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Nothing new under the sun

by Michael Ford last modified 26 Jun, 2019 12:08 PM

In the opening Worship at Diocesan Synod, members heard how we were in many ways mirroring the past.

The Archdeacon of Dorset, the Ven Antony MacRow-Wood had titled his talk '1549 – Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat its mistakes.'

Read the full text here

He began:

"It had started in the West Country, the spark that lit the stubble was the introduction of the new Prayer Book in all churches on the 9th of June 1549, that’s 470 years ago almost to the day.

"The Protestants, who wanted the freedom to work out their own salvation rather than be dictated to by Europe, had triumphed with a form of hard Brexit which lasted for 4 years, their triumph was accompanied by the vicious suppression of dissent."

What was missed, he said in analysing these troubles through the religious lens, was what had happened to the common people in the 20 years prior to the rebellion.

"The dissolution of the monasteries had robbed people of health care and social welfare provision.

"By 1549 the common people were desperate and the tensions erupted in what became the prelude to a decade of bloodshed over our relationship with Europe."

Referring to to the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, he commented that "there is nothing new under the sun," adding:

"The moral of the story was deftly spelt out by the French economist Thomas Pikkety in his 2014 book ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ when he showed that countries that allow too great an inequality to develop between rich and poor are destined to suffer from deep and enduring social and political instability.

"Interestingly, two years before Brexit and Trump, he singled out Britain and the USA as the countries most vulnerable to such instability."

He said:

"It’s a warning and emphasises the perilous nature of choices we face, future generations may have to live for decades with the consequences of any mistakes made in the coming months."

But, he said as religion is no longer the lens through which the problem is viewed, people of faith can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

"It behoves us all to pray for our nation, pray for wisdom in the choice of our next Prime Minister, and pray for those who feel ‘left behind and done to’ for until we address their concerns, there is little prospect of this country feeling at ease with itself, regardless of whether we leave or remain within the European Union."

Anthony’s full 'Thought for the Day for Synod' can be found here.

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