Preparing for the 'Hooray Day' and what does God send?
A rainbow, arcing right over Mc Rory's Bar!
This is the view form my kitchen ....
a real sign of hope over the urban landscape
There is very little to be said about Good Friday. I had been in the Cathedral every evening giving a reflection on Holy Week. By Friday I had run out of words and simply went to sit in the Urban Garden and read my book. It was freezing cold and under the seat where I was sitting was a pile of cigarette filters. Sadness is the only thing to feel on such a day.
Four hours of driving after a long week's work, might have seemed a bridge or six too far .... but we had a good time with the Methodist Women of Britain East Anglia Division! We worked as a team of three and introduced some aspects of our interfaith work, encouraged them to have some 'Tiny Achievable Tick-able Targets' and endeavoured to inspire and challenge. We met some phenomenol women and did quite a lot of weaving too!
But it was good to sit down
before the four hours home!
The 20 successful candidates in the category 'Communities that Work' gathered at Church House to hear more of the Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship. Hard to believe that we were in the very room that Churchill had used as an office when there had been a fire in the House of Commons. We heard stories from previous Fellows and also met partners with the Rank organisation who are going to help us get our ideas up and running. It is a strange and wonderful thing to be anticipating a trip to Indonesia and Nepal during my Sabbatical later this year. Thank you Winston!
Back in the UK and there is a celebration afoot! The awards have been made to Bradford Women making a difference! Great to have been working with the Lord Mayor in this, she is a really positive role model not only for the city but also for the country, being the first Asian woman Lord Mayor in Britain! There were some very proud winners - and rightly so as they have shown great courage in bringing about change for the city
The Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi has a brave staff who work on issues of justice and peace in some of the most troubled parts of Pakistan. Encouraging people who have suffered or perpetrated arson or bomb attacks to engage with each other as human beings and to talk openly about their issues and fears is a courageous piece of work. There is much for us to learn from this partnership and to help shape our own work at Touchstone
This man could remember the first missionaries that came to Pakistan,when he was just a little boy. But of course, Christianity was here a very long time ago with St Thomas - his cross being the symbol of the Church of Pakistan to this day - here it is under the communion table of a church that had suffered a fire bomb attack.
The exciting new partnership with the Church of Pakistan has opened up all sorts of new possibilities for Touchstone and the West Yorkshire District. Leading a seminar for the pastors of the Multan Diocese brought us to a lot of new insights and the delights of the hospitality of Bishop Leo in the Bishop's compound
These pictures are a bit blurry because we are moving around, sharing a wafer in the Polish tradition. I was preaching at two very different services on Sunday - a morning eucharist at the cathedral and the afternoon at Little Lane. I have been thinking a lot about unity and wondering whether rather than churches joining together, we need to be thinking more about 'Christian integrity' How to hold it all together when the world around us is so challenging and diverse?