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The Rector Writes

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The Rector writes...............

 

We Reap What We Have Sown
 
There have been far too many mornings of late when I have woken up to horrendous news of death and tragedy, in our city and in our nation, from the Manchester Arena and Borough Market to North Kensington and Finsbury Park.  It seems as if we are hardly coming to terms with one incident when another occurs.  Many of us have wept for those who died so horrifically.  We have marvelled at the breathtaking-courage of the emergency services and been overwhelmed by the loving and gracious response of the local communities, in each case.  Lots of people are asking questions, particularly regarding the fire at Grenfell Tower.  It seems that residents have had safety concerns for a considerable time and have been frustrated with the lack of response from those who manage their now burnt-out building.  There has been much speculation about the cause and rapid spread of the fire and we hope that the promised public-inquiry will give the residents, the injured, the bereaved and the construction industry the answers they need to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated.
 
The Book of Proverbs tells us that, ‘Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity’.  Whilst we are living in times of uncertainty in these pre-Brexit, post-election days, there are some truths that are universal and unchanging.  For example, if we build a narrative of hatred and division, through parts of the media and out of the mouths of some politicians and public figures over many years, we should not be surprised when some choose to interpret these messages as some kind of ‘permission’ to verbally or physically attack those who are vulnerable or different.  If we continue to demonise the working-poor and disabled, through successive governments, we should not be surprised to discover that the adequate maintenance of their social-housing is not a priority and people are forced to live in homes that are potentially unsafe.
 
There is a different way where we can sow seeds of a different kind and, as we saw with the response for the Grenfell community, from people of all faiths and none, we can build a society with a human face, built on human dignity, love and hope.  The Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin, at a service of prayer and lament for Grenfell, offered the following reflection:  ‘Prayer reminds us that there is a God who weeps with those who weep […] We believe in a God of Resurrection, the God of hope.  And today, this is what we need.  Hope that does not eliminate our shock, our compassion, our pride, but transcends it and makes future possible.  Now, as we face the future, we need faith and hope that will make our love for each other grow stronger.  To rebuild not just a tower block, but hearts and minds to a city that truly cares for everyone.’