12th January 2016

Fr AndrewDear Friends,

The death of David Bowie announced this morning has stunned many people. It’s not quite up there with the passing of Princess Diana but for millions of people around the world Bowie’s death will have moved and affected them profoundly. If you’re in your fifties like me, you would have grown up with the music of David Bowie almost as a soundtrack of your life. His death today is for people in my generation bigger than the death of Elvis Presley.

My son Jamie texted me to say that he was feeling very sad at hearing the news and I replied that we must be thankful that we shared the earth with David Bowie and we give thanks to God for his creativity and originality. And also that his music will live on for ever. As long as music is played on this earth the name of David Bowie will not be forgotten. He was also a great advertisement for being yourself; not feeling you have to follow the crowd or conform but simply to stand up and say “This is me and this is what I do!”

I wonder if you remember the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in the early 1990’s, when Bowie dropped to his knees and prayed the Lord’s Prayer for Mercury and all ravaged by AIDS. An extraordinary act of generosity and bravery at the time when AIDS was still being brushed under the carpet. To be blunt very few church leaders would have done that in front of an audience who wouldn’t have dreamed of walking into a church. You can see it here.

But just as David Bowie was unique and talented and created by God so are we all. All of us, unique individuals as we are, are known and loved and held by God. “I have called you by name you are mine”. Some of our stars shine more brightly than others here on planet earth, but all of us shine equally brightly with God. We are all equally held and loved by him. David Bowie has now gone on to a bigger and better place. In my mind’s eye I can now picture him having a conversation with Lemmy about the meaning of life. That’s one conversation I would like to sit in on!

With every blessing,

Fr Andrew