Looking beyond Manchester
24 August 2019 IN: Bishop
Only once in my childhood did we have a holiday overseas. Even then we strayed no further than a modest drive from the ferry terminal in northern France. My parents can’t have thought it a great success, as from the next year on we were back to English coastal resorts, usually Blackpool. By contrast, many of us this month will be recently returned from foreign trips. We will have holidayed in places where the cultural and language differences may have been as important a factor in attracting us as the greater reliability of their summer weather.
When we adopted Church for a Different World to define our diocesan purpose, the final word was as important as any of the others. We are called not simply to make Manchester different, but to strive to impact for good on the whole of God’s earthly creation. Our work around climate change, justice for prisoners of conscience, relief for those persecuted for their faith, challenging the proliferation of weapons, and support for asylum seekers and refugees, all represent ways in which the world dimension of our calling comes into play.
As we settle back into the rhythm of autumn, and holidays seem long ago as well as far away, my ask is that each of us, and each of our churches, spends time reflecting on what force for good we can be far beyond the boundaries of Manchester Diocese.