Vicar's letter

Dear Friends,

Unsurprisingly, in recent weeks a lot of people have been reminiscing about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which were taking place 10 years ago. Regardless of whether or not we were able to get to watch any of the events live, I am sure that we can agree that it felt like an extraordinary time. 

The motto of the games was ‘Inspire a Generation’ and I think this was achieved.  It was so interesting when watching the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics last year that a number of competitors were saying just this – that the London games had inspired them to take up sport or work harder. 

On the morning of the Opening Ceremony in 2012, the Guardian newspaper ran the headline: ‘Time to Find Out Who We Are.’  During that ceremony, we delved back into our extraordinary national history to present the world with the answer: the home of the industrial revolution; the NHS; the Beatles; the Mini (and Mr Bean); Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and of course, James Bond and the Queen to name but a few.  However, it does feel like we have been trying to answer this question ever since. 

Four years after these games, we were all going to the polls in the EU Referendum.  It seems hard to believe that as we wait to hear who will be announced as our new Prime Minister on September 5th, he or she will be the fourth since 2012.  As a result of the recent events in Westminster – we are asking huge questions about leadership and what it means to hold public office.  How we answer these, will be fundamental to ‘finding out who we are.’ 

Let us then hope and pray that another ten years from now, we will be much further on in being able to answer the question of who we are and that we have moved on from some of the acute divisions that seem to dominate our politics and have done for some time.  As we do so, maybe we should not forget our Christian roots in all this; for as much as the Church itself has struggled to put this into practice over the centuries, Jesus calls his disciples to ‘love one another.’  If we could hold onto this in our debates and differences, we may well find that we can ‘inspire a generation.’ 

With every blessing,