We Are One

What unites us and what divides us?  Questions that have come to me from several directions over the past week.  Last Thursday’s elections started things off, followed by a visit to the North East, a couple of Radio programmes and a monthly Herefordshire community newsletter.

One of the radio discussions was about what makes the English distinctly English.  Not an easy one to answer.  We could say a shared language.  Though with variations and distinct accents.  A shared culture, perhaps, or the British Values that schools are required to teach.

While human beings and their needs stay the same, circumstances evolve.  In 1087, when the Commissioners gathering information for the Domesday Book visited the English county of Herefordshire, they had to use interpreters because the local people spoke Welsh.  

The Church of England too has its variations, shifts and changes.  For example, the Abbeydore Deanery is deeply rural, lying west of Hereford and running up to the Welsh border.  It has 33 parishes, each with a church in use, 6 clergy and a population of 12,000 people.  In contrast, the Stockport Deanery has 9 churches and is distinctly urban and post industrial.  But, in essence, both Deaneries are the same.

Both are a part of something bigger.  Something that unites.  Not just a Diocese and an Archdiocese and a worldwide church, but a community of love that believes, as Paul put it to the Galations: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are one in Christ Jesus.”

Chris Dawson

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