Message from Bishop Robert

Published: Tuesday May 4, 2021

Bishop Robert Springett, Bishop of TewkesburyNext week, many of the communities of our Diocese will be taking part in fundraising for Christian Aid. This year’s campaign which runs alongside the vaccine thankfulness appeal and the work, in which Christian Aid is a partner, of the Disasters Emergency Committee to support those tackling the covid crisis in India, focusses on the need to tackle the climate crisis. For many, such a multiplicity of need is, quite overwhelming. So many different demands on our thoughts, our prayers, and our giving that we don’t quite know how to begin, where best to engage. Some might even suggest we simply can’t do all of these things so surely we must prioritise, the immediate over the long term, arguing we just can’t do it all.

Yet what Christian Aid are helpfully reminding us in this years campaign, set  in the midst of the current world pandemic, is that these things, covid, the climate, poverty, justice are not separate but connected. We cannot tackle them in isolation or ignore one for the other. They are connected and we are connected because, as the pandemic has starkly thrown into relief, we inhabit the same world. The virus, we have discovered to our cost is no respecter of borders, rising sea levels do not stop at international boundaries. Our neighbours have come a lot closer in these last years and months.

Jesus reminds us that we are called to be his friends, and as his friends we are to love one another as we have been loved by God. In this way we have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit, fruit that will last. Jesus, both meets us where are, addressing immediate need, be that breakfast or physical healing, and calls us to look forward to the Kingdom and shape the future that we will inhabit together.

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed if we think it is just down to me. But it’s not just me and it’s not just you. We are friends together and we will inhabit the future together as fellow citizens. That needs each of us to play our part, and in doing that to encourage others to play theirs. Thus acting together, we will make reality that for which we pray each time we use the words Jesus’ taught us, sharing our daily bread and working for the coming of the Kingdom.

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