The last lap

I was terrible at PE – no, I mean really terrible. I was a liability on a pitch and useless in a race. I was the last to be picked for a team and then with huge reluctance from the lad who had been chosen to be the captain. So when sports day loomed on the horizon I dreaded it. We all had to take part – I suppose it was seen as improving us in some way – I have yet discover just how precisely. But when I was in a race the last lap, though the hardest, was the sweetest.

This is day three of this Group of Sessions and we can see the finishing post in the distance. Before we get there we have some group work on ‘Diversity, difference and disagreement’, a report by the Governance Review Group, a couple of appointments to approve, a debate from Lichfield Diocesan Synod on the Persecuted Church, another on proposed changes to the Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission for the See of Canterbury (don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything, we still have an Archbishop of Canterbury), before finally waving goodbye to some people and then being Prorogued.

What to look out for? Well governance doesn’t float every one’s boat but it is vital as we have seen in the world of cathedrals that governance should be fit for purpose. But what does that mean for the CofE which exists in its dioceses and not in the fiction of the centre? And what is the role of bishops in all of this? Supporting the persecuted church is vital. What happens in one part of the body happens to all parts of the body is what St Paul tells us

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it. (1 Corinthians 12.26)

As for the CNC for when there is a vacancy in Canterbury? Well, I can’t say much as I will be chairing that debate. But all I will ask at this point is is the See of Canterbury the right place to focus the life of the Anglican Communion? Should England get its Archbishop back and the Anglican Communion get the leadership that will take it forward? Or are we just bound by a colonialist (call it missionary if you will) history? We will see what points are made and where Synod ends up on this. Not that this is a final decision but part of an ongoing process of consultation that we are invited to contribute to.

So the finishing post is in sight. As the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12.1)

Jesus, may our sights be set only on you and your kingdom as we run the race today. Amen.

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