Pastoral Letter for Wednesday 12th August:

My Dear Friends, 

Many people have been greatly distressed recently by the thoughtless and selfish behaviour of certain irresponsible citizens following the easing of lockdown restrictions. We have seen careless attitudes and an excessive lack of social distancing on some of our beaches and in certain of our pubs. This arrogant entitlement flies in the face of the regard and consideration we should have for one another as a society after so much suffering and sacrifice. 

I am reminded of a story once told by the Greek philosopher Plutarch. A rather down at heel old man once attended the Olympic Games. The stadium was full; and he wandered round bemused, looking for a seat. No one would make room for him; and the crowd laughed and jeered and shouted at him to sit down. There was, however, nowhere to sit. Then he came to that part of the arena reserved for the Spartans. One of the strict rules that was part of the Spartan upbringing was that the young should show respect for the old. Immediately, row after row of the Spartan young men jumped up to offer the old man a seat. 

When the crowd saw this they stopped laughing and jeering – and began to clap the young Spartans for their chivalry. The old man shouted out with the voice of an orator which could be heard all round the stadium: “All Greeks KNOW what is right; but only the Spartans DO it!”   

We all know what is right; but only a few are willing to do it. This applies not only to the rules of social distancing; but to the Commandments of God. Its not enough to talk the talk. We must also be willing to walk the walk. 

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all. 

Alex.