The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Revd Gordon Mursell, has used a pastoral letter in February’s Parish Magazines across the Diocese of Lichfield, to consider the consequences of leaving home. The bishop will be retiring to Scotland in June after being warned by doctors that he risks losing his voice completely unless he stops talking too much.

Extract: Lastly, and however hard it is to believe, the best is always yet to come. The next bishop, the next vicar, the next occupant of the house you called “home”, will probably do better than you; and you should rejoice if they do, for what you left behind may have helped to make that happen. And for you or me, leaving home and travelling on with more grey hairs and an aching mix of sadness and deep gratitude, what lies ahead? We don’t know, for the future is not in our control. But God is a nomad too, and walks with us into the unknown. The supreme symbol of leaving home in Scripture is not the closed gate of Eden but the Cross of Good Friday; for there, and in our place, Jesus let go the most precious thing of all - his life - in order to receive it back from the Father on Easter morning in a form even death could not destroy. That’s why, as C.S.Lewis famously said, Christians never say goodbye - only “until we meet again”, in this world or the next. And that’s why, for those willing to take the risk of leaving home, the best is always yet to be.

Part of me wants to say, "It's easy for him to say," as he knows where he is going and, more than likely, has the cash to enjoy it. But, on the other hand, he does remind us of a Christian truth. It's just that I also think that just because we know God redeems doesn't mean we should allow shit to happen to us or accept it quietly when it does. I would like to be there when he delivers this homily to the cleaning staff TEC have just made destitute.

I have posted the full text of this letter on FOOTNOTES.

(Note to Cathy: The bishop isn't really going to deliver this homily to the sacked cleaners. That's just a flight of fancy on my part.)


DON’T LOOK BACK — 6 Comments

  1. Live long enough, and such “adventures” come to us all, and we all know that not all adventures are fun. That’s why I love Bilbo Baggins who must set out on an adventure, full-knowing that it would be uncomfortable and make him late for dinner.

  2. Note to Cathy: The bishop isn’t really going to deliver this homily to the sacked cleaners. That’s just a flight of fancy on my part

    Thank you, MP. Was I looking confused? …

  3. If you think about it, not a one of us knows where we’re going. We may think we know, but we really do not. Getting up in the morning is a little like jumping off a cliff – if you think about it. Best to trust God, which is not easy but is still best.

  4. And I may take my previous comment back for my thought for the day.

    It’s the same when I hit the play button on your music, I never know whether I’ll like the music or not – like jumping off a cliff. This one I liked.

  5. WTF is that picture?!

    word verification, “regunker”: did I answer my own question, or is that a polite term for the bishop…or both?

  6. I tried to comment on this last night but my comment has not appeared. That’s weird.

    Anyway, what I said was I was sitting in my seat at the opera, half way through the first act, with the baritone singing about having the hots for his sister (or something), after an incredibly busy day at work (selfishly they do sometimes expect me to put in some effort in return for paying me) when suddenly I twigged. Oh!! FLIGHT OF FANCY.

    MP is still harping on about his post the day before and how he never really saw a tattoo about Mimi’s person and was just making it up.

    Ah, I get it.

    Yeah, MP – I think we all know differently, though, don’t we.

    (PS yes this was a bit slow off the mark on my part. My employers are just so selfish. It was a really hectic day and I had no time off for thinking about the truly useful stuff like OCICBW.)