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From our Diocesan Secretary

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2021 08:40 PM

David Pain writes on the concept of 'ubuntu'.

One of the many pleasures of the ‘middle years’ for me is Radio 4 (!). Over the holiday period they have a ‘guest editor’ on the morning Today programme. Among these this year was Bishop Rose of Dover. She framed her choice of stories and her own commentary at the end of the programme around the core value of ‘ubuntu’, an African concept in essence, meaning ‘I am, because we are’. For me this has deep resonance from my 20s when I was a youth worker in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa as this was the core value of Archbishop Tutu and his colleagues, with whom I was working.

Around ‘ubuntu’ we can add rich theological language, we can add insightful political, social and economic ideas - but at the end of the day as Bishop Rose said, ubuntu simply invites us to approach these times and all of our relationships on the basis of our common humanity. No more and no less.

As the local church and others start the year afresh expressing our shared humanity and as a guiding star for 2021 we can ask: what does it mean to work in a way that respects our common humanity? As we seek to collaborate with others within and beyond the church in our various roles, I invite you to hold this invitation in all that we do.

I look forward to working with you as the year unfolds.

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