have carried the light of Christ in times of persecution, personal difficulties and uncertainty to the point of death.  These people were not striving for fame or fortune, they were simply living out their faith.  In doing so their lives and faith pointed others towards the love of God; this then is why they are well known, this is why they are and continue to be role models of faith to all of us.

As All Saints Day approaches on 1st November, maybe we could all take the opportunity to think again about the importance of the Saints – those men and women, known and unknown, whose faith has opened the eyes of others to God.  These people are the role models of our faith because they continue to inspire us to walk in the footsteps of Christ in faith and love, in the hope that our lives will call others to make that journey with us. 

With every blessing,