I write this as the view from my window is looking very autumnal. The leaves are turning and the nights are drawing in, the warmth of summer is slowly ebbing away. This time of year marks a change in the churches year as we move away from Easter and Pentecost and begin to prepare for Advent.
I hope that as you read this you will have had a good summer. For the last few months I have spent a lot of time indoors! However, I'm delighted that as lockdown restrictions have eased a bit I shall be hitting the road around the Diocese
Hereford Cathedral has seen great upheavals during its 1300 year history. In 1055, when the Welsh invaded Hereford, the cathedral was sacked and burned and the cathedral clergy killed. Later, in 1349, Hereford City was gravely hit by the Black Death and here and across the diocese, over one quarter of all clergy died of the plague.
It is said we are shaped by our culture. If that is true, then one of the strongest leadership motifs is that of the hero leader. In film we have James Bond, Indiana Jones and Princess Leia; in television we have Doctor Who, Buffy and Danger Mouse: we are surrounded by heroes. (I'm a big action film and sci-fi fan)
I've lost count of the number of times politicians have told bishops to keep their noses out of politics. We are meant to be concerned about spiritual matters, but we should leave the business of government and politics to trained professionals. I'm not sure what they would have said to Jesus.
A few years ago a major credit card coined the slogan,Taking the waiting out of wanting. Since then the ready availability of credit has fostered a society that is more and more impatient.We are all very busy (or certainly were before Coronavirus struck) and the lure of shortcuts in every area of life is very strong.
I am writing this just after the Archbishop of Canterbury has told us about the suspension of public worship and other measures to limit the possible spread of Covid-19
Spring officially begins this month and with it a new season. The traditional pattern of spring cleaning derived from the understanding that with winter past and the promise of better weather now was a good moment to refresh and make new.
This year Lent begins in the last week of February and I have been reflecting recently on the various traditions and activities that surround this season of the churches year.