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The importance of a long-term view

Published: 9th June 2023

The dean of Worcester preachingAn article from the Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson for July editions of parish magazines:

Up and down the country there are great houses set in beautiful parkland, some of them designed by Capability Brown and others of his time. Here and there you will see avenues of oaks, planted by people who knew they would never live to see them grow to their full stature.

Our cathedrals and great churches are the same: begun by people who knew they would never live to see them finished. Saint Wulfstan began the beginning of the present cathedral at Worcester in 1084, and the final dedication took place 134 years later, on 7 June 1218. Theirs was a patient age, content to think that the future, because it was in God’s hands, was quite out of their own reach.

We live in a less patient, less faithful, less hopeful age. Short-termism is the bane of so much political and economic activity. There is always an eye on the next election or the next renewal of contract. This does not help society address the longer-term issues that face us all.

One of the tasks of the Church (which is a very long-term project indeed) is to remind society of the need to believe in the future, to believe that it is worth our while building a better world, not for ourselves, but for those who come after us.

Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester

Page last updated: Friday 9th June 2023 11:11 AM

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