Life belongs to the living, and he/she who lives must be prepared for changes.'
So wrote Goethe of his times, which are equally applicable to ours. Yes, church offers much stability in times of rapid change. Tradition is pivotal to community too. GK Chesterton said 'tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.' Two interpretations of how we balance tradition and change. Respecting the past, but facing the inevitability of change. These changes are all too obvious in our present political uncertainties, but also in our church, both worldwide and at a local level.
Education is another area of great change. With looming Academies, or MultiAcademy Trusts, we do face quite uncertain and very challenging times, both nationally and locally. Other factors impact too. Falling numbers of churchgoers impact on our churches and schools. Our recent Governing Body meeting of St. Thomas More and St. Joseph's certainly brought this home to me, and on how we need to be prepared. We have excellent Governors at all our schools - St. Leonard's, St. Godric's and St. Joseph's/St. Thomas More. We also have a change of leadership at St. Leonard's in September. Our prayers and best wishes to Chris Hammill.
This mind-set equally applies to Partnerships. Above all, and this is very important for all of us, both laity and clergy, especially in leadership and supporting roles - it is that ability to bring people with us with due respect, kindness and courtesy. It is not succumbing to negativity, which can be so much easier and soul destroying than being supportive and positive.
A final word from a politician 'Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.' Lyndon B Johnson.