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Letter from the Rector – July/August 2015

A fortnight ago, picking up one child from the end of a university first year in Cardiff, there was hail in the rain as we loaded the car, yesterday, second child picked up from Cardiff, bright summer sunshine… how variable, although rarely extreme is the British climate! It could also have just as easily been the other way around. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live at the Equator where there is no seasonality and the weather is much the same one day to another, I’m not sure I would like it, variety and uncertainty provide an ever-changing background to our lives as a consequence of living really quite a long way more north than most of the world’s population, yet at the same time having our weather much (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – July/August 2015

“God gives you better instructions than a sat nav.”

So read a church notice board I saw not long ago. It caught my eye and I reckon it was a lot better than some. (I can get quite worked up about out of date, boring notice boards, but that’s another story.) (more…)

Letter from the Rector – June 2015

As I write, the land of Iraq is being torn apart by war. In one sense this is not surprising, it has a short history as a nation state, one of several cobbled together by Britain and France out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. It was a land of many ethnic groups, languages and religions. Its Jewish community, perhaps three thousand years old, has been almost completely gone since the foundation of the modern state of Israel; and now disintegration between Kurds, Shia, Sunni is following, with the ancient Christian communities following their Jewish ‘elder brothers in the Faith’ into exile. There is much suffering and little hope. (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – June 2015

Following the General Election, we again have a single party with a small overall majority. The new landscape with Scotland almost entirely SNP and England Conservative brings with it a new landscape in respect of future devolution, the distribution of power and how government operate. We may be tired of the endless political chatter. Nevertheless now is a moment to reflect on power and indeed how so often we both take it for granted in so many places and then contrarily in other places focus endlessly upon it. (more…)

Letter from the Rector – May 2015

At the heart of the month of May this year lies the Christian feast of the Ascension.  Now this really is the Cinderella of festivals. There is a kind of stepladder of secular recognition of the Church’s year. Christmas is of coursed balanced on the top rung with massive commercial activity and huge sentimentality and a genuine attempt to gather together with those we love at midwinter; Easter is still hanging in there, and by the way it was lovely to see so many people in our churches this year, our numbers were well up; Pentecost/Whitsunday is noticed if only by people rolling cheeses down hillsides in the Cotswolds or towns staging huge football matches that resemble riots – but Ascension, on a Thursday in late spring, who notices? Well, (more…)

Letter from the Dean of Hereford – May 2015

When the General Election takes place on 7th May, I and 30 members of the congregation from the cathedral will be on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, and so we’ll have registered for a postal vote. You may think that there’s a sense of ‘getting away’ from the hurlyburly of politics in this clash of dates but the more I think about it, the more I reckon what we’ll be doing in Walsingham says rather important things about May’s vital decisions. (more…)

Letter from the Rector – April 2015

“Today is the day of salvation for the world.…Christ is risen from the dead: arise with him. Christ returns to himself, you must also return to him. Christ has come forth from the tomb – free yourselves from the fetters of evil. The gates of Hell are opened and the power of death is destroyed. The old Adam is superseded, the new perfected. In Christ a new creation is coming to birth – renew yourselves.” (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – April 2015

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is compelling – the empty tomb, the appearance of Jesus to his disciples and others, the transformation against all the odds of the bewildered, downcast and utterly defeated group of disciples to those who were to go out and share Christian good news across the world. (more…)

Letter from the Rector – March 2015

The month of March is this year, as usual, entirely contained by Lent. Perhaps this is fitting. March is a bridging month, frequently cold, sometimes indeed bringing late coverings of snow to the fields, yet still, the skies may yet be cold, but they are growing light for longer with a quickening pace; and when snow lies, through it snowdrops and daffodils are rising with the brave defiance of early Spring. The ploughed land, dark still, is touched with green life. (more…)

Letter from the Bishop – March 2015

Following the Fixed-Term Parliamentary Act 2011 the date of the next general election has been set as Thursday 7th May 2015. Why write about this in a March letter?

This month sees the formal end of the parliamentary session. Perhaps more than ever we need to be attentive to how our nation will be governed in the future. We have come to the end of a hung parliament and indeed are only just emerging from one of the toughest economic periods of austerity in living memory. Issues abound from reducing the national debt to how much we should expect from tax revenues and indeed where public money and priorities should reside. Now is the time to think about hosting events in our parishes and deaneries and indeed asking those standing for election how they will seek to serve the common good. (more…)

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