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by ben last modified 16 Jun, 2017 09:47 AM

By the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

Faith in an Age of Uncertainty is the theme of the clergy conference from 3-6 July. The title was chosen long ago but it certainly fits the moment. Recent acts of terrorism in Manchester and London; the Grenfell Tower fire; the USA reneging on the international agreement made in Paris in response to climate change; as well as all the political uncertainties after the election to do with Brexit, a faltering economy, commitment to austerity, and an unwillingness to fund public sector services; do indeed make for very uncertain and difficult times.

Politicians and journalists tell us we don’t like uncertainty. That was why the Prime Minister wanted to give us strong and stable leadership. For ourselves, we try to make smart choices to manage the uncertainties of life as best we can. We try to live healthy lives, get a good education and smooth out the ups and downs through financial planning for ourselves and families as well as for our communities, but there is always uncertainty.

Religious faith helps us navigate the changes and chances of this life, to be creative, good and loving amidst whatever the difficulties. Just think about the way people responded to the terrorism in Manchester and London, or the fire in Kensington. We are made for goodness and goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate. In the end, the way of truth and love wins every time.

Christianity has always been one generation from extinction but that is a good reason for us to be confident. It is an enduring faith. Indeed, perhaps having to work hard for what matters is what draws out the best from us.

What Jesus teaches is that if we only seek to look after ourselves we will be sunk. Of this I am certain: walk the way of the Cross, love one another, give generously, be thankful, seek the way of truth and peace and we will have life in all its fullness.

This thought appears in our latest Grapevine. Read it here; main page here 

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