Find here reflections written by bishops, members of clergy and laity from across our diocese. Many of these reflections are produced for Leeds Diocesan News, which is released the first Friday of every month.
As we continue our Lenten journey with Jesus in the way of the cross, Muslim friends, colleagues and neighbours are beginning their fast this month. Each year, the lunar month of Ramadan starts ten or eleven days earlier, and the overlapping of our annual periods of spiritual discipline offers opportunities to share with and pray for each other.
There are two festivals I celebrate every spring. One is of course Easter, which we celebrate this month. The other is Chinese New Year, which we celebrated last month, and which in China is called Spring Festival.
A little boy in a grocery store was standing near an open box of peanut butter cookies. “Now then, young man,” said the grocer as he approached the young man. “What are you up to?” “Nothing,” replied the boy: “Nothing.” “Well, it looks to me like you were trying to take a cookie.” “You’re wrong, mister, I’m trying not to!”
2024 marks a very special year in my life. On January 11th I had my birthday and I find it hard to believe I am now 75 - or as my daughter tells me 27,394 days old.
One evening in December, having got through security, I sat alongside teenagers and volunteers in the Faith Space at Wetherby Young Offenders Institution delighted to be at their carol service. The invitation had come from its chaplaincy team and was one of the carol services I attended at the invitation of different chaplaincies working across the Ripon Area.
It’s one of the paradoxes of modern life that the more ‘connected’ we are, through social media, video calls and other technologies, the more ‘disconnected’ we also feel from one another. This can be particularly true in the month of January, as the hubbub and connections of the Christmas season fade, the long cold nights are still with us and the weather drives us indoors.
You can imagine my surprise when I saw on a billboard the following headline: ‘Satan’s Coming to Town’. I always thought he had more important bad things to do. Of course, I had mis-read it. It actually said that the story was about ‘Santa’. Far less exciting, but probably more appropriate to the season of Christmas. But, it did make me think also about why my mind replaced Santa with Satan. Just an anagram? Or something deeper and darker?
The Advent season is one of waiting. How do you wait? Be honest - do you ever wait in the hope of escaping our reality, or in despair watching the world around us in conflict?
On a glorious October day, I was privileged to accompany Archbishop Stephen on a walk from South Ossett to Dewsbury Minster for the launch of Faith in the North; an initiative to celebrate the faith stories of the province.
I think I’m pretty good at getting other people to do things, or maybe I’m just so useless that other people give up and end up doing the jobs themselves, usually much better than me. I suppose the positive spin to put on it, is to say that I’m a facilitator, even a facilitator of rural mission and evangelism.