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Bill’s Letter for Summer 2017

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our Summer Gala such a success, and thank you to all who came to support us. It is really encouraging to see the community coming together and to catch up with friends and neighbours .

People keep telling me how time goes quicker as one gets older. This year seems to be disappearing at an astonishing pace. It is already a year since the country voted to leave Europe, but the future is even less clear than it was then. We have had another election that has confounded the pollsters. There have been a number of disturbing terror attacks in our country as well as a tragic fire. The follow up investigations to the fire at Grenfell are showing that many more buildings have unsafe cladding. In fact to date, not one tower block tested has had cladding that meets the required government standard. If we look around the world we see even more difficult and disturbing events.

Sometimes the bible is criticised for all the stories of suffering. Actually it only seems to reflect the world as it is, a place where many people find life difficult.

How can faith help us? First of all it is to note that there has never been the promise of an easy life. In fact Jesus talks about the opposite, taking up our cross to follow him. But he is with us to help and guide. As I wrote last month after the Manchester bomb; As is often the case some hope comes out of the senseless violence. People of all faiths and none came out to stand together, to support each other and say that ‘love wins’.  The only effective solution to hatred is love. After the fire at Grenfell fire our bishop Nick wrote “it comes after a weekend of remarkable events that demonstrate the unity of diverse communities. Not only the deeply compassionate response of ordinary people to the plight of those caught up in the Grenfell Tower fire, but also the Great Get Together. Thousands of people have got together in local communities not just to remember and honour Jo Cox, the MP killed a year ago here in West Yorkshire, but to demonstrate that difference does not necessarily mean division.” Let us work to build our relationships grow together in love and respect our differences.

Rev Bill Henderson

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