March 2024

Now the green blade riseth

A century ago, the great journalist and Catholic provocateur G.K.Chesterton wrote a wonderful essay entitled ‘The Priest of Spring’ in which he considered the integration of the Christian seasons with the natural year – and referred to the “armies of the intellect who will fight to the end on whether Easter is to be congratulated on fitting in with the spring or the spring on fitting in with Easter”.

It’s a familiar theme, often replayed in the media at this time of year – if (to my mind) a fairly pointless one. For the authenticity of the Christian celebration of Easter does not pivot on its historical priority to pagan or other celebrations of the natural year, but rather on its - far bolder - claim to fulfil them.

The Biblical account of resurrection is not that Easter merely recapitulates a universal theme, but that it marks an entirely new creative act, pointing to nature’s ultimate liberation from the cycle of growth and decay. We can believe it or not, but the New Testament appears to claim nothing less, St Paul concluding that: ‘if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation”.

The eggs and lambs and green blades that now rise to greet the spring are no less joyous in that light, but – I suggest – even more so, and I pray you will share in their praise.

+Andrew Ramsbury

 


February 2024

It won’t have escaped many of us that this year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. This may feel like an uncomfortable union.

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November 2023

Praying for the People God Knows We Need. This autumn it has been a joy to institute and licence a record number of clergy to new posts and as well as being the beginning of new ministry for individuals, communities and parishes, these services represent the culmination of months of careful work.

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December 2023

In my former parish, there were various experiments we made to make the most of the unique atmosphere of preparation and excitement accompanying Advent.

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October 2023

October is one of those months when the leaves begin to change and fall, and somewhat comical excuses come into conversations about why things don’t work. Leaves on the line may well be a technical problem for the railways, but we all know it also means, somewhat ironically, why is it somethings just don’t work as they should. 

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September 2023

Harvest, in the agricultural sense, is well past. All is safely (or soggily) gathered in and the appealing blocks of barley and hay baling our landscape into a pop-up sculpture park have all but disappeared. The Church’s Harvest celebrations

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July 2023

I write this at the end of no mow May, and during a week when we are remembering to care for God’s acre, so I am thinking about all those who serve in many ways tending our churchyards and enabling them to be places where God’s creation and God’s presence can be experienced. Thank you.


June 2023

One year ago, I became your bishop with that great service in the cathedral. It has been the fastest year in many ways, with changes coming at us all with a post-pandemic pace that has somewhat stunned us all.


May 2023

How does one crown a king? After much rehearsal and with a steady hand, I suspect – and bated breath around the globe in that solemn moment...


April 2023

I wonder whether we can remember how we were feeling 3 years ago as we approached Easter?  Lockdown feels a long time ago, however I was reminded through an article read recently that we have all experienced a major trauma in our lives which we have somehow lived through.


March 2023

On Saturday 25 March, there are only 274 shopping days left until Christmas! This timely reminder comes not to send you to the shops, but to remember that there are nine months until Christmas comes round again.

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