Faith, hope and love
31 March 2017 IN: Bishop
The loss of a much loved and well cared for church to fire is a deep tragedy. That is what the people of the Ascension, Lower Broughton and their priest Canon David Wyatt had to face in the early hours of a Monday morning in mid February.
By the time I joined them in their temporary evacuation home at St Paul's, Salford, there had already been a tremendous response from the wider community. Pledges of support had arrived from both Jewish and Muslim groups as well as from other churches. Salford City Council through its elected mayor was particularly speedy and generous in its offer to lend a hand.
The future for the Ascension church and its congregation over these next few years will be markedly different from what they were anticipating only a few weeks ago. However, the real heart of the church, unlike the roof, cannot be burnt down.
Faith, hope and love are the three eternals of which St Paul writes. I have seen the faith of the people of Ascension in their deep trust in God. I have seen their love through their tremendous work among the most needy of their parish. May they now be strengthened in hope, that the one who brought Jesus from the dead in this coming season of Easter will bring them new life out of the ashes of their loss.