Letter from the Bishop of Grantham:
Bishop's Letter in Word (.doc) format, download here - BishopApril19
Bishop's Letter in .PDF format, download here - BishopApril19
At the time of preparing this month's magazine, none of us can be certain that exiting the European Union will progress as originally planned and possibly not all of the comments in the letter from the Bishop of Grantham, included below, will remain relevant. Nevertheless much of what is included will have relevance later, even if the process of leaving is delayed or altered which is why it is included below.
Dear friends and colleagues,
This letter comes with my prayers for us all as we enter the holy season of Lent. I hope that it will be a time of reflection, of renewal and of profound preparation for the joyful festival of Easter.
Bishop Christopher has asked me to help with diocesan preparations for the enactment of the resolution by which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, and this is the reason for me writing to you today.
The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday 29th March. As yet, significant votes still have to take place in Parliament, but whatever the outcome of these votes I would like to share with you the request from our archbishop and bishop, that as God's people in Greater Lincolnshire we should commit ourselves to prayer at this time, and to being good neighbours to everyone.
It is likely that the national church will produce some easily adaptable resources that might assist us in what I know is already a considerable pastoral challenge. As soon as these resources become available, I will send you the necessary links and details.
In essence, the hope is that church buildings might be open for prayer and that the communities that they serve might be invited to gather to pray together, and where possible, to offer hospitality such as a cup of tea and the chance to talk. It is felt that many different feelings are likely to be unlocked towards the end of March and that one of the things we can do as Christians is to recognise our neighbours' different needs - and our own - and take very simple steps to meet them. We are planning an opportunity to pray together as a diocese at St Botolph's Church in Boston at 6:00pm on Saturday 30th March.
This letter is not seeking to overburden those who I know are already busy and committed in so many different ways. Rather, it is to try to say 'here we are as God's people, all of us, together, trying to be true to him and to those whom he loves and has made in his image'. My sense is that whatever our personal views of the politics relating to Brexit, we can find common ground in the pastoral issues that are emerging.
It is likely that this prayer will be used nationally and I offer it to you now, as a first step in making other resources and information available to you:
God of hope,
in these times of change and uncertainty,
unite our nation and guide our leaders
with your wisdom.
Give us courage to overcome our fears,
and help us to build a future
in which all may prosper and share:
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With best wishes,
the Right Reverand Dr. Nicholas Chamberlain
Bishop of Grantham