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Thought for the day - Radio Bristol 10-04-17

11 April 2017, 8.00 am

I have just started as chaplain at the University of Bath. This busy and dynamic campus has many international students, from 88 countries. It is a lively place. Very stimulating to be amongst this new adult generation, and hear their ideas and dreams, as they look ahead to the potential of their future.

And going into a world that is just now increasingly complex and unpredictable, with many thoughts had, and prayers said, this weekend. With this unpredictability, there is worry too – things are changing and old securities overturned. There is a new strain in international relations, and “news-talk” of conflict. The trouble is that often the news-talk is easy – the consequences and potential suffering somehow detached. It is as if our “video-games culture” sanitises the horror of war.

At the university, we hope and trust that we can impart experience and wisdom that helps our students when they go home, and that that in turn will contribute to stability and tolerance.

Part of my role as University chaplain is to visit local churches where our students go on Sundays. This I love. It too builds up relationships between the campus and city of Bath – and between different church traditions. Unity is another watch word for today. I did my first visit last night.

It reminded me of another thing. It is good to support any activity that brings people together. We sang, we shared bible stories – this week is the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and were taught. And in the middle of the service a baby boy was dedicated – his parents wanting to thank God for him.

This was beautiful. In a world where secularism is so complex, true faith can unify and not only bring people together, but remind us adults – we are building the world for our children to grow into.

JNR 10-04-17

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