A message from Bishop John as we begin 2022:
We enter 2022 having endured nearly two years of the pandemic and, low and behold, it's getting worse rather than better. It’s all pretty dispiriting.
The life and witness of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died this week, give me inspiration and encouragement in these difficult times. A man of deep faith and the utmost integrity, he lived through worse in Apartheid South Africa and was a prime mover in bringing this to an end.
That Apartheid should ever have been overthrown must have seemed an utter impossibility whilst his friend and contemporary Nelson Mandela was enduring decades in prison and the brutality of the authorities worsened.
But he did not give up; he did not fear speaking out for truth, nor cease working for justice. He kept faith and hope alive in those dark times and continued to give huge inspiration in his own country and beyond.
His part in insisting on mercy rather than bloodshed after apartheid was crucial. One of his many famous sayings was that ‘enemies are friends waiting to be made’; a saying he lived out
This man was a beacon of light in dark times. I think that his example can be an inspiration to us all in these difficult days. May we have faith and hope, as he did, that better things will come. And may we have strength and courage to work without ceasing to hasten them.
Happy New Year!