Prayer for Liverpool
Unbridled joy, some may say – certainly that’s the strength of feeling and emotion in acknowledging the stellar performance of Liverpool Football Club this season, to bring back the championship to Anfield after 30 years absence. Tremendous work – and that’s coming from a supporter of another football team altogether! But one has to honestly admire them – and what is still likely to be a record-breaking season for them; and likely many more to come under the inspirational managership of Jurgen Klopp. As our own Liverpool Cathedral tribute was played so brilliantly by Dan Bishop; voiced by Dean Sue, Paul O’Brien and, in prayer, by our young choristers - and indeed as was sung by the Choristers of Great Britain last year at the cathedral…..“You’ll never walk alone”. Something which, in essence as Christians we know through our faith – that we never walk alone; that Christ is always with us – that God is always calling all of us to walk a path with his Son Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit….a spirit that can bring amazing things to our lives when we follow His way.
And that’s also another aspect of Joy which we often remember at this time in the church’s calendar, this season of Petertide. For in this season, in most dioceses, those who have discerned a particular calling to follow Christ and have walked a pathway through learning and training, come to a special focus now when they are ordained Deacons. It is a tremendous occasion; only in fact a nexus along a lifelong pathway, but one which often marks a point of inflection from a, quite often, long and difficult calling through life beforehand, to one of ordination and licensing to serve communities all around the country. Sadly, within the current pandemic, that service in the cathedral could not take place – so the start is unusual, to say the least, for our 25 new curates in our diocese. But we still hold them very much in our prayers for this new chapter for them – however it may have started. For myself, it is indeed a joyous anniversary, for it was on this day in 2013 that I was ordained in Blackburn Cathedral and served my title there. Even today, I am still amazed that God called me – then and calls me now - to serve in his name; a wonderful, humbling privilege.
My calling was there throughout my entire life – one which I’d long felt was only a calling to serve my Cancer patients through my science. So, to hear and begin to feel another additional calling was quite remarkable….and amazingly strong. So much so that I resigned from my profession and head of service post at the Christie, to live and train fulltime down at Westcott House in Cambridge – which is where the above photo is taken. That period of time was one of both joy and sadly sorrow, as many of you reading this will perhaps already know. But God led me down a path which showed that my professional life in Science was not being replaced by a priestly ministry – but added to. And so here am I - the priest and scientist serving before you.
So, there is much we might give thanks for now – but we must also be acutely aware of lives challenged and shattered in the current situation; for which joy is furthest from one’s mind. We pray for the lives changed and which will never be the same again; that God still calls us all, in both our grief and joy, to be the wonderful, distinctive individuals we are. Following that call, walking the way of Christ, enables God to work marvellous things both in us and with us, for the sake of others. And that in itself is perhaps one of the greatest joys we might have, and also the greatest of responsibilities; that through the joy in us which comes from the power of the Spirit, we may serve and help others – so they will know perhaps in just some small way, they will never walk alone…..
With my love and prayers for you all, as always….
supporting you during these uncertain times
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter. Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God