Peter's Blog

Who is our neighbour?

Written by Peter Johnston on .

This week has been a literal pain! I've been struggling with a shoulder impingement in my right shoulder which is sore and has made working on the computer very difficult. It also has rather thrown my plans to join the march taking place in London this weekend into some doubt. However, painful though it may be, having watched Theresa May last night on our television screens ramp up the division and try to pin all the blame for the current impasse on our elected MPs I decided this morning that I am going to go, come what may. I just can't watch from the sidelines. Our Prime Minister's rhetoric of being the only one on the side of the people struck me as deeply troubling.

So that is my plan for the weekend. Don't worry those of you at church on Sunday, you are in the very capable hands of Gwen Haggart, Lorna Glen and Yvonne Haig and looking at the next form of love: philia. A special guest will also be joining Ferryhill as Ron Flett of Workplace Chaplaincy will also be present.

As I have said in a previous blog post, things are developing so fast at the moment that you really need to be able to full-time blog in order to keep up which is impossible for me to do. However, I did find a very helpful post from a former Church of England Dean of Durham, Michael Sadgrove, which resonated deeply this morning and wanted to share with you. It resonated as I had responded a couple of weeks ago to an appeal by our own Moderator of the General Assembly that we open the doors of our churches around the end of next week's Brexit Day as places of healing and unity. While in agreement generally with that idea, what concerned me was  that as part of the process of reconcilation, we have to name the truth too, which was part of what I was saying in the current issue of Parish News.

Michael Sadgrove takes up similar themes and asks that same question about who we see ourselves as being today. Please read his whole post.

"Which brings me to the heart of what I want to say. It's St Cuthbert's Day. It's also the spring equinox. If ever a day should put a new spring (pun intended) in our step, it's today. So maybe I'm allowed to nurture a wish (or if you prefer, a prayer, a longing, a hope, a dream). It's this: that on a day when it's finally clear that Brexit has become a national, not to say European, emergency, the UK churches should put muscle into contributing positively to the debate about what kind of outcome we look for in this tortuous process, and what kind of a people we aspire to be."