The Nene Crossings Benefice

Fr. John writes..............

Dear All,

It looks like March is going to be a momentous month in the history of our country, by its end we will have left the European Union (or maybe not depending upon circumstances) either with an agreement (or maybe not, depending upon circumstances). We will have time to plan and organise this (or maybe not depending upon circumstances). It really is all that clear isn’t it? Shall we shan’t we; push me, pull me; best laid plans (or not!) of mice and men comes to mind.

This is not the place to argue the rights or wrongs of either case or who had or has the majority of votes at any given time. Shakespeare’s phase about ‘a plague on both your houses’ is something that often springs to mind when watching the news. The only thing that is abundantly clear from this whole exercise, seems to me at least, is to be about how divided our country has become. No matter who is in the majority, there is only a fraction less folk who are in the minority. Plus, if you are a Remainer, the chances are all your friends are Remainers, if you are a Leaver all your friends are likely to be too, and we have stopped listening to what the other side has to say (Admittedly both sides have in their turn said stuff that is best forgotten). But so often anything that points out something we disagree with is not treated as an opportunity to review (and either confirm or amend our thoughts) but as an opportunity to throw some of the foulest and ignorant of comments. To be affronted that somebody could think different to us, and by definition they become sub-human.

It is partly because of this background that we have challenged ourselves this Lent to look at the concept of Reconciliation :-

  • How can we find ways of working with and finding common ground with those we fundamentally disagree with?

  • How much do we have to change and how much do others have to change?

  • How can we be released from this burden of difference to find a common goal.?

We know it can happen, South Africa and Northern Ireland are both places that reveal it is possible, no matter how slowly and fragile the process has been, peace and reconciliation does heal those deep divisions, and enable all sides to find a new hope. One side has not won, both sides have triumphed.

So through our worship, our study and our actions I invite us all to join in a journey of Reconciliation, to find a way of fixing both our broken selves, and our broken world this Lent.

With love and prayers

Fr. John