Message from Bishop Rachel

Published: Tuesday June 7, 2022

There have been many gatherings over these past few days – services and community events marking the historic anniversary of her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and many of you will have been organising, participating, encouraging and praying. I enjoyed being at a variety of events … and everything involved eating cake, although strangely enough no marmalade sandwiches!

It was poignant on Sunday, in the midst of all the feasting and community celebration, to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost and pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we continue to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth is in heaven,

I wrote about all this last week but what I did not mention is that Sunday was also  National Thank You Day (following on from the one many of us marked in July 2021).

In our Pentecost services our worship resounded with thanks, not least as we gave thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit; and ‘Thank you’ was repeatedly expressed throughout the Jubilee celebrations as individuals and crowds thanked the Queen for her years of service flowing from her faith in Christ.

However, today with Bishop Robert, I  want to say thank you to YOU. Thank you for shining Christ’s light in so many different ways across the landscape of your week. Thank you to those who lead in many different ways and in different contexts, when it’s joyous and when it’s tough. Thank you to those who live Christ’s love often in unsung ways and amid the ups and downs of daily life. Thank you to those who pray and encourage.

Thank you to you, however old you are – whether you remember the Coronation or if you are too young to remember the Diamond Jubilee. Thank you to those who don’t even think this message of thanks is for you, yet it is, because in our places of difference and our places of agreement we are members together of the Body of Christ across this Diocese.

We will soon be reminded of that in the opening words of the ordination services in our Cathedral (June 18 and 19): ‘The Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God and the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. In baptism the whole Church is summoned to witness to God’s love and to work for the coming of God’s kingdom.’

Thank you to her Majesty the Queen for her part in this, and thank you to you for yours.

In these days after Pentecost as we give thanks for the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, may we be those whose hearts are thankful:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’   (Philippians 4:4-7 read on Friday at the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign).

This comes with thanks this day

2 thoughts on “Message from Bishop Rachel

  1. I was so encouraged to read Bishop Rachel’s message today: yes, without the Holy Spirit that Jesus left us, we would be dead. The Spirit brings life .. in all its abundance ,whether we feel it all the time or not.
    I live in the Gloucestershire area but work as an LLM just over the border and so good to have this clapping us on to win the race that has been set before us. i am now 79, doing a masters in Contemporary Missiology (Bible and Mission), involved in bible teaching*, prayer, Sp. Direction* and learning such a lot from Jesus daily. Not sure if older age is an advantage: maybe it is. After 3 x years, my final thesis which I intend to complete before I am 80 is along the lines of ‘How can i know God in Older Age…’ and probably ‘A comparison of mature believers who come into the Muslim or Christian category.
    thank you for reading this far.


    1. Thank you for your comment. How interesting what you are doing. I am 58 and contemplating beginning some kind of formal training to galvanise my practice and understanding of faith…so it’s good to hear from someone who has gone before me and is still learning and giving

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