Editorial from September Edition of The Magazine
The start of the new academic year sees many new beginnings for many people – especially for Julia as the new girl in the Arle Valley Benefice, and all of us as we help her settle in. We publish a few of the hundreds of photos taken at her wonderfully joyful and spiritual Licensing Service on pages 10 and 11, but there are many more (in colour) in The Magazine section of www.stjohnsalresford.org. With so many photos additional words seemed superfluous.
Our centre-page-spread features the exciting time had by some of our young people at Soul Survivor which was clearly a very meaningful experience for them all.
Two pages, starting on page 22, detail the many and varied opportunities available to us all during the Heritage Open Days. Most are free and only a few need to be booked in advance. It really is a privilege to live in an area with such a rich heritage to explore.
Our regular contributors have written interesting articles (as they always do) and Keith Clark shares with us his new enthusiasm (on page 18)- and it’s nothing to do with singing!
I found researching Toilet Twinning especially humbling, and I am so glad we have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause (see page 27).
Leading Article from September edition of The Magazine
Editor: The Rev Paul Hardingham remembers Diana, Princess of Wales…
This month marks 20 years since the funeral of Princess Diana on 6th September 1997. Recently Prince William described how his mother’s death was like an earthquake, the shockwaves taking time to sink in. When we remember the days leading up to the funeral, the whole nation seemed touched by her death. Over 32 million people watched the funeral on television. As we look back to this event, what is its continuing significance?
As those made in the image of God, we are called to reach out to show love to others. ‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.’ (1 John 4:7). Princess Diana did this, especially the vulnerable in our society, remembering especially her work with AIDS sufferers and landmine victims. However, she was also a flawed individual, who fought various ‘demons’ in her own life and struggled with relationships. People identified with her humanity as one like us: fallible, weak yet more than good enough.
There is always something powerful about vulnerability in others; we can identify with them because, like us, they don’t have it all together. God uses flawed people in his purposes, as we clearly see in the pages of the Bible: Abraham, Moses, David and Paul, to mention just a few!
Ironically, Mother Theresa died the day before Diana’s funeral. Again, she was somebody who was much loved for her work among the poor. However, despite being declared a saint last year, she openly talked about the vulnerability of her faith. Mother Teresa revealed that she spent nearly 50 years without a tangible feeling of God’s presence in her life! It’s not easy to be a perfect saint!
‘I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved.’ (Princess Diana).