I wonder what History will make of the first six months of 2017? The tragic events of the three terrorist attacks in London and Manchester have shown us once again just how vulnerable we can be to the deliberate actions of others, while the devastating fire also shows that even non-deliberate actions may still have tragic consequences. And the election result has shown us that what appeared to be a certainty can so easily change to give us uncertainty. But despite these quite different events what is clear is that we must have hope as we move into the second half of the year.
Hope that peace will return not just to this country but to all parts of the world. Hope that, in the future, there will be a significant and meaningful look at people’s concerns. Hope that the uncertainty that prevails about the future of this country, and its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world will gradually become clear, and be acceptable and beneficial to everyone.
At Trinity, we too must have a hope and vision for the future just as our 5 émigré Scots had, now more than 122 years ago, when they made plans for the building of our church here in Freelands Road. Everyone can play their part, for in the words of Sydney Smith, the English wit, writer and Anglican cleric, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can”.
The summer is a great time for “recharging the batteries”, and even though the school holidays may not now be quite as significant for most of us, there is somehow still the feeling that it is the “end of the year” and a period of rest before everything starts again in September.
Having concluded the Scoping process it is now time to move on taking the advice once again of Sydney Smith. “Take short views, hope for the best and trust in God”. Or, in Paul’s words in his letter to the Romans, “May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”.
I hope that you all have a very happy summer.