Once again, I am coming to the end of my time working in Littleport. What a wonderful place it is. I have enjoyed working with my Christian colleagues as well as meeting new people through baptism and funerals. All with different experiences of life and yet have shown me so much of what life is about and how they cope.
We have been shocked recently by the evil killing of people of faith in the most unexpected places. The attack upon the Mosque in Christ Church, New Zealand, the massacre of the Christians and the burning down of churches in Nigeria and the killing of Christian tourists in Sri Lanka. All these events have caused us to become aware again of the evil that lives within people. Our thoughts and prayers have already gone out to those who have lost loved ones in such a shocking way. It also tells us in today’s world what it means to be a person of faith.
The other shocking event was the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. For the people of France, it was a shocking event which hit at the very heart of French culture remembering that France is a secular country. Already complaints have surfaced at the amount of money that is going to be spent on the repairs. The money should be given to the poor.
These laudable sentiments have a hint of hypocrisy as the billion pounds raised by well-meaning people would not have been done had there not been a fire.
Just to put it into perspective, the World Health Organisation have spent fifteen billion pounds in aid this year alone, plus, of course, what all the other aid agencies spend of your generous giving.
As is necessary when writing in advance for your community magazine summer issue, spring was truly under way as I address you. And there was a temptation to become sentimental about the wonderful new life that is springing up. As Easter was later this year, we were able to take advantage of the idea of new life. The church talks of resurrection as new life – God’s life being evident in the world. So belatedly may I wish you joy post Easter, a blessed summer, and a continuing experience of hope and new life.