Bishop's Comment: Simpler, Humbler, Bolder

2nd March 2021

In a month that starts with St David’s Day my thoughts turn across the Marches, not just to commend the Welsh rugby team’s recent Triple Crown victory, but to draw deeply on poetic and biblical inspiration.

Lent 2021 is much less an intense 80-minute run around than a long slow journey. The Roadmap to recovering in pandemic will no doubt reveal frustrating bumps and diversions. Let us travel at the pace God reveals and ask if the lock down has shown us anything about what really matters. Perhaps we will be given a simpler, humbler, bolder faith to practise, as we emerge as a truly ‘mixed ecology’ church.

Archbishop Stephen commended to the CofE General Synod, Austen Farrer’s dictum “simplify your life” both for personal and planetary health. A humbler approach to our frantic need for endless distraction might help us recover the command to keep sabbath in rest and stillness. Ending outmoded habits at home, work and church will require boldness for clear-sighted transition to the new beginnings ahead.

Some lines from the Welsh poet RS Thomas’ in ‘The Moor’ and ‘Kneeling’ to help us hear ‘the voice of our calling’:

‘I walked on simple and poor’ 

‘The air a staircase For silence’

‘The meaning is in the waiting’ 

Take a moment to link these with being Simpler, Humbler, Bolder. Look up the whole poems which are not themselves long. 

Then draw deeply from the wells of salvation.

“Jesus said ‘Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Matthew 11:28-29