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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

8 January 2020: Tim Concannon, St Laurence Catholoc Church

Into a new decade?

And so we are heading into not just a New Year but a whole new decade. What will the twenties bring, I wonder? We still have a vision of the Roaring Twenties of the twentieth century, when the world was realigning itself after the War to end all Wars. In the West, we tend to think of it as a decade of jazz, gin and indulgence and peace after the horrors of War.

We forget, however, that elsewhere it was a nightmare for millions. There was a vicious revolution and civil war in Russia, massacres in India, warlords and revolution in China and unrest in the Middle East. In our own back yard, there was the war of independence and subsequent civil war in Ireland.

It was a decade of change, disease and deprivation. In my own family, a lower middle class one in Manchester, only four out of eight children survived into adulthood – a figure that was not unusual in a major city in the largest empire the world had ever known.

In this century, we are not recovering from a vicious war, but we are recovering from a vicious peace. The Brexit controversy has divided people in a way that we have not seen in the last four hundred years. We have not refought our actual civil war, but in the vicious arena that is our social media, we might just as well have done.

The new prime minister has announced his intention of trying to heal the wounds that we have inflicted on each other. At this season, it is incumbent on us all, whatever Faith we profess or none, to listen to the message of the Nazarene and practise peace to people of good will. For these purposes we need to accept that people that we disagree with might be “people of goodwill” and not a “nasty person” because they happen to disagree with us.

On that note, I wish you all a happy and healthy new decade.

Messy Church will be holding a Christingale Service on Sunday 12 January at the Methodist Church from 3:00 pm to 5:00 - including a "high" tea afterwards (sandwiches and cakes!).



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